Categories
Be The Best.

Germany, #2, Lacrosse and why you need to know.

Flag of British Columbia
Image via Wikipedia

The #2 is being proudly worn on a field lacrosse pitch in Germany this week and next.

Better yet, it’s representing Canada.

Even better yet, it’s a shout out to Chris on the back of Ashley Bull who at the age of 16 made the U19 National Field Lacrosse team for Canada.  She is the only player from British Columbia and very close to the youngest on the squad.

Her Grandfather, the legendary lacrosse figure Harvey Bull, told me the story of her getting #2 this past weekend at the boys Intermediate Box Lacrosse Provincial championships.

Team Canada players were assigned numbers, but before they went to Germany to represent our country, they were allowed to select the jersey numbers to wear.  Ashley has not traditionally chosen #2, but wanted to do it for Chris.  What that means to me and our family I cannot properly express.  As the story went, another girl also wanted #2.  Ashley told her the story of Chris and what he meant as an inspiration to her and her teammate kindly, graciously and wonderfully allowed Ashley to wear #2.

Is that Be The Best or WHAT???

You can read more of Ashley’s story here from a previous blog.

I understand from Ashley’s family that the flu is going through the team and knocked her out of at least the first game of the tournie.  Some things are in your control and some aren’t.  As the team heads into the second week of competition, we wish Ashley and all of our fellow Canadians the best of luck as they represent for Canada.

Although there is no TV or webfeed, you can connect on-line with scoring and the most up-to-date info is via Twitter.

I will be thinking of that #2 flying around the field and I know that the same ‘cloud box seats’ Chris had for the boys Provincial final will again be used by Chris and friends cheering on Team Canada in Germany.

GO CANADA GO!!

Ashley…thanks for doing Chris, Langley, British Columbia and Canada so very very proud!!

Categories
Be The Best.

Wat-er u doing?

There is something about the sound of water.

Water is life.

Maybe that’s a part of it.

We were given an amazing gift card for a landscaping centre months and months ago from caring anonymous souls! (thank you!!!)

This week that gift came to life as the seed capital for a water feature and landscape project we’ve added to our home.

To hear the water flowing is amazing.

Tonight Max and I enjoyed a little conversation by the outdoor fireplace with the stream flowing in the background.  Loved it.  We always had great conversations around that fireplace.  In fact, the boys would bug me that ‘let’s go sit by the fire’, would be code for ‘let’s have a little father/son chat’.  We had a great many of those in the past and tonight was good too.

Now…we just need some real summer to go along with it!

Categories
Be The Best.

Father’s Day – the lighter side

Watch as I totally dominate Max in both cycling and then basketball.

(and if you believe that…)

Finally pieced a few bits of vid together from a great afternoon with the kid.

Of course we reminisced and laughed about the times Chris would join us on the bball court at home.  Chris played basketball like he was playing lacrosse, complete with full-on body checks and intense (if not mostly illegal) defence.

After that I showed Max a thing or two about shooting and took him to the hoop a few more times before we biked home.  (cough)

Although not on the vid, I had the chance to play ping pong with my Dad just a few days after Father’s Day itself.

We had a great time.  I’m trying to remember the score, but I just can’t right now….

(When you’re 80 year old Dad beats you in ping pong after recovering from a 2 month hospital stay and 4 surgeries…you’d try to forget the score too…!)

Hey, this sports blog post ain’t going too well for me today.

Categories
Be The Best.

Go Canucks!

Maybe a strong GO CANUCKS GO doesn’t fit in a blog about loss, grief and the new normal…but I beg to differ.

I’ve written before about sitting down with Max and Chris watching the Nux getting eliminated from the playoffs by Chicago.  I told them that sick feeling we all had was what it was like being a lifelong Canucks fan.

Sure that was an emotional statement at the time, but ultimately, I still had hope.

Now what I’ve learned about HOPE is that it’s an action word.

So, this season we cheered, watched, joined hockey pools and generally had a great time living the experience with the Canucks.

That brings us to this week.  Due to a friend’s ridiculous schedule and fantastic generosity Max and I ended up with tickets to Game 7 on Tuesday.

I was ecstatic to take Max to that experience.  This pic (lousy blackberry camera) shows the hype and excitement…and that was just the pre-game!

I wanted to wear something from Chris as well.  I chose his shoes.

When Burrows scores a goal he sometimes shoots an arrow into the sky to remember his friend and fellow Canuck, Luc Bourdon, who had died in a motorcycle crash in 2008.

When Burrows scored in overtime on Tuesday night, Rogers Arena erupted like a volcano.

I don’t think Burrows had a chance to shoot his arrow as he was mobbed and crushed in a happy dog pile.

In a previous game, Burrows pays tribute to his friend.

The emotion I felt was incredible.

I remember high-fiving with Max and others fans around, but mostly just holding my arms in the air and screaming like a moron.

In that moment time stopped and I thought of Chris.

I thought about how much he would have loved to see the Canucks slay this dragon and move forward with the playoffs.  I thought about how much I missed sharing that experience with him while at the same time so pumped to be able to share the experience with Max.

I loved standing in Chris’ shoes and drinking in the excitement of the crowd.

Although they couldn’t be there in person, I believe Chris and Luc Bourdon and many other hockey fans were cheering loudly up in their lofty box seats.

Go Nucks Go!!

Categories
Be The Best.

It’s Friday

Tony Campolo: Author and speaker on political ...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s Friday.

But Sunday’s coming.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Dr. Tony Campolo speak.  An amazing orator, social activist and sometimes preacher.

If you’ve got 6 minutes, watch this video and listen to him go.

It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.

Even before we lost Chris I always wondered about Good Friday.

What’s good about the cross and the suffering surrounding that event?

Not much.

The ‘good’ in Friday is the knowledge that Sunday is coming.

For Christians this is the core of the faith.  There is resurrection.  There is hope.  Sunday is coming.

For us as we long to see Chris again, we also recognize that it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.

You can call Friday good, but nothing really good happened on that day, but in context, Sunday was coming and things got really good.

So today we’ll say, “It’s Friday….but SUNDAY’S COMING!!”

Categories
Be The Best.

When the wind kicks up, you’re bound to get a few Whitecaps

250
Image via Wikipedia

Sports has been a big part of our family.

Whether coaching the boys soccer teams, Max playing basketball and Chris lacrosse.

Then there was the fan part of sports.

Tonight Ingrid and I ventured out to our first Whitecaps soccer game.

It was a fantastic experience…aside from the referee who felt he should be the center of attention, but alas before this becomes a sports rant, I’ll stop.  (cause if I don’t I’ll probably get a red card seeing as they were being handed out like candy tonight) ((ok, I’ll really stop now))

The crowd was great.  The game was great.  The atmosphere was great.  The company was great.

One of the first things Ingrid said to me as we sat down was what do you think Chris would think of the soccer team, MLS in Vancouver etc.  I said I knew he would love it and given the open air atmosphere of Empire Field, he probably had the best seats in the house tonight.

I will never forget the Canucks playoff run and disappointment last year and the anticipation of a BIG run this year.

It was riveting and was a great distraction in very tough times.  I think though, it was more than just a distraction.  It reminded me of the passion that only comes from sports.  The kind of passion that Chris lived with.  I think that’s the true attraction.

When the winds kick up and the storm is blowin, there are bound to be a few whitecaps on the water.  We’ve seen a few of those in our family this past year!

However, it was the Whitecaps tonight, that offered that wonderful first-hand look into the purity and passion of sport and remind us both of another amazing athlete and son we know, love and remember with every heartbeat.

yfrog Photo : http://yfrog.com/gyuyzlrj Shared by randy_friesen.

Categories
Be The Best.

Balloons are fun?

I needed to get some balloons for the cemetery on Friday.

See any words that don’t sort of go together already?

So, I ‘googled’ dutifully and found a great supplier nearby…’Balloons-R-Fun’.  Seriously!?

I actually had a good telephone chat with the small biz owner and suggested she might change her business name as she told me how often she helps people with memorial situations.

Maybe something like, ‘Balloons-R-Fun and Maybe-They-R-Not-That-Fun’…or something like that.

In any event, she was very kind and Max picked up 20 helium filled balloons that afternoon.

One thing one should do when releasing balloons is check the wind conditions.  We had other things on our minds so when we released the first batch of balloons at 2:32 and 41 seconds, they flew right up into the big tree above Chris’ Dogwood wall.

What was actually very cool was Ethan’s balloon, which was the only one with a written message on it, got ‘stuck’ on the end of a branch out above the wall.  It was sort of like it was saying a special hello.  Ethan later sent off another balloon which you see in the video.  He’s wearing Chris’ Johns Hopkins lacrosse hoodie which is a lifetime classic and now proudly owned by Ethan.

Things got even more interesting when Chris’ friends let go of the four balloons we had left an hour or so later.  I didn’t realize what had happened until I saw the video later.  Three of the four balloons stay together and the fourth balloon is also moving upward, just slightly separated.

Pretty powerful symbolism.

Perhaps Balloons-r-Fun…or at least symbolic…

Categories
Be The Best.

How to make today great.

Chris and Max jump the California surf (summer 2009)

I slept pretty well, but woke up early…like 4am early.

Is that an oxymoronish statement?  Maybe…but it’s an interesting insight into our world.

I did sleep well, just not all that long.

Today is not necessarily a great day…or is it?

Obviously as we mark one year to the day that we lost Chris there are a lot of emotions flowing through our minds and bodies.  We wish so deeply we could give him a real hug and see him again here on earth.  But we can’t.

But we can continue to make choices.  We can continue to live with a strong purpose.  We can use Chris’ passion to fuel us on our journeys.  We can continue to strive to Be The Best in everything we do.

Here’s three things that can help make today great.

1. Hug someone you love today.  (if you’re at work, make sure this isn’t an awkward moment..!!) 😉

2. Give something away. (not money…I’m talking about a smile, your expertise, a compliment, word of encouragement)

3. Live on purpose with purpose. This is the core of the Be The Best thinking.

Is today going to be hard? Probably…they all are.

Is today going to be great? With every ‘I’m the Captain of my Soul’ ounce of energy I have, I will keep making decisions all day long to make this day as great as possible.  One of the ‘greatest ever’.

(To understand that last paragraph you need to reference the Invictus blogs and The Best Day Ever blog)

Sort of makes saying, ‘Have a Great Day!’ a little deeper doesn’t it?

I THANK all of you for your support reading this blog and your thoughts and prayers throughout this year.

Be The Best.

Categories
Be The Best.

2, 32, 41

No, those are not a sequence of numbers uttered by a football quarterback.

Those are jersey numbers Chris wore and was known for.

#2 in Langley.

#32 for Burnaby Mountain Selects

#41 proudly representing the great province of British Columbia

Tomorrow, March 25, is quite a day.

One year ago we lost our son.

Not a day or hour goes by without a thought of him.  Most hours the thoughts continue minute by minute.

We have found a place for people to come and remember Chris.

His ashes will remain forever at the Langley Lawn Cemetery at 208 and 44th.

It’s a beautiful place with 6 granite memorial walls in a stand of trees near 208th avenue.

When we went to view the walls, we found that two of the six walls were dedicated to individuals and four to couples.

One was called Maple and one was called Dogwood.

Wouldn’t you know it, Maple 32 was available as was Dogwood 41.

Maple 32 is amazing because the BMS logo is a Maple Leaf.

Dogwood 41 is amazing because Dogwood is the provincial flower and 41 was the number Chris wore for the province when he played at the Nationals in 2009.

Because of a few logistical reasons, we’ve chosen Dogwood 41 as the final resting place.

It’s a beautiful place to go.

Our family will be there tomorrow, joined a bit later by a few of Chris’ friends.  We wanted to show them personally where they can go to remember Chris so that they in turn can show others.

The journey continues, but this is a huge step for us.

I know my Dad in the ICU in Vernon is with us in spirit as is my Mom from Vernon and other family that can’t be with us personally. (health update: Dad is inching forward…very slow, but steady right now which is good)

Although tomorrow is a day for family and Chris’ close friends, we welcome anyone over the next weeks and months to stop by and spend a few minutes in thought about how passionately Chris lived his life and how he was determined to Be The Best.

I’ll never forget him writing down the goal of making the A1 Langley Thunder Lacrosse team.

I’ve never seen a kid so driven to achieve that goal.  He made it.  It was amazing.

Thanks for your continued support and all the thoughts and prayers coming our way this week.

We feel it!

PS

At 2:32 and 41 seconds, we will be looking up at the sky and saying hi to Chris.

If you want to take a quick look up at the sky at any time tomorrow and say hi to Chris, please do!  I know he would love it.  Dad…that’s you too!!  I know you can see the sky from your hospital bed!!

PPS

This blog has never been about money and never will be, but some people have asked what else they can do.  We will continue to give to Chris’ fund every year via Simon Fraser University’s giving program.  It’s a way to remember Chris and also challenge a new athlete every year to Be The Best.  The University has just set up a direct link for Chris’ fund.  They handle all donation receipts etc directly.  Here’s the link.

Categories
Be The Best.

I need a laugh…

Not too much is funny right now.

Dad is fighting away in ICU and Grace is a few doors down on the road to recovery.

That being said, the gift of laughter, even on our darkest days has been like rays of sunshine in a dark place.

Maybe Chris knew we needed a little laugh this week too.

I was scrambling for some business cards in an office drawer that I don’t use too much when I noticed a couple of sheets of paper.  I pulled them out and looked at them.  They were photocopies of a picture that Chris had drawn for me when he was about 11 or 12 I think.

Jim Mitchell, my very good friend, mentor and colleague at BCIT (now retired…way too young I might add), was like a big brother to me.  Which meant we had lots of laughs and played lots of sports etc.  There was the odd wrestling match or other show of strength.

These sports stories would often become part of dinner conversation.  One night I asked Chris if he would draw a picture of me beating up Jim….just for fun.  I was half joking, but Chris got out his pencil and went to work.

He created the masterpiece you see below.

I laughed so hard then and I laughed again this week when this picture resurfaced.

At the time I quickly made 20 copies because I knew Jim would probably just rip them up as he found them.

Chris loved Jim too.  When Jim saw either of the boys he would stretch out his hand and get them to slap it as hard as they could and say…“That’s all you got??” And then repeat until their hands would sting so hard they would stop.  As Chris got older he loved those interactions, and I think I even saw Jim wince once…..

(but he’ll probably deny it)

Jim, you’re a great friend and I think Chris wanted us to have a little laugh this week…even if it was at your expense.  You gotta admit, I look pretty good in this picture.