I first met The Glediator when I was but a young lass. He was my Sunday school teacher and I was a smitten teenager who could not concentrate on a darn thing in the lesson. Sounds scandalous, right? Read on. On our first date he removed the silver ring from my middle finger, placing it onto my ring finger and said, "Get used that feeling." Wow. There is so much more, but that is another post for another day. One of the things that I love the most about The Glediator is that he is a big, strong man, but such a big softie on the inside. This is a man who calls up the 800 number on the TV screen and hands his credit card information over to St. Judes, or sponsors an orphaned child in Bangladesh for only $3.00 a day. Nie's story was no different for him and he has been very active in helping in whatever way he could from day one. Enjoy this candid interview, typed as we sat in bed:
Mindy: Thanks for being the first male guest on my blog! How are you tonight?
Glediator: Well, someone had to bring a little testosterone to this estrogen-fest! But, I’m great, thank you.
Mindy: I think you have more than a little testosterone. But anyway, on to the interview. I know you grew up with the Clarks (Nie’s family). Tell us a bit about their family.
Glediator: I guess I started Peter Pan Preschool with Coutrney (C-Jane) about the time Stephanie was born, wow I’m getting old! If I had to describe the Clarks with the first word that came to mind, I guess it would be “solid”. They just seem to have that kind of family. They're so tight. If you have ever had the privilege (and I really do mean privilege) of talking with Steve at any length you just can’t help but come out of the conversation a happier person. His optimism and attitude is contagious, which is obvious if you know any of his kids.
Mindy: I agree with you about Steve. Cindy is every bit as amazing—so loving without any reservations. So, what was Courtney like when she was four?
Glediator: She was a bully. I couldn’t even bring lunch money to school. But she was also smart. I think she graduated Peter Pan summa cum laude.
Mindy: You’re so cheeky. C’mon. What was she really like?
Glediator: Well, I remember her more in elementary and high school. Always seemed to be happy, cracking dry humored jokes and making everyone else laugh.
Mindy: You never really knew Nie. What has made an impression on you the most from reading about her story?
Glediator: At first it was the amazing emotional connection that people have had to their story without ever even knowing her or Christian. How much people have done to help in whatever way they can. I was blown away at the Mesa concert by people who would just start telling me how this event has changed their outlook on life, relationships, God. It was so much larger than I even thought possible. I couldn’t help but cry with so many people that night. Then I started reading past posts on Stephanie’s blog and it was easy to see the emotional attachment that everyone had. I found myself getting caught up in it, yes even crusty old me. The way she speaks about her kids and husband are truly an inspiration to so many, including me.
Mindy: I told you he was a softie! Just a big, sweet softie. Thank you darlin'!