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.

Categories
Be The Best.

I see you.

I turned to one of my favourite poems this week.  Ok, I only know a few poems and most start with Roses are Red and Violets are Blue, so maybe this doesn’t count, but I love that Invictus poem that you’ve seen here before.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

There is something so empowering in that text.  The mindset of continuing to make decisions about my own outlook despite whatever comes my way…that is the power of that poem to me.  I am the captain of my soul.

My sister Grace who lives in Vernon and was very active in helping with Mom and Dad suffered a heart attack this past weekend.  What? Really? Yes…out of the blue.

Ironically, she is in the ICU just a couple of doors down from Dad.

He continues to fight hard, but is up and down.

Mom wrote an email yesterday that made us laugh at the visuals of Dad being encouraged to walk with the aid of a walker, going down the hall in the ICU and stopping at Grace’s door and saying Hi Grace!  I called her on her cell and laughed with her too at that story.

We are scared to ask, what next?

Grace is doing pretty good and under excellent medical care as is Dad.

I see you.

ICU.

Yup, I’ll see you in the ICU.

I said to Mom that this was like our own personal tsunami sort of.  These forces of nature pounding our family at this point.  Of course our hearts go out to the families in Japan coping with loss from the real earthquake and tsunami and we wish them the strong HOPE for recovery and the future as discussed yesterday.

For our family, we will continue to regroup, rethink, revise and re-engineer as we move forward.

Dad and Grace…get ready for some hospital scrabble this weekend.