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Remarks by Kip Elser, A&S '73
Father of Chris Elser
Christopher B. Elser Memorial
Tuesday, April 20, 2004 | Keyser Quadrangle

 
[Prepared text. Not checked against delivery.]

A Thank You Note to Christopher's Classmates and Fellow Students From Christopher's Father

It's a beautiful day and I wish we were somewhere else.

This is a moment to stop,
reflect,
take a minute to be aware of where you are.

Savor the moment.

Don't rush quite so fast — straight through your young lives.

There's a lot of pressure on all of you students.
I know.
I was once a student here.

Exams are coming up, and some of the pressure that you're feeling
is pressure you are manufacturing yourselves.

Now is the time to stop and think about what's really important. Next week, when you start studying for your exams,
instead of studying straight through the night,
showering
and rushing off
— which is exactly what Christopher did one night last fall,
and then slept through the entire next day's exam —
close that book early, get a little sleep, and take a moment
to enjoy the walk to the exam room.

Or, at the very least, enjoy the walk home after the exam.

It was a wonderful experience for us to see all of you
who came to the hospital to say your goodbyes to Christopher.

Rhetta, Taylor and I thank you all.

To those of you who have visited us before, you are as welcome
— more welcome —
now than ever,
as friends of ours
and as big brothers and sisters to Taylor.

And those of you who promised to continue
as Taylor's big brothers and sisters,
we take that promise very seriously.

She will need your guidance and support
not just next week or next year
but for many years to come.

As Taylor said to us two days ago at the hospital, "Who am I going to get now to teach me how to grow up.... and be cool."

Again, we thank you for the friendship you provided Christopher,
and the comfort you have given Rhetta, Taylor, and me.

— Kip, 4/27/04


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