While COVID-19 has put the world on pause, recent Pullman Christian School graduate Garrett McClure said there has been a blessing to it — the quality time he has gotten to spend with his family.
“We were able to have, like, several hours every day where we could just do something together, even if it was, like, a family meal and then we just sat on the couch and watched a movie together,” McClure said. “Especially with the fact that ... as I’m graduating I’m going to not be doing quite as much stuff with my family — not because I’m trying to get rid of them or anything. I love my family. But I’m just moving to another phase in my life.”
McClure, whose father, Steve McClure, died of cancer in 2016 has had to step up.
His coach, teacher and family friend, Jamie Gleason, said he took on a bit of a larger role for McClure in his life, but McClure had to grow up faster.
“When you go through a traumatic experience, it can either strengthen or weaken a person,” Gleason said. “When you lose a parent when you’re still a kid, I think there is going to be a little bit of both. So there were some things that were super, super hard, but other things that really caused (McClure) to grow up fast.”
Throughout high school, McClure participated in athletics, like basketball, but was also involved with the theater. He said his interest in both sports and the arts came from his parents’ interests.
While his father was more of an athlete, his mother, Tina McClure, has always been creative. Garrett has in recent years performed in community theater alongside his mother, who teaches theater at Pullman Christian, and his younger brother, Justin.
Tina, who has been doing theater with Regional Theatre of the Palouse since Garrett was a year old, said it has been exciting to see the dramatic side of her son.
“It’s been super fun to see him blossom,” she said.
Garrett, who plans to attend the University of Idaho in the fall, has been shaped by his involvement and life experiences.
While Garrett has been a jack of all trades, he plans to become a math teacher. His experience being an assistant coach for Pullman Christian’s junior high basketball time has taught him a lot about teaching. And he said he hopes to continue coaching basketball.
Tina said a specific Bible verse comes to mind when she thinks of her son, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
She added that though life has thrown things at him, he is still joyful, strong, kind, caring and helpful.
“Just how he stepped up after Steve died,” Tina said. “Every mom thinks their son is the best, but my boys are.”
Alex Brizee is a news clerk at the Daily News.