I said goodbye to a close friend this morning. We’d been together over two decades. We had a lot in common. We shared many of the same experiences over the years.
And yet I never spoke to him.
My friend? Kidd Kraddick.
Kidd was a Dallas DJ since 1984. I got dressed and put on make-up listening to him. Drove to school hearing what he had to say. I can’t remember how many times when I got there, I’d talk with other teachers, staff members, or students about things that he’d said or done that morning on the radio.
I’ve driven to school laughing so hard, looking over at the car next to me, seeing another person doing the same – and knowing he was listening to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, too. I’ve even had to pull over after he issued a mascara alert because I’m crying so hard I couldn’t see the road.
When something big happened, I wanted to tune in to hear what Kidd had to say about it. Political scandals. Celebrity deaths. Super Bowl commercial dissections. Kidd was always in the know, and he always had a unique perspective on a topic.
I especially turned to Kidd when I hurt. The show he did the morning after 9/11? I needed to hear Kidd. I needed his calm voice. His belief in America and the American spirit. I craved the comfort I knew I could count on coming from him.
I think back over the years to so many things. Bath time with Caroline. Air Horn Man. The ghost in his house. His dog Liberty. Nickelback lumberjack music. His love of Barry Manilow and Broadway musicals. His tremendous support and admiration for teachers.
But especially Kidd’s Kids. Kidd started a charity foundation where he and his morning show crew took seriously ill children, along with their entire families, to Walt Disney World. The shows done from Orlando, talking with those kids and their families, hearing the happiness he brought to them, are still some of my best memories. Kidd did of an aneurysm while at a charity event in New Orleans, raising money for Kidd’s Kids. To leave this life while doing something that he loved is a small comfort to me and countless listeners.
Kidd lived a joyful life. He made me want to be a better person – a better mom, wife, teacher, and friend. Today as I listen to the last Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show ever, I ache when I hear his voice. Tears flow as I hear his on-air family and listeners reminisce about him. Together, I know so many are listening today, sharing our memories, united as one, cherishing the friendship and bond we felt with this man.
But I celebrate a life well lived. He influenced so many in such a positive way. His impact will linger for a long time to come.
So goodbye, my friend. I love you and hope one day we’ll speak in person.
And for those of us left? Keep looking up…cause that’s where it all is.