You never know from where prayers will come

Last Saturday a friend of mine, Clayton, celebrated his 40th birthday.

Just the day before, Friday, he was diagnosed with cancer.

Happy 4-Oh-No.

He’s taking the new pretty well, I guess. Clayton carries with him an air of good humor. He could make a mime laugh out loud. He’s Norm from Cheers, only with a much better attitude and higher tolerance for alcohol. He’s allergic to bad moods (at least, I think he is).

He’s a huge Appalachian State football fan, and was at the big game at Michigan. When boarding the plane for the flight home, he somehow managed to grab the incabin CB and make a special announcement to the passengers on-board. I was told it went something like this.

Attention please, attention please. I have an important announcement to make. The No. 5-ranked Michigan Wolverines just got their butt kicked by Appalachian State University! Enjoy your flight home!

Hi-fives decorated his trip down the aisle, of course.

I see Clayton every fall at our regular tailgate. When he’s around, a good time is always had by all. He’s been to just about every home game the past few seasons, and every championship at Chattanooga. He even once won a raffle for two seats in the chancellor’s box. He went. It was like inviting a Red Bull to a wine tasting. Way too much decorum and properness for a man like Clayton. “Cheer, people, CHEER! There’s a football game goin’ on out there!”

He came back into the stands after halftime. He brought with him napkins full of cookies – “Compliments of the chancellor.”

Tuesday Clayton was coming to terms with a second opinion and his impending intensive chemotherapy sessions. He was checking the many voicemail messages on his cell phone when one just jumped out at him. Somehow. Someway. For some odd reason. An ASU football player had left a message on his phone.

What in the world … ?

The player was Justin Woazeah. He said he wanted to wish Clayton the best and let him know he was in his prayers. Later that night, the two actually talked. Clayton was floored and much appreciative. Justin just said he heard of Clayton’s situation from a friend and wanted to offer some support. If there was anything he could do, let him know. Until then, he was praying for him.

I’m still not sure how Justin got wind of Clayton (Kevin Bacon is somehow involved .. I think), but nonetheless it was beyond cool what he did.

If you’re interested, Clayton has a blog setup here. For now, his spirits are as strong as his annual fourth-quarter admonishments of the Georgia Southern defense. (He really doesn’t like those guys).

I look forward to seeing you back in Boone, big man. You’re in my prayers too.

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6 thoughts on “You never know from where prayers will come

  1. Wow, that just brought a few tears to my eyes. A perfect example of why Boone and Appalachian St. are such wonderful places that will always be dear to my heart. You don’t find this kind of compassion anywhere else. I don’t miss living in NC so much, but I do miss living in Boone.
    My prayers are with your friend. May he beat this opponent the same way he loves watching the Mountaineers do the same!

  2. J Rod took the words out of my mouth…..AWESOME…..and I was there with Clayton on the plane…. you got it right with the “announcement”….that was an experience I will never forget…..and as you know, there are many other stories that follow the Michigan and Chatanooga trips….and Im looking forward to many more memories…..as you know, Clayton is the glue or “catalyst” in our little group… he/we need to get through this so we can continue the traditon at the Rock and the “road trips”down the road…look foward to seeing you in the fall…SJS

  3. you all continue to be in our prayers!!we love you guys and know there are many prayers being lifted towards heaven for you!
    love,
    melia ,rick,and the kids

  4. Rob,
    Oh my goodness! That was such an awsome testimonial to my husband. You pretty much summed it up when you described him. He is the most unconditional friend, husband, father, son and brother that anyone could ever imagine. I would truely rather be with him than anyone else in the world. (except Jon Bon Jovi) just joking ofcourse. He is my Rock and is to many other people too. It will be very hard to see him sick but I know if anyone can beat this, it is him. His faith is as solid as a rock also. It’s definately what’s getting us all through this right now. The website is so touching and everyone loves it. Thank you for all your hard work, support and prayers. Give Amy and the kids a big hug for me. Don’t worry, I’ll have him back in his “rare form” by opening date.
    God Bless,
    Paege

  5. It’s an old cliche we coaches have used as a player motivator, “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going”. No one knows that better than “Stone”(Clayton). Becky and I have enjoyed our tailgating with Clayton and friends. The Michigan and Chattanooga games last year were especially fun times. And, it’s always great to win. Clayton told me the other day, “I’ll see you at LSU”. I will see to it that he does. Uncle Paul #52 ASU ’63.

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