I was saddened on Tuesday night, when listening to the news, that a young man had died in a boating accident in Osoyoos. My heart always is saddened when I hear of these tragedies, knowing first-hand the deep grief and long journey that comes with the death of a loved one.
When a person is young, with life full ahead of them, the pain speaks loudly. What I didn't know at the time was that this young man, whose name was Marco, was a friend of my niece's, the boyfriend of one of her best friends, an upcoming musician, and had played bass guitar for a recent concert of my sister Cathy's, at the Mission Music Festival.
And as my sister Cath and her daughters surround this family with their love and support, I am with them in spirit, sad for a family I don't know, for somehow I feel deeply their loss and pain.
At the same time I found out a young woman, also only 17 died in Cranbrook this week, the daughter of a distant cousin. There too a family, a community, is in mourning over the death of a young person. Lives are changed forever.
It is scarcely over a year since my own nephew Chris died suddenly at age 17, rocking our family to the core. We think often of him. Just this week, my husband and I were hunting for a van, and I started talking to the owner of a van we were interested in. "My son's all about lacrosse", the van owner told me proudly, "and was in the BC Provincials this year. He's hoping to go to Simon Fraser University on a scholarship", she continued. Their new car was bought specifically for travel for lacrosse - specially measured to fit this fourteen-year old's stick! I was a bit stunned at the conversation, for Chris was a top lacrosse player, who had been a top player for his team, with trophies galore and a bright future ahead. Those dreams died with him, and a scholarship in his memory has been set up at SFU for upcoming lacrosse players.
I wished this lady and her son well, with their own dreams. I wanted to tell her to cherish every moment. And as I have a heavy heart this week, I also cherish every memory, thankful for every moment we share as families, every memory we create. Life is fleeting, but precious.
My sister's blog, a tribute to Marco; she will sing at his memorial his coming Sunday: http://kateaj.blogspot.com/2011/08/and-we-will-continue-singing.html
And my brother Randy's blog, a tribute to Chris: http://rpfreeze.wordpress.com/category/be-the-best/