Last night I was informed by an old friend that Christopher Allen Knopf is no longer with us. The papers only gave a brief notice that he passed on October 13, 2011 and that he was 41 years old and was found in his home in Wilmington, NC. It just does not make much sense at all. This kind of action is not of his character at all, and I don’t understand it. I know of some demons that he probably was dealing with, but to give up on his life just doesn’t make sense. This does not sound like the man that I know and remember dearly. That is not the way that he taught me and the rest of my peers. No not at all! What he stood for was Freedom, Justice, Peace, Liberty, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness! He taught us that we could do anything that we put our minds to, and that giving up was not an option. Very military-like mindset, but we loved him dearly even when he would yell a lot and throw stuff. lol. 🙂
Yes, Christopher Allen Knopf was my 8th grade Science and Social Studies teacher. But he wasn’t just my teacher, he was my role model, my life-coach, my father, and my friend. I deeply love this man for all that he is as a man, but for all that he did in his life time. He not only changed my life but so many others in my class and the ones before and after mine. He was an inspiration to us all and taught us about the realities of this world. He taught us how to be strong and pushed us to be excellent at everything that we did. Because of this man, I actually truly believed that I could go to college and I did…and I am. Next year, I was gonna call him up and invite him to my college graduation, and tell him thank you. I know that many thought that I was obsessed with this man as a child. But in reality, I was just in awe of him and fascinated by his stories of overcoming so many obstacles in his young life. When he taught my class, he was in his early 30’s, and had such a beautiful spirit about him. He was weird and very misunderstood by the masses, but there were a few of us that actually got him and it was awesome. There are so many sayings that he used to say to us as kids, and it is engraved on my heart. I live my life by his words. I think of him often when I am in a rough patch at school and I wonder what he would have said. And then I smile, and remember his hugs and his laugh….and that smile that would make everything alright just for a moment. In many ways, Chris Knopf was our father and had a few hundred children, regardless if he wanted them or not. LOL. Yea, we were his kids and we wanted to make him proud.
I still feel like this is not real. Like, tomorrow I will wake up and get another call and it will be some sick joke or something. But then again, I know that there is nothing I can do to bring him back. And why would I? He lived a life full of honor and that is quite respectable and cherished. It has been years since we have seen each other or even spoken; and I can still smell the scent of his colon. I can still hear his laugh and remember how compassionate he was, yet so aggressive and astute. A weird one he was and it gave me comfort to be as weird as I am. There is still so much to say, but I’ll have to find those words at a later time. But until then I will say this:
Christopher Allen Knopf you are a hero, you are a friend, a teacher, and a lover. You mean so much to so many people, and have lite a fire within us that makes us want to be better. I thank you for that and I make this oath to you…
That I will live my life in honor of you, just as I have been for years. I will think of you often and keep your memory deep within. You are our father, when u didn’t have to and I am thankful for that.
I love you Mr. Knopf! You will never be forgotten.