Thank you is such a simple thing to say. It always means more than the two words themselves. Always.
Great people make great families. Great Families make great people.
One of the reasons why I started LovePrints was to be able to say THANK YOU to people for who they are, what they have done, and what they are doing. These are people who did something along the way to form my life as it is. Some did these things on purpose, out loud, and directly. Some did so in my sight line and path, and in the shared path, became a part of my journey. I have said repeatedly that I am covered in LovePrints, and I will continue to share the good people who did this.
As most of you know, I am proud of my beginnings. I was raised by a community of family, friends, teachers, and coaches who barked when needed, smiled often, guided with firm yet gentle hands, and gave me a well lit path to walk on. Some did so without realizing that they had an army of young people following them. Or maybe they knew, and simply made it look like they didn't. What I can tell you is that the neighborhoods that I was raised and ran in were diverse, colorful, and loving. They were also full of people who taught by doing, who were constantly present, and cared enough to tell you what you needed to know rather than what you wanted to hear.
I talk a lot about the Black Knights community, the family and families, the brothers and sisters, and the teammates. The Black and Gold always managed to make the world seem large and comfortable at the same time. The names meant something because of the people that carried and honored them. And the families extended beyond the games, the fundraisers, and the colors. They extended into homes, playgrounds, parks, and fields. Among the names, Hunter was one that shines for me, and there are several reasons. The Hunters were a family. They were friends. They were my home away from home, and a landmark to my life. The beauty of this is that there are several families that could and will be talked about. Today, I want to focus on this family.
From first to the last, this family was always present. No matter if i was playing games, watching games, coaching games, or working games, they were present. From mom to daughter to brother, in family and friendship, always present. To provide light, direction, and advice. From keeping score, drinks for the teams, snacks for the coaches, and a pat on the back no matter how those games went. Always present.
At the top of this family is Ed Hunter. Coach. Dad. Pops. Sir. Always present. Always a transport. Always a wave from the corner house. Always a boundary. Always there to keep the lights on. Always there to give structure. Always there to give advice. Always there to growl if he saw something beneath you. Always there to smile if you were being a better version of yourself. Always there. Always.
The same can be said for the family, as could be said for many of the Black Knight families. But Ed, Karen, Eric, and Stacey are a great example of LovePrints. Theirs are all over Arlington County, and beyond. I would be failing if I did not use this space to tell them so. Ed, you made the county home for many. You made it better. I am saying thank you for a lot of us. You deserve it. Thank you Hunters, one and all.