Christopher Michael Edwards 07.11.83 - 12.08.18 RIP Brother Chris.
I don’t know if this is the right thing to do but I can’t think of anything else that’s less or more correct—I’ve never done this before. My wife and I have been enjoying our two year anniversary today, God bless today. We did a few shopping things and ran a couple of errands, we mainly enjoyed each other’s company with the music loud, windows down, touring Los Angeles. I posted an anniversary card to her and she handed me one in person. It’s been raining the past three days, not today, the sun was out and it was 70 degrees today—today was beautiful.
My phone rang about two hours ago. A good brother of mine, and friend, Nateb is making my phone ring. My initial reaction was ‘it’s Saturday, maybe he and his wife are coming down to the beach.’ I answered and I could tell by the way he said “what’s up bro?” I knew something wasn’t right. He tried to conduct some small talk for a minute but I knew there was something on his mind. “How’s your day going?” He asked. “Only great if that counts, any better would be against the law” are the exact words I said to him. He told me he didn’t want to be the guy to ruin my great day but he didn’t want me to hear it from anybody else: “Chris is dead.”
IBEW St. Patrick’s Day 50/50 Cookout, Hayward, California. March 19th, 2016
The truth is, I don’t know if I should be writing this right now, I’m not looking forward to the post button, I hope his wife doesn’t mind. I hope his son doesn’t mind, he’s five years old now. His brother just died from a rare cancer two years ago, he was in his early 40’s, that means his parents have buried their only two sons now. I wasn’t expecting that phone call, Nateb, that’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to me. Chris was only 35 years old today, the same age as my wife. Chris looked up to me, he admired me, I wish he would’ve called me! I texted him yesterday, I just checked my phone, it was yesterday, a little before noon when I sent him that text and he didn’t respond. I should’ve called him! I wish I called him. Danget, I really I wish I would’ve called him. I don’t know if he would’ve answered the phone, I don’t know, but I know I didn’t make his phone ring. All I did was text him.
I don’t know if I’m doing this right, I really don’t know if I should be doing this at all. I try to hear what his parents would say to me if they knew I wanted to post an article about him and I don’t even want to wait one day. I can’t hear them. I want to do it now so the emotions I’m having a difficult time bottling up have a chance to be transcribed onto a computer screen. Something I can stare at whenever I want. I’m being selfish.
Should I stick to medical terminology right now and say “overdose,” is that ok? O.D’d, “he OD’d,” is that better? I’ve never done this before! Chris was a really good friend of mine, he loved me all of the time, in fact, he never hung up the phone without telling me he loved me. If he was on speaker, in the car, he would make sure everyone in the car heard him tell me he loved me. I was just telling someone I’ve known him for 20 years but that’s not even close, it feels like forever but I guess I met him back in 2011. He worked for me one Saturday on a solar project we were building.
He walked up and down the stairs of a 450 foot solar tower, guiding the eye of an extremely heavy (7n1/2 pounds per foot) electrical cable—one mistake and the cable is falling 450 feet toward the earth and it will destroy everything in its path, humans included. Chris walked up and down those stairs about four times in a 10 hour day, I asked him on multiple occasions if he wanted me to put someone else on it and he denied me, “I got it!” A few years later we were at the Union Hall, in the parking lot, he was bragging but also complaining about ‘that time’ I made him climb up and down those stairs all day long, how sore he was and how he missed work the following Monday because his legs were still too sore to go to work. He was complaining about how boring the task was, we’re surrounded by several brothers at the time, he’s telling them how I must not have had much faith in him because I had him on the boring job just climbing stairs all day. “Oh really, Chris?! Is that right?”
I told him I could’ve put anyone I wanted on that detail, I chose him, he didn’t choose me. Had that cable pull failed, it would have been catastrophic and I needed a pair of eyes I knew I could trust on it. I just met Chris but I knew he would do his job, he wasn’t someone who was going to stop on the stairs when they’re tired and watch from afar, radioing everything I wanted to hear. I needed Chris on those stairs because I knew he wouldn’t take his eye off of that wire head. His tone changed. It wasn’t until then that he realized he had the most trusted job on the whole task. He was such an awesome dude, I’m going to miss him. We’ve been great friends ever since those stairs, he was actually going to buy my car from me in a couple of weeks, I’m going to miss him. I already do. He had a difficult time saying no to bad things.
I’m trying to keep this article in rhythm without bouncing around from one subject to another too much, I’ve just never done this before. I want to tell you everything I can think of about Chris and I don’t want to leave anything out but there’s just so much: he was a raiders fan, drove a black Chevy truck, was a Union Electrician, always said “you know” after a sentence but he said it really fast so it sounded like one word, “y’no.” He listened to Too Short and Garth Brooks, had a wide range in music preference, he loved his son, his boy is all he ever talked about, he couldn’t keep his demons away.
I only have three pictures of him in my phone; the cover image, the one I’ll show you last, and this one:
Chris and Ash—about four years ago
There’s an eerie story behind that picture. That beautiful young lady is his wife and mother of his son. I asked her to flip him off like that, for me, so I could take a picture and use it for his contact information in my phone. She didn’t want to do it, she didn’t want anything to do with him at that moment, not even flip him off to his face, she despised him, I was there trying to calm the situation. She didn’t even want to come out in the garage and see me because she didn’t want to be around him. She did, though, for me. The situation being Ash caught him with a face full of cocaine, again. Again. I know, I said it twice. Chris is a different person when he’s on cocaine, he does things like vanishes for a week at a time or worse, cocaine is his devil. Chris did too much today—his body quit working. I hope she doesn’t mind I posted that picture. I considered cutting her out of it but it wouldn’t work. I would’ve had to either cut off his hat to edit out her finger or remove her face, leaving just her middle finger and his face in it, both ways looked wrong. I left it alone, I hope she doesn’t mind.
I don’t know how to end this article. If I had more pictures of him I would show you more. He was shorter than me, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and a thin build, probably 170 pounds. He was a Union Electrician for about 11 years and called Norco, California, USA home. He had a bunch of tattoos up and down his arms, oh! And his feet, hahahahaha!!! That frikkin guy! Looking down at his bare feet, left to right, his feet are tattooed “don’t” on the top of his right foot and “trip” on the other, lol! That’s funny. “Don’t trip.” I wish he didn’t get that last batch of cocaine. I wish he would’ve called me instead or came down here and hung out with me, anything other than what he did. I wish he would’ve seen his son or his mom or dad or anyone, just anything instead doing what he did. I wish he wouldn’t have done that.
That cover image is from a Union picnic we all hung out at back in 2016, Chris and his partner won the horseshoe tournament. 21 teams competed in the tournament that day, he didn’t stand a chance. Neither him or his partner ever throw horseshoes, they were just competing for the fun of it and comradery of the picnic. He was so proud of himself that day, he held that plaque with pride and had a smile that could be seen for long way. How do I know? Because I was his partner that day. This is a picture of us holding our winning plaques. We donated the $500 purse toward injured and fallen brothers but we loved those plaques, it’s the coolest trophy I’ve ever won.
Undefeated horseshoe champions of The Bay, 2016
I’m going to miss you, Chris. Typically I don’t list their actual name, Nateb, for example, that’s not his real name. Christopher Michael Edwards, however, that’s not a nickname. Chris was my friend. Thank you, Chris, thanks for always telling me you love me when we hung up the phone, you forced me to say it back, thank you for that! I love you, brother. Thank you for always being so kind and nice to me, you never judged me. I don’t know how to end this, Crazy Chris.
I’m starting a new paragraph because there’s so many things I want to say. I want to tell you about the tricked out dirt bike he built for his son or the ape hanger handlebars he put on his beach cruiser. The gorilla glue I borrowed from him to fix my phone holder, the time we threw darts in his garage or the night we were hanging out in his driveway after a Union picnic. There’s just too many things I’m not going to be able to say now, Chris. He was my neighbor once for about six months in Redwood City, California and got my mail for me when I was gone actually. Now that I think about it, that was about two years ago, today, Chris. When Pura Vida and I celebrated getting married by taking off to Costa Rica. You watched our place for us and got our mail while we were gone. She and I are celebrating two years together, today, as I’m typing this article actually. You were there two years ago and you’re here more than ever today. I wish you wouldn’t have done that, Chris.