A man called Christopher Todd

by | Jan 17, 2016 | Shahnaz Blog (Previously They Throw Rocks)

Yes, that’s his name.  Yes, this is a true story.  I wonder where to start with this story.  I guess I’m going to have to start with myself.  Most people think I’m an extrovert but I really am an introvert.  I do not like meeting new people very much.  I don’t mind it, but it takes me time to warm up to a person. I would need to have done my personal research (either by observation or by getting more information about the person) before I am comfortable meeting them. I’m pretty private, or at least, I try to be.  It’s hard to explain.  I guess, I like to reveal myself by my terms.  I need time.

Anyway, when I was going out with my future husband, Brad, he would talk about his best friend from high school – Christopher.  It was Chris this or Chris that.  I listened, but kinda listened, if you get my drift.  Well, then one day, Brad says to me, “Christopher is in town.”  See, Chris lives in the Keys, in Florida.  So, I guess he made his way up to see his family who still lives in the St. Louis area.  Brad wanted to spend some time with Chris and I said, “Sure!  No problem.  Of course.  Go hang out.”  That would have been great except the next thing Brad says is, “You should come!  I want you to meet Chris!”  At this point, I’m panicking and shaking my head, no!  “I’m scared!  I don’t want to meet him!  You go!”  Brad says, “Christopher?  You are scared of Christopher?  He’s my best friend and he’s really nice.  He will love you.  It’ll be fine.”  I’m still hesitating on the fence and wasn’t sure what to say.  What should have I said?  “I need time to investigate him?”  What?  I didn’t know.  I don’t remember, but I told Brad that I would meet the two of them a bit later.  After they had gotten to hang out a bit.  I might have had something to do or made up something to do.

So, Chris and Brad are hanging out at the Barnes and Noble and I’m trepidatious.  I got to the mall and called and apparently they were just hanging out there and I had to go and look for them.  I told Brad I had to use the rest room so I’ll be there soon.  Well, as luck would have it I had to use the rest room in Barnes and Noble because the other rest room was out of the way.  So, I enter B&N, made a quick scan around the room and dash into the rest room before I am seen by Brad.  When I get out of the rest room, I’m in a semi-good spot to observe.  I look around slowly coming in, trying to duck and hide behind shelves.  I’m in a corner and I see Brad, looking for me and he’s looking towards the door.   I’m looking for his friend to evaluate from a distance. When Brad looked away, I would step closer to another shelf and another position.  I needed, a few more minutes, but as I stepped to the next spot when I thought Brad was not looking, Brad turned around, saw me and waved.  Oh the heart break!  No.  I couldn’t hide for longer.  Now I had to meet this man without any more investigation.  So, I do and squeamishly smile and try to talk but then something happened.  I didn’t need to talk at all.  Chris was a talker.  You couldn’t get a word in edge wise if you wanted.  Brad, who’s also a talker was trying to keep up with Chris and I was just “there”.  In a sense, I got to observe up close, without being intimidated or interrogated.

I usually do not like a lot of people.  I’m quite picky about the people I value and truly care about.  Brad has introduced me to a few people and I’m quick to be judgmental and point out what I dislike about them.  Funny thing.  When it comes to Chris, there was nothing.  I am happy to know Chris.  I tell Brad that of all the people he has introduced me to, Chris is the only man that I respect whole heartedly.  Why?  I can’t explain it.  This man has a heart of gold and I have learned a lot just hanging out with him.  Now, when I find out that Chris is coming to town, I’m the one telling Brad, “We have to go meet Chris.  He’s coming to town!”  I find out before him!  It’s been a blessing in my life to know this man.  We visited them in the Keys a couple of years back and Chris’ wife is a fabulous baker and I have learned a lot of baking skills from her.  You know when they say, “good wholesome people”, I would think of Chris and his wife.

Last week, I’m at a Subway with Brad, doing dinner just before our show started.  I got a text from his brother Dan.  It said, “Jamie told me that Chris was in a head on collision on the Hwy.  He is being airlifted to the hospital now.  Too early to call them.  I’ll let you know, when I hear anything.”

That was a week ago.  Last night, Brad and I were at a Steak and Shake for a late night dinner and I got this text from Dan, who was with Chris this weekend.  “Good and bad times today.  On a good time he told the story of how you two met.  He will be very happy to see you!  While speaking so long and so well about you and Brad, Julie and Beth looked at each other and said he is much better.  In that way, you made them happy. :-)”

I looked up from the text and read it to Brad and we laughed about the time when I was hiding like a child.  I told Brad, “I got out of that rest room and I was sneaking around those book shelves and looking and you saw me too soon and I was like, darn it!”  And we laughed.

You all know I’m a Muslim.  I wish I was a better Muslim and wish I prayed more, but let’s just say that when I heard about Chris, there was no way I was going to bed without saying my prayers and praying in all sincerity for a man who has truly shown me the meaning of respect, love and acceptance despite your race, religion, socio-economic status or other things.  He’s just a good guy.  6 broken ribs, a broken sternum, a pneumothorax, a shredded diaphragm, a broken left femur, a broken right knee, tibia and fibula later, I’m just really thankful to God that Chris is still with us today.  We weren’t sure last week…

Please keep Christopher Todd and his family in your prayers and remember to appreciate every moment and every gift God has given you.

Best wishes,


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