I did not know Craig Murie as the former beloved basketball coach who had fought a battle with cancer. I knew him as Craig the math guy in a wheelchair at NDSU.
Even though we worked in different departments and in different colleges, I would see him regularly as we crossed paths coming and going to classes. We would share an elevator ride and chat about students and life. I never left a conversation with him without a smile. Every single time I saw him he introduced joy into my day.
Craig Murie passed away on Saturday (see InForum story). One of my students told me at the beginning of the semester that he had cancer and he was not doing well, but still the news of his passing was jarring. Perhaps it was because I never knew him to complain or bemoan his fate. He was always upbeat, and by carrying himself that way he conveyed a sense that all was right with the world.
Here is what I learned from my brief interactions with Craig over the years, attitude matters. While Craig had plenty of reason to be angry and frustrated about the hand he had been dealt, he chose to dwell in positivity. He appeared to truly enjoy his interactions with others and he made a point of focusing those interactions on generating smiles and laughter. He was successful in his mission.
Whenever I think of Craig I will smile in memory of the joy he brought to the corridors of NDSU. That was the part of himself he gave to others and I know he will be missed by many. Godspeed Craig, and thank you for confirming for me with your actions the power of positivity – I will not forget your powerful lesson.
Another day in the new forty – obla di obla da