Be The Best.

Yesterday in 20/20

You know that famous song right? Yesterday by the Beatles. Yah – those guys. Just to remind you if you aren’t humming it already, here’s the first verse.

All my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh I believe in yesterday.

That could be our anthem in 2020. Given COVID-19, yesterday or yesteryear is looking pretty good right now.

There’s a funny letter circulating on social media currently about 2020 being cancelled and we’d be better off with 2016 which at the time looked horrible, but now looks amazing in retrospect. 20/20 vision is always available when looking at the past. It’s a little harder when you look forward.

Yesterday can always look good and that is a classic song and totally understandable lyric especially as it relates to lost love. It’s been covered over 2,200 times and is still popular in 2020. Want to know more, check out my crack source, Wikipedia.

It’s tougher looking to the future, especially when some yesterdays are looking so good at present.

When Chris passed away I would have given anything to have him back. It’s an anguish I would never wish on my worst enemy. I still feel the same today and especially this week as March 25, 2020 marked 10 years to the day. I truly long for yesterday but strangely am more possessed than ever about the future. It’s based on one fact that regardless of religious or political views we must all believe in. It’s irrefutable. That is, we can’t go back in time as much as that is appealing to think about.

So onward we go, propelled by decisions about how we are going to shape the future, help people as we go and hopefully provide a sense of future and purpose to ourselves and those in our circles.

Me and Mrs. Friesen online w friends for virtual happy hour during COVID. After work hours of course…

Stay safe. Hug (virtually) those around you. Tip: We had so many people approach us over the years and say, ‘I wasn’t sure what to do or what to say’. Just folks saying/typing/texting/posting ‘I’m not sure what to say but thinking of you’, meant a lot. If you are thinking about calling, emailing or facetiming someone today who has suffered loss or is going through a loss of job or is socially isolated with COVID-19 – just do it. Words and deeds have never been more powerful.

We can have 20/20 vision about yesterday, but here in 2020 we’ll step forward and shape our tomorrow even though we know it’s impossible to see everything ahead.

BONUS: You remember my sister, AC (Auntie Cathy to Chris and many of you). She’s doing an online event on Sunday, March 29. It will be an amazing way to connect for many. As it starts at 10:30 PM eastern, I’ll be sleeping cause I’m old, but they are going to record the event as well. Just another way to stay connected and uplifted in strange times.

Be The Best.

Be positive?

The post for this week was drafted last weekend. All good, except the world kinda changed…again. We’ll let that post age a little and hope it comes out like a good wine a few weeks or months down the road.

Watched an interview with Italian doctor this morning. Her advice after being in the epicenter of COVID-19 havoc these past few weeks – act like you are positive. Not ‘happy’ positive – but positive to the virus. This changes your mindset and you become extra vigilant. Some good advice. I wish you all safety in the days ahead.

Life is not always sunshine and roses. Stuff happens. While we can’t control everything we can control our next decision and then our next and next after that.

I love the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. He tells a story of the Stockdale Paradox, the account of a prisoner of war during the Vietnam war. Jim Stockdale made it out. He did so by keeping his faith he would prevail combined with FACING THE BRUTAL FACTS.

As we continue to remember Chris in 2020, there are some strange connections with the loss of a child and a world pandemic. We can’t control everything. To get through the worst, we must face the brutal facts and take actions to get through. If those actions (decisions) we make get us closer to getting through, we must make more decisions. Decisions are power.

Yes, we must remain positive. But that might mean acting like you are positive – just like the Doctor said.

Again – all the very best to you around the globe as we make our way through these uncharted waters.

Summary from article linked above:

Finally I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”

“The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused given what he’d said earlier.

“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end–-which you can never afford to lose–-with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Be The Best.

Spring Brake

Let’s stop and think about Spring. Yah, Spring Brake. And yes, I’m going to take every opportunity for every pun and Dad joke I can come up with. 😉

Ok – I drafted this post last weekend and it feels like the world has changed. COVID-19, Coronavirus, country shutdowns, social distancing, self quarantine are all words now firmly embedded into our daily lexicon.

Talk about Spring Brake! Ok, world pandemics aside, Spring will indeed come and I wish everyone a safe passage through the coming weeks and months as we navigate this extremely unique time in world history.

A true Michigan March. Trees about ready to explode.

Normally in March you get that feeling of renewal. Made it through another winter! The birds chirping and trees budding provide a feel of freshness, newness and belief in warmer days ahead.

Cheating a bit..this is June 2019 in Michigan. Beautiful landscapes.

That said, March can be a month where you have harsh weather one minute and sunny skies the next. Looking back at this blog post nine years ago (link below), the feelings come back pretty quick. We were just under one year from Chris’ passing and we were up at Silver Star which is near Vernon, BC about 5 hours from Vancouver through the mountains. A beautiful part of the BC paradise! By the way, for people wondering – why are you explaining where Vernon is – everyone knows that. It’s been amazing to see how much blog traffic comes from the US and countries around the world. Simply put, if people are reading this blog they either knew Chris or our family OR have had a loss in their circle. Either way, you are all welcome and we wish you safe travels on your journey whichever stage you might be at!

Anyhoo – back to the story. My Dad had taken ill from a virus contracted in the hospital of all places post surgery and my sister was also in the hospital in Vernon. We were up for a visit and spent a day on the slopes as we felt we were skiing and boarding for Chris and my Dad (who skied actively into his 80’s). By the way, Reverend Jake, (that’s what I call my Dad!) recovered nicely and is still going strong at 89 years young. More on that later!

Have a look back at this post and a little BC snow experience as the weather moves from winter to spring.

If you ever have a chance to get up there btw, go for it. It’s less crowded than Whistler and you can’t beat it for families. And no, this isn’t a paid endorsement for Silver Star. Just some BC insider experience and Dad knowledge. Be safe. Have fun. And yes, that is what I said to the boys every time they left the house.

A magical little village with houses in the snow. Ski right to your door.

2020 - 10 years later Be The Best.

Thanks, Thanx and Thx!

In reviewing posts from 2010, this one caught my eye as it had to do with Chris’ fund at SFU. We couldn’t believe when that fund rounded $20,000 and then $30,000. As many of you know, it wasn’t big corporate donations that built this thing – and of course a massive THANK YOU to all the businesses that were involved! It was families, individuals and friends of Chris dropping off babysitting money to our door – and making us so humble we hardly knew how to absorb what was happening.

Trucker hat Chris…age 11ish. 😉

Beyond giving financially however, was the phenomenally unimaginable support from the first responders, teachers, coaches, medical staff, work colleagues, the lacrosse community and businesses that supported us at Chris’ funeral etc etc. ‘Thanks’ doesn’t even begin to cover the surging feeling of gratitude that I feel typing this 10 years later.

The fund at SFU was another point of hope as the ability to give is such a powerful healer in dark times. The fact this fund will live on forever in Christian Friesen’s name is a powerful testament to celebrating his life and not his passing. This is the core of Be The Best.

Max, me and Chris on vacay in 2007.

You can read that bit of history here.

Fast forward to 2020. The fund is over 70k and will be 100k by year’s end one way or another. It is just one way we are remembering Chris in this 10th year since his passing.

If you would like to help with the drive to 100k and have charitable giving dollars available for 2020, the SFU portal is open.

If you would like some Be The Best gear – there’s two ways to do so. You can go to the store and purchase and all proceeds will go to the fund as our family has already covered the costs of the products and Martket Branding is providing their services at dramatically reduced rates to make this happen.

Pop Sockets available. (product shipping mid March)

You can also let Brent Hoskins (former SFU lacrosse coach and current board member) know you’ve donated to SFU at: and he’ll get you an access code for some Be The Best products as a way of saying THANKS from the Friesen family and a great way to remember Chris and maybe motivate us all to do a few more push ups! For those of us new to the story, push ups were a big deal and more on that in the future.

For now, THANKS, THANX and THX again!

It would have been impossible to get through without support. To this day we stand completely humbled and changed for the positive by what we experienced and we are delighted to see multiple gifts given each year in Chris’ memory to deserving lacrosse-playing athletes at Simon Fraser University who are on their way to changing the world.

Be The Best.

Throw Back Thursday #TBT

From time to time in 2020, we’ll look back at previous blog posts. I watched this video tonight after not seeing it and maybe avoiding it a bit for years. The zipline vid (referenced in blog post) was just so great at illustrating our family. From nerd Dad taking video like he’s super cool in 2009, to attitude teens and ‘are you mocking me?’ line from Wife (yes, that is an endearing term) – an all time classic. It’s an epic insight into our time together. We love spending time with Max even over distance between Vancouver and Detroit and we miss Chris at every Christmas, birthday or any kind of meal together…and every day in between.

Anyhoo – here is the link to the blog post: When a Poem Hits Hoem.

Grouse Mountain, Vancouver BC, 2009.
Be The Best.

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