Day 75 of 365: Will Oberndorfer
Author’s Note: In 2017, long before I began my “Mad for 2019” challenge, I wrote the following entry about a then high school senior, Will Oberndorfer. Will is now a Boilermaker, a freshman at Purdue University. Will is a very funny and faith-filled young man who blogs himself and I’d love to put the link here but I can’t seem to figure it out. When I get it, I will update this entry. Will is also the co-founder of Diabetes Will’s Way, and you can find out more about that incredibly charity and the work they do at www.diabeteswillsway.com. He’s a handsome, athletic, kind and incredible young man whose love of the Lord guides him always, and he’s tremendously inspiring to me in many ways. The story below still illustrates his essence better than I can do otherwise. We should all be so lucky as to have a character filled friend of this quality. Will, I am grateful for you, kid, because who you are makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE to so many people. If you don’t know him yet, you should. For those folks, I hope you enjoy learning more about Will. –ST
[Please enjoy the story below, an entry from 2017]
Ummm…Drew? Did I hear the doorbell ring at 11:30 last night?
Yeah, Mom. You did. All you need to know is that Oby is an amazing friend! I gotta go!!
Ok, then. Have a great day, D!
The above conversation was one of those “I’ve got no time and I am running late so make it quick, Mom” moments. Every mother of an 18 year old knows what I’m saying. In this case, my middle kid had gotten very little sleep. He had played his basketball game and gotten home about 10pm the previous evening. He arrived home starving, so I shoved a sandwich and some apple slices at him. Then, he hustled upstairs to work on homework. I knew he would be up until all hours. His academic load is significant— by his own choice. He’s a bright kid and a hard worker but I do worry about him. It’s a mom thing. Is he getting enough sleep? Is the insane IB homework load just too much? Would it be better for him to have more time for just being a goofy kid? You get it. All of us who have kids constantly have this little interior chatter.
This particular day stands out to me, because as the day wore on, I learned more details about the late night visit of one Will Oberndorfer. It was a God wink.
Apparently, in the new world of electronic everything, there are online quizzes and apps you must have operational, plus midnight deadlines for assignments….all sorts of things I cannot imagine as I compare my son’s academic experience to my own. I don’t even pretend to understand any of it, and I am truly thankful to God that I was born in 1971. Pencils, paper and dogs that ate homework were all actual things back in the day. I digress. Anyway, on Tuesday night after Drew had his sandwich and a shower, he began his homework marathon later than normal. It was pushing 11pm. Shortly after plopping down at his desk, Drew realized that there was a glitch causing his computer to be unable to run some application he needed in order to successfully complete a required quiz by midnight. He texted his friends—the other crazy young people who are also up half the night, every night, trying to finish their own work. He was wondering if any of them knew a way to fix the computer issue. None did. His friend Oby offered to let Drew come over to his house and use his working computer. Drew didn’t want to bother his buddy so late. He then just thanked his friends anyway deciding he would have to just take the zero this time. He would take his computer into the Guerin Catholic IT folks in the morning for a technical assist.
Then, the doorbell rang. It was 11:30pm.
I don’t want you to take the zero.
There was Oby. He had an operational computer for Drew to borrow to take the quiz.
Was it just a small act of kindness? Yes. Did it feel small to Drew? No.
This week, God used a terrific teenager named Will Oberndorfer to remind me, again, how we can all effect positive change in this crazy, wonderful, and sometimes breathtakingly desperate world. It’s done one kind act at a time, right in the place where you live. Simply put: BE THE FRIEND EVERYONE WISHES THEY HAD.
If we’re all working to be the face and hands of Christ, pretty soon it’s going to be incredibly difficult to go anywhere and NOT see how much we are ALL deeply loved by our truly awesome God.
Atta boy, Oby! You are the REAL DEAL, kid.
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. –Mother Teresa