I met Chris Rossie in high school at Shawnee Mission South after his dad was transferred from Dallas to Kansas City. Chris was an unusually talented guy – bountiful in academic and athletic prowess. And he excelled at both. He became our starting shortstop in his first year and was also a guard on the basketball team. While most of us were trying to wiggle out of courses like advanced math, Chris went after them. Oh, and Chris drove this absolutely cool Blue 1960s Corvette Stingray with a manual stick. He could make that Vette absolutely hum!
There was an almost immediate connection between the two of us. One of those things you can’t explain – we just thought about the same things and communicated easily. We opened up about things I didn’t discuss with many.
That included my diabetes. He was one of the few guys on our varsity baseball team that knew I had diabetes. I never shared it with my varsity coach and I’m almost certain he didn’t know. (If he did, he never discussed it with me.) Chris wouldn’t dwell or judge my diabetes. He asked questions and knew me well enough if something was off kilter. My diabetes was just part of our friendship. I knew that he knew. I trusted him.
Chris and I were close in age, but a year apart in school. We stayed in touch his Senior Year and then as he went to Stanford. We became more distant as we advanced in college, but our high school discussions, candor, accountability and support for each other provided me with confidence that I could share my diabetes with a new friend without judgment. And knowing that gave me confidence I could develop trusted friendships that included sharing my diabetes.
Thanks Chris for our friendship – that included my diabetes – during a sensitive and developing time of my life.