His passing, due to a drunk driver, has put a spotlight on the actions of those who drink and drive.....right where they should be.
To many, Andy was a top notch storm chaser, who time and time again was able FIND THE TORNADO to get the "money shot". He certainly had the uncanny ability to get very close to a tornado and bring home some amazing video. This is how many will remember him. To those that really knew him we will not.
You see, Andy was not just an great storm chaser who made you go "wow, is this guy crazy or what?!" He was so much more than that.....he was a father that loved his daughter very much....he was a loving Son....he was a human being that loved life and lived it to the fullest....he was a friend to so many....he was one of the most funny guys that I have ever met...his laughter was contagious...he had a true passion for living life. As his father said, he did more in a decade than most do in a lifetime....this is so very true.
Over the last week I have read so many things about him, I have watched the tribute videos posted by those that really didn't even know Andy, I have read blogs and Facebook posts from those that seemingly just want to "jump on the bandwagon" of Andy Gabrielson.....frankly that sickens me but I have refrained from saying anything personally and I will continue to do so out of respect for the man that I knew. Those that really knew him know that he would just laugh at it all anyways.....that laughter is what I will miss the most.
Today is about Andy and the celebration of his life, a life that truly was lived to the fullest which is a feat that we all strive for in some way or another. Not many of us are really able to live that kind of life.
Over the last 12 years of being married to my loving wife, Laura, she has been so good about letting me live my life to the fullest....she has even pushed me a little to live my dreams....just as Andy did. I am grateful for such a loving wife and family. Due to my passion for all things weather, my children simply do not know anything different....to them Dad is a storm chaser, who runs some kind of chasing business and goes out to "play with the weather". I suspect that as young as Andy's daughter is, she may not remember who he really was....it is my hope that his memory will live forever in all of us for his daughter. It is also my hope that his family and those who were very close to him find some peace and closure knowing that he is looking down on us laughing with that smile of his.
Mike Scantlin, Dick McGowan, Kory Hartman Reed Timmer and crew and to all those that really knew Andy and were very close to him, as well as his family, I just want you to know that you all are in my thoughts....Rest In Peace Andy....we all will miss you.