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Be The Best.

Wow I miss that kid

I don’t know what was up with today.

I missed Chris at every turn.  Not totally unusual…somehow just more emphasized today.

Maybe it started last night.

I was walking to the hockey game and thought about the Canucks starting another playoff run.

As I walked along False Creek I told Chris how much I missed him and that I hoped he was taking in the action, which I certainly believe he will be.

Today though, I just miss my kid.

Over a year later and the emotions and depth of feeling equals anything we’ve felt so far.  In other words, the deepness of the loss continues, even though we must carry on.  And if we’re carrying on, we better do a good job of it.  In fact, why don’t we aim to Be The Best!

Speaking of that, AC is holding her concert in Abbotsford on Saturday.

Here’s a few blog posts/articles about her album release and concert info for those inclined.

I can’t hear her music without thinking of Chris.

http://www.rablog.ca/2011/04/14/cathy-hardy-music-concert-in-abbotsford/

http://westcoastmomma.com/2011/04/13/on-the-blog-cathy-aj-hardy-emerton-recording-artist/

Memories are filled with love.

Memories are filled with loss.

Nothing’s easy when you lose a part of you.

You can’t get that back.

We only control our next decision and so we will carry on.

That being said…..Chris, we miss you like you’ll never know.

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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.

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Be The Best.

Hope is an action word.

What is hope?

It’s a noun.

It’s a verb.

It’s actually both.

That being said, any way you use it, I’ll argue that hope is an action word.

What do I mean?

Hope may be a state of mind or the expression of a state of being but when hope is combined with action…it truly is an action word.  I hope for a great future.  How am I making that future happen?

This past weekend, a trail on private land was dedicated to Chris’ memory.

The name of the trail…Hope Trail.

Totally love it.

Chris’ story is one of sadness sure…but it is also oozing with hope.

This trail leading down from a beautiful Valley property to the river below is not for the timid.  It’s a tough trail fit for a hard training athlete doing the equivalent of bleacher runs as Chris would do many times.

What is hope?  Hope is a massive tree crashing down in a windstorm and then the thought, desire and action to cut the barrier in pieces to get the trail through.  Hope is not seeing a cliff, but seeing a trail…

Steve addresses the assembled at the trail dedication...(ok, I think he was telling a joke)

Hope Trail.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Many thanks to Steve and Evy Klassen (Steve spoke at Chris’ funeral) and their family for this amazing remembrance for Chris.

Be The Best!

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Be The Best.

Circles

I’ve been thinking about circles lately.

You know I love sunsets, but did you know this?  The sun’s diameter is 1.4 million kilometers.

That’s a big circle, or I guess sphere would be the more appropriate word.

I’ve thought so many times of Chris’ beautiful eyes and how they are living on and helping to give a young transplant patient improved sight.  I love those small circles of light.

I looked down last week at the desk on which I write this tonight.  There are salty circles that have stained the table, the sometimes unavoidable outcome of overflowing eyes.

I also think of the circle of life and sometimes how big and sometimes how small it can be.

Our hearts break for the family of 12-year-old budding hockey player Coleton Nelson who was killed in a car accident this weekend here in Valley.

That circle of life was way too short.

So was Chris’.  A short circle of life, but oh so big.

Circles.  Big.

Circles.  Small.

Circles.

Do me a favour and give your kids a great big hug tonight!

If you’re a kid reading this, it’s ok to tell your folks you sorta luv them too!!

Be The Best.

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Be The Best.

If you like sunsets, you’re in luck.

I can’t tell you how many sunsets I took in last year through the months of April, May, June, July and August.

They were like medicine for me.  Whether it was the feeling of the closing of a day is the reminder of a new one to come, the powerful display of dark and light with the clouds or simply getting a little glimpse of life beyond this earth and a connection with Chris.  All of those and more.

As we all know our Vancouver weather doesn’t provide us with too many great sunsets between Oct and March and so Ingrid and I set off to find some.

If sunsets bore you, close your browser now!  If you like em, here’s a few that happened this past week…so they’re ‘fresh’!

PS You can click on each pic to see a larger view. Feel free to use or share.

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Be The Best.

A tattoo…for your car.

I know many of us remember Chris is so many different ways.  I still see many of those wrist band things when we’re out and about. Awesome.  We’ve worn ours every day for 10 1/2 months and I’m not sure when we’re ever going to stop.

I’ve seen more than one tattoo.  Cool. (again, from a parent’s perspective, we’re not pushing tattoos, but we understand the DEEP meaning of getting one and we are incredibly humbled and honoured when someone makes that personal decision to honour Chris in that way!!)

I’ve seen email accounts, twitter accounts and facebook stuff all acknowledging and remembering Chris.  Love it.

But one thing I had not seen…until now.

What would a tattoo for your car look like?

Well, I think Will VH, a good friend and lacrosse bud of Chris’, figured that out.

He just received the one and only set of CF 2 license plates in the entire province of British Columbia.

Cool.

Take a look at the pic below.  I think it says it all.

Love it Will.  Drive safe and Be The Best!

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Be The Best.

Chris Friesen Memorial Award….DELIVERED.

I think I have a week’s worth of stuff to blog about.

Just like CoJo (I’m disturbed I know his name) at the Golden Globes, I’ll have my complete list of best dressed and worst dressed and other red carpet secrets later this week….or not.  (before I get in trouble…everyone looked fantastic…even most of those lacrosse players clean up pretty good or at least had their mom’s or girlfriends iron a shirt for them which is a big step forward. (I have license to state these facts having lived with a lacrosse player for years…!))

What an evening.

I had not been at the Westwood Plateau facility since the Maple Leaf Award dinner last year.  That was of course a different kind of evening.  Chris won the BMS U-18 Defensive MVP award and we had a great evening hosted by Steve Darling from Global and Brian Price the keynote speaker, a gold medal Olympic rower.

This year, Scott Rintoul from TEAM1040 did a great job of hosting the sold-out event and Max Ritz, lacrosse player, entrepreneur and actor (The Hills on MTV- Season 6) provided interesting insight into the sport and the amazing future this game of lacrosse has.

And although there was to be a Chris Friesen award in 2011 as well, it was very very different that is for sure.

It was really fantastic to have Max with us along with his girlfriend Kiera.  To be together as a family was huge for us.  To have Langley families there was amazing.  There was a family who flew their son in from his lacrosse school in VIRGINIA (yes, I mean east coast USA) to be there at the dinner last night as he played with Chris on the BMS program and wanted to honour his friend.

Are you kidding me?

These lacrosse families are simply awesome.

The BMS/SFU leadership gang asked if I’d put together a video intro to Chris’ award.  I was honoured to do so, but it did not come easily.  I had not seen Chris speaking for months and months and there are days where I can stare into those beautiful eyes and days where I just can’t.  That’s all part of this thing.  It’s all simply part of the deep love that provokes emotion far to bottomless for words or comprehension.

Here it is.  Enjoy.  Much more on this tomorrow…including pictures and who was awarded the Chris Friesen Memorial Award.

(ps…in case you’re wondering about the music about 30 seconds in…Thunderstruck by AC/DC is a tribute to the Langley Thunder lacrosse players and families as this was in essence the theme song for Langley Thunder lacrosse)

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Be The Best.

Interview with God?

Ever thought of having an interview with God?

I think we’ve all probably had a few questions we’d like answered from time to time.

Over the past months we’ve been supported by people of all faiths, backgrounds and cultures.

It’s been amazing.

Last week we were sent this link to this Interview with God.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once I started the slide show thing-a-ma-jig I watched till the end.

Each question and answer is thought-provoking and could be pondered for hours or days.

I thought I would share here.

http://www.theinterviewwithgod.com/

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Be The Best.

Yogurt and Toast.

All day long the texts, emails and comments kept rolling in.

We appreciate everything and all of those thoughts and prayers!

The Brookswood gang dropped by in the late afternoon and we had a very unique opportunity to toast Chris.

As I’ve mentioned before, Chris had the ability to eat yogurt without a spoon.  He would sort of squish the bottom of the yogurt cup and slurp and drink the yogurt, usually in one ‘fluid’ motion.

We know there are young readers of this blog and as parents we’re not endorsing this form of yogurt consumption!  We were just happy Chris and Max would pound back yogurt instead of cake.

In this picture you can see the toast just getting underway.  Including yours truly taking the picture, that was an even dozen toasting Chris with a yogurt salute and down the hatch it went.

Ingrid was left wondering how it could be done as she ended up with yogurt in a few places on her face.  I know Chris had a laugh at (or with) all of us!

What an amazing day it was.

I’ve got a few more stories to tell you so tune in tomorrow!

We ended the day knowing that Chris would be very, very happy…and we were too.  As tough as the day was, it was really incredible.

Who knew yogurt was made for toasting?

Ingrid, Cooper, Marshall, Cam, Lucas, Beau, Alan (front), Dylan, Jesse, Max, Devon
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Be The Best.

Happy Birthday Chris!

So many people have told us or emailed us about how they thought of us over Christmas.

I know so many more think of us often and are thinking of us now as we mark what would have been Chris’ 18th birthday tomorrow even if they don’t or can’t tell us.

We are exactly the same way.

We’ve been following the story of the Berg family in Mission and Gillian Berg’s amazing strength and very real highs and lows as she takes care of her family and slowly moves forward with each day.

You can follow and support with your thoughts and prayers through: http://gillianb-journeying.blogspot.com/

The reason I say we are the same is that our hearts go out to Gillian and her family, but we don’t know them personally.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them, but we haven’t verbalized that to them.  For now we will support by reading, caring and praying.  Just as we’ve done, she can see by the blog views how so many people are supporting them.

We know that’s what people do for us all the time.

As we approach Chris’ birthday tomorrow, we don’t have any big public events happening.  A few of his school buds will drop by.  As a family, we’ll head to our favourite steakhouse for a big steak dinner and piece of ice cream cake.  Chris was a fitness and health food fanatic, but he would eat steak and ice cream cake…and we’ll have some in his honour tomorrow night.

So the question is always, what can I do?  What should I do?  I don’t know them very well, or even if I do, I’m not sure what to do.

Here’s the solution.

We’d ask everyone who reads this blog to do some little thing in honour of Chris tomorrow.

Here’s a few ideas.

1. push-ups – even doing one or two in his name would be cool

2. make a toast when you have dinner

3. hug your kids

4. hug your parents

5. eat some yogurt (he would eat probably 4-6 per day)

6. wish him a happy birthday verbally

7. cook some eggs (yep…he ate a LOT of eggs)

There’s a few ways.

I’m sure you can think of more.

Drop us a comment if you want to share.

If you don’t, we totally get it and we want to say thank you for the continued support.

Randy, Ingrid and Max.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIS!!

 

Jan 09 - Chris turns 16.