Remembering a Fallen Friend

Amanda Garcia

“I could have sworn I saw him on Monday,” said senior Chandler Moore of Caleb McRoberts. “Sometimes I feel like he’s still here.” Caleb’s friends gathered in the back of the journalism room to remember their recently deceased friend on Wednesday after his accident.

“Caleb was a good-going guy,” junior Jacob Wilkinson recollected as he broke the silence that followed Moore’s opening statement. “And he always got his work done,” added junior Daniel Ahrens.
From there, the conversation began to spiral upward, and light-hearted memories filled the room, pushing out the silence and sadness; they remembered their friend in a good light. Caleb’s friends remember him as funny, someone who could make a joke of anything and loved to make people smile. “If you were having a bad day, he could fix it all with just a smile,” said junior Korbin Steely. “And he was always himself. He never changed for anything.”
McRoberts, a 16-year-old junior, passed away the weekend of March 23, after losing control of his car. When he got into the accident, McRoberts was working, delivering food for a local restaurant. “Caleb drove that day because another driver didn’t come into work. He was so excited that he got to drive instead of working inside,” said junior Kyle Forrest. “At least he went out doing something he loved.”
Though Caleb was new to Tomball ISD this year, he found friends that would never forget him. “Caleb was always one to make an impression,” said Steely. “He wasn’t even here for a full year, and he had an impact on everyone.”
That impact is what drove his friends to honor him. In the parking lot, his name is written on the back of cars under the hope that he Rests in Peace. Bracelets with his name on it can be found around the wrists of everyone that considered him a friend, and coins from the crash site hang on necklaces as a subtle reminder of what happened.
In MCJROTC, an organization that Caleb was a part of, his influence is immortalized as the inspiration for the new sign in front of the rifle range, which now declares its name to be the McRoberts’ Memorial Rifle Range. The program also decorated the desk that Caleb used to sit in as a memorial of him. “We talk about being a family in here,” said Lieutenant Colonel Carlen Charleston. “When our family is hurting, we hurt with them. We share their pain. Love is a verb. You have to do it.”
As they retold stories of adventure with Caleb, his friends began to smile more. They told memories of jokes he told, of his car and what he thought of it, adventures of going mudding and getting stuck, and just hanging out with his friends. There were too many memories to record, and they were all significant to the people that held them. Even after the conversation had died, there was something in the air. It was the energy of remembering a happiness that can’t be put into words. It was a sense of affection that cannot be described. There was a love there, between those people and for Caleb, that could never be replicated in writing. Though Caleb McRoberts had passed, he would never be forgotten.
“Someone told me that we were put here to fulfill a purpose,” said Forrest. “Caleb just got done before the rest of us.”