About Will

The story of my husband…

Will was smart. And not just the kind of smart you learn from years of schooling or life experience, but a natural and innate kind of smart. The kind of smart people wish they were born with; the kind that can change the world…or at least something or someone in it.

You know that feeling when something in the air changes, a touch, a look, maybe even a strange sense you feel; but you just know, in that moment your life will never be the same? The night I met Will, that happened to me.

I was on stage at open mic night with just my guitar and music when he walked in to the wine cellar, a striking young man with a shaved head and eyes that never seemed to leave mine. When he walked over to the owners as I continued playing, a couple I was good friends with, it clicked, this is who they have been talking about, the ridiculously, abnormally smart and gracious man, their son William.

We spent the rest of that night at the cellar talking and getting to know one another. You know the usual routine: boy compliments girl, girl swoons, boy invites girl over to house... 

The following weekend was spent making music, eating pizza, and talking, always lots and lots of talking. Will and I discovered how very much we had in common but strangely we also discovered how very different we were. Twelve months later….we were married.

He was the melody to my harmony and the perfectionist to rival my laid-back whims; we balanced each other in a way that was both calming and completely exhilarating. Will was not only my guiding light and safe haven but my very best friend; he showed me a way to a love like I never felt or known before.

I came to find in our years of marriage that he had a way with people, with learning, and with understanding things and exactly what made them tick. His parents were right when they told me he was smart and unique. How anyone can break something for the fun of it just to discover a new way to put it back together is beyond me, but that was Will. Learning, fixing, and discovering a new way of living life, a new way of fixing things.

Will, more formally known as William Chadwick Caston, was born on February 13, 1976 in Pascagoula, Mississippi to his mom and dad, Jo Ann and Louis Caston, the people I credit with introducing us. Spending his most formative early years in Mississippi and Louisiana presumably had a large part in how he developed or more accurately “discovered” his special gift of fixing things, of questioning them.

His mother fondly remembers, what she thought was merely a destructive 3 year old was really the early adventurer, Will, finding his way to one of his first discoveries…books.

“The first thing I remember Will learning was how books worked.  At the time I thought he was just being destructive.  Will figured out how things worked by taking them apart and putting them back together.  At three he managed to tear the backs off, but there was no going back together.  Probably one of the only things he couldn’t put back together or fix.”

As Will grew, so did his capacity for learning. The family moved to Houston, Texas, which is the place he truly called home. At only 10, he was explaining electrical schematic drawings, which by any calculation most 10 year olds wouldn’t even know how to spell. His father, astonished by the brightness shining from his 10 year old, needed to ask some questions. So where does he turn? His friend, Doug, who has an engineering degree from Yale University, and who understandably was very doubtful that, Will, being only 10, could know what a schematic drawing is, let alone decipher and comprehend one. His father recalls that Saturday so many years ago when Will found his way to being extraordinary:

“Doug was intrigued and asked if I would bring Will by. With Will and the schematic drawing in hand we met him on Saturday at his office. Will explained what the schematic was. My friend with a puzzled look on his face went to a file drawer and pulled out another schematic … Will explained that schematic too. My friend then handed Will a key to a coke machine and told him it wasn't working and to go see what he thought. After Will left the room my friend looked at me and said, "I have no idea how he knows this. .. but he knows."  Will came back a few minutes later and explained to my friend and I exactly what was wrong with the coke machine. The funny thing about this is that my friend had already ordered the exact parts that Will said it needed.

So what does a rambunctiously smart teenager eager for knowledge and helping people do?  Well, Will found his way to becoming a volunteer at the local fire department regardless of his young age.

Bound and determined to make a difference, shortly after graduating from high school he enlisted in the Air Force. The Air Force requires individuals to take a qualification test that will open up various career fields to the person depending on how well they score. Well, Will being Will, and having the uncanny ability to naturally know what seems like everything, he scored exceptionally high. In fact, Will scored so well on the tests that he could literally hand-pick the career field he wanted to go into and the technical school to focus his AF career. 

Combining his two passions, helping people and fixing things, William chose to enlist into the Fire Fighter career field and go above and beyond the average Airman finding his way to the special operations rescue team.

Will once told me, “All I ever really wanted to do was help people, to save lives.”

And he did just that, he served 4 years active duty and 4 year reserve in the United States Air Force. After serving his country he became a fire fighter in Phoenix, Arizona and worked towards obtaining his degree in computer technology. 

If you can’t tell by now, Will couldn't sit still; he was too smart for it, too focused on doing something else, learning something new, challenging himself or helping others. This is what I love about him and what I will always hold in my heart, his passion for life and the other people living in it.

He found a way to put energy, brilliance, and passion into everything he loved: from music to the outdoors, working on our home, his friends, family, and me. My mother always told me, “Where there is a Will, there is a way…”

Every day since the night I met Will, he found a way to make life better for others, for himself…for me. I had my Will, so I knew there would always be a way.