Be The Best.

Who is Dylan? Who is Chris?

Let me tell you what I know.

I remember adding the ping-pong table to our basement to make the teenage zone a little more active.

Dylan, Chris and the gang had a very unique game they would play.

Battle Pong.  They’d have 4 or 5 or 6 of them around the table each rotating one position and keeping the ball in play.  When a player made a mistake, his cross table opponent smashed a ball as hard as he could at his competitor’s body.

I would walk in the room, Dylan would say ‘Raaannnddy’…I would half-smile and shake my head in mock disgust and walk out after checking on a) damage to walls and doors and b) if the snack level was still ok.

On that note, Chris was a health nut as you know and these guys would customarily eat a whole bag of peeled carrots in a sitting.

These were guy’s guys, with the biggest warmest hearts anyone could imagine.

Jesse and Dylan would light up any room.  Jesse, I know that Dylan will still be lighting up that room with you as he’ll be beside you always.

Who is Dylan?  Who is Chris?  Who are these kids from Brookswood?

They are some of the most respectful, wonderful, considerate and caring kids I know, who are now amazing young men just starting their journeys…some with us here and some as close as a fall breeze or silver lining on a storm cloud.


By Randy Friesen

Randy Friesen is a business strategist, manager and educator based in Vancouver, BC and Detroit, Michigan. He is also a husband and father. He loves the creative process and is active in creating art and music.

6 replies on “Who is Dylan? Who is Chris?”

I guess the cursor still blinks for me… just like it has since March 2009. The tragic loss of such young, vibrant, purposeful young men is devastating for me. That group of Murrayville boys (Chris, Dylan, Jesse, Marshall and Clayton) made a lasting impression on me–they were tight-knit, fun-loving, helpful leaders in our school. Sure, they ‘outgrew’ their elementary school teachers and made new friends as they went on to high school and ‘real life.’ But when I could see such potential in a group of kids, even as young as they were, it made me have faith that all will be right in the world. I think of those boys often, especially when I am sharing examples of ‘good work’ with my current students–for some inspiration. It is heart-breaking to have that sense of well being snatched away.

Randy, thank you for writing your blog. I read it quite regularly. You are often my voice of reason when life feels so unfair.

Randy, as Sheri mentioned, the group of kids are so memorable. We were talking today at Stafford about how the group showed leadership skills so early on at Murrayville. John Blaauw mentioned yesterday, as we were sharing memories of the kids, that they leave a piece of themselves with us. Our heart has a “treasure room” of memories, and we rejoice as we hear the kids are doing well in their future schooling, and post=school endeavours. Having said that, we lose a piece of ourselves, when we hear of a student’s bright joy being lost to our world-we are diminished, and there is a hollow spot in our heart-we recognize that our world has need of these young men, and their potential to leave the world a better place. Dylan and Chris will delight the angels.

THANKS to you and Sheri for adding your comments here. Although we’ll never get good answers to the ‘why’ question here, I know that Dylan and Chris will continue to inspire people in a very positive way and yes, I think they will be delighting the angels!

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