Andy Van Hook

July 20, 2011

This is Andy…

He has been one of my closest & greatest friends for the last 17 years.

It is hard to describe a friend you love so much, especially one as incredible as Andy.

Experiencing his friendship has been one of the greatest joys of my life.

Andy and I met when we were in 1st grade. Somehow my step-dad met Andy’s dad, and got me on his baseball team. We would continue to play baseball with each other for the next 6 years. Knowing Andy, meant knowing two of his other friends, Andy Gruel and Evan Dunn as well. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was joining a tripod of incredible friends, and it would take me about 4 years to make the tripod open up to a table. But it happened, and the two Andy’s, Evan and I became life long childhood friends.

We walked home together, ate sub stop together, played countless hours of N64 together, watched movies, swam, built dirt ramps, laughed, and played baseball.

This was growing up together.

In 7th grade Andy (VanHook) announced that he was moving to a place called Hallsville, Texas. Andy was going to be gone by summer, and we didn’t know what we were going to do.

I honestly thought that our friendship was over.

I couldn’t be more thankfully wrong.

Andy and I kept in touch, he would come and visit and tell me stories of East Texas and his friends, and I would catch him up on life in Oklahoma.

Every time Andy would visit, I would realize how old we were getting. He was getting tall and becoming a man, and in my mind we were still 12 playing N64.

We stayed in touch, and would switch off visiting each other every year.

We finally graduated high school and I decided to stay in Edmond and attend U.C.O., Andy headed to Baylor University in Waco, Texas. This is when I realized we were growing up, and fast.

Freshman year of college, I remember we were both dating girls at the time who we thought could be “the ones”. Andy drove up with his girlfriend (not his current wife) and my girlfriend (at the time) and we waited for them to get to my apartment, so that we could go on a double date together. I still remember opening the door and laughing the second we saw each other.

Without planning…

We were wearing the same shirt.

We went to dinner in matching shirts, and laughed a lot. Needless to say, the only relationship from that night that still exists is the friendship between Andy and I.

I visited Waco often, and loved getting to know the guys that Andy became friends with. They were guys that all needed a friend like Andy, someone to make them laugh, and someone that would be there for them in all circumstances.

I remember talking to Andy on the phone at length about what all college guys talk about: Calvinism, girls, and  Jesus.

Somehow we never could find the answers to our own questions, but knew exactly what the other needed to hear.

I remember when Andy started talking about this girl named MK. By the sound of his voice, I figured this was the girl he was going to marry. He was really nervous to talk to her, and I knew something was up, because Andy Van Hook doesn’t get nervous.

I remember meeting her and thinking what an incredible girl for my longest childhood friend.

I remember going down to Baylor last fall and walking around the campus with Andy, dreaming up ways for him to propose.

I remember Andy driving up on my 22nd birthday to surprise me.

I remember coming down in December for the night that he proposed.

I remember that she said yes.

And I will never forget this past weekend, watching him commit his life to her.

It has seriously been one of the greatest joys of my life being Andy’s friend. He is someone that changes the people around him, and makes them into something better.

He is kind and genuine.

And I have yet to cross paths with anyone that even remotely resembles him.