So I was looking for something, anything to connect with. I stumbled across the following on Facebook:
Raccoon River Brewing Company
6:00pm until 10:00pm
As many might already know we lost an amazing person this weekend, Jason Schippers. We have caught wind that his friends in Colorado are having a fundraiser on 11/3/10 to help raise money to give to Jason's family.
With Jason being a large part of the twitter community we thought we would use this weeks @dmjuice #dmtweetup to do the same. Please come and enjoy how many of us got to know Jason. With laughs and drinks at a local watering hole. If you would like to, there will be a collection jar to "buy schippers a drink". All of the money collected will go to Jason's family.
Even if you are not on twitter please come and join us. Find out why @schippers enjoyed tweeting, and meet some new friends. If we have learned anything from Jason there is no such thing as "too many friends".
As Jason's friend Rich Mackey said, "Give love. Get love. Leave love behind." Let's help Jason's family, and leave a few bucks in the jar.
I really had no idea what a “Tweet Up” was, but knew I had to be there. If anyone was doing something for Jason, I was going to be there.
|Carl and I trying to smile in a tough situation|
I met Jason oh so many years ago. I first heard of him, not by name, but by the beloved nickname given to him by our mutual friends…Fish. I was invited over to his apartment one Sunday night to watch a WWF pay per view. I walked in and met a man who would forever change my life. On the surface, we were extremely similar. We shared a love of professional wrestling, video games and our beloved Magic Bullet blender. We joked, laughed, I introduced him to the UFC and we just had a great time. I remember leaving his apartment thinking, “That’s a good dude. I hope we hang out more often.” Little did I know I had been introduced to a person who would be with me through so much.
Over the next year we connected sporadically through wrestling and movies, but the night that changed our bond forever was known to us as “Wedding Crashers Night”. I had tickets to see an advanced showing of the movie Wedding Crashers. I invited Jason and went to the theatre. As we got ready to go into the theatre, Jason spotted a Lazer Rock Girl. He had a sly little smirk on his face. We all know the look. We went and sat down, he smirked to me and said “I’ll be right back.” He came back about 10 minutes later beaming and asked me “Will you be my wing man at Drink tonight? I’m meeting up with the Lazer girl.” I was impressed. We went to Drink that night and I played wingman. I distracted the Lazer girl’s friend for hours while Jason and her talked. At about 4 am we finally got back to his place. I asked if he was going to keep talking to this girl after tonight. He looked at me and said “No. I kissed her and she has weird lips. Thanks for helping out tonight, though.” I don’t know why, but this was just a priceless moment for me.
There are so many great stories I could share. The time he was visiting from Colorado, we went to Carlos O’Kelly’s with his family and friends. I had a special margarita…the Marla. We went to a party at my place, got Angie a little too tipsy and took care of her. The time my wife Rachel and I visited him in Colorado and we end up performing UFC moves on each other. The time he was coming back to Iowa and spent the night before a big job interview at my place. We ended up staying up until 3 in the morning watching old WWF Tough Enough episodes and just talking. In over 3 years, there wasn’t a day you and I went without a text, phone call, e-mail or a get together. There are just so many great times, conversations and memories between me and my brother Jason.
The one thing I miss more than anything is how he would greet me every time we got together. The first thing he did was see my wife and say in a high-pitched tone“RACHEL” and give her a big hug. He would then turn to me with his hand outstretched. We’d slap our hands together and give a hug. The kid could hug, man. He had so much love to give. It was also the look on his face when we got together. He had this little smirk. The smirk said so much, but to me it always said “I’m happy to see you and I love you, brother.” I miss that look. I have pictures of that look…but I want the real thing again. Unfortunately I can’t hug my Fish any more. I miss that more than anything.
There are so many great things we could say about Jason. Honestly, we could go on for hours and hours. Every one of us was touched by him in some way. He was a guy who brought out the best in everyone. He found the best in people and always focused on that. He never looked at your faults or your negatives. He loved every one for who they were. He had so much love to give and it’s evident that he spread that love to as many people as possible.
I just want to say to Jason…Fish, I love you brother. You meant more to me than I could have ever admitted or shown to you. Do me one favor, keep me a ringside seat up in heaven. I’ll be looking for you when I get there. I love you, Fish.
In retrospect, I realize there are not enough words to express what he meant, but at the time this was something that I needed out. It felt good to see their reactions and understand, to a degree, what I was going through.
|Jeff, Carl and I at the Tweet Up|
When we found out that the visitation was Friday night, I just told Rachel what my plan was, not understanding she would want to go as well. I felt awful because I never took her feelings into consideration. We used to spend tons of time with Jason together, most enjoyably our Sunday nights together watching Rock of Love, and I forgot that she could be upset. We had a dispute about Marshall, because she wanted to bring him with to the visitation and I was absolutely against it. Eventually she won out, and in hindsight, it was a great decision.
Jason was born February 20, 1981 in Des Moines, Iowa the son of Ralph and Marla Schippers. He graduated from Southeast Polk High School in Runnells and attended Central College in Pella, Iowa. He ran Cross Country and Track receiving a varsity letter from Central in Cross Country. Jason was employed as the Marketing Director at Riverton on the Platte Apartment Homes in Sheridan, Colorado. Jason loved comics, movies, music, social networking and living life.
Jason is survived by his parents, Ralph and Marla Schippers of Pleasant Hill, Iowa; a sister Angie (Jon) von Glan of Waukee, Iowa; a grandmother, Sabra Schippers of West Des Moines, Iowa; and his dog Sophia and cat Jacks.
A celebration of Jason's life with friends and family will be Friday, November 5, from 4:30 to 7:30 at Dunn's Funeral Home in Des Moines with funeral services being held Saturday, November 6 at 10:00 a.m. at Dunn's Funeral Home with interment at Glendale Cemetery.