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Be The Best.

Woah Christmas Tree Woah Christmas Tree

Woah is right.

We got a new ornament for the tree this year.

Last year Ingrid picked out an ornament of a dove with a soft light that reminded us of Chris being with us.

We really liked it, but we thought Chris might have thought it was….well too dove-like with a soft light…

This year we wanted to get another ornament that reminds us that Chris is with us.

Yup, Adrian Peterson.

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

This is the first NFL ornament we’ve ever had.

It’s the first football ornament we’ve ever had.

So why Adrian?

For long time blog readers you will know.

Chris had a picture of Adrian Peterson from the Minnesota Vikings with BE THE BEST printed on top of it.

It was a home-made personalized poster that Chris used for motivation.

Adrian Peterson is not a tall guy, but he’s strong, fast and will never go down without a fight.

When we saw it at the local Hallmark store, it was obvious which ornament needed to be on the tree this year.

I think our tree ‘cool factor’ just climbed a little and we know Chris will be grinning about this one.

Be The Best.

We continue to be amazed at the power of those three words and how they push us and so many of you.

Although the pain of loss still pounds through our bones like a West Coast grey mist that never quite clears, the power to continue to fight and carry on is embodied in guys like Adrian Peterson who inspired Chris who inspires us to Be The Best every day…and when we’re not, we pick ourselves up, go back to the huddle, get a new play and push ahead for another first down.

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Be The Best.

No one loses today.

Blue Bombers Logo used from 1963-1994
Image via Wikipedia

Now that statement is wrong on a number of levels.

One team will win the Grey Cup and one team will not.

There has been loss for both football teams and that’s where it gets tricky.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost an assistant coach, Mr. Richard Harris earlier this season (July 2011).  By all counts he could be tough as a coach but a gentle giant…a father figure of sorts for the players. (newstory here)

The Lions of course lost Dylan Reichelt longtime game day assistant and son of Bill Reichelt, trainer extraordinaire.  Many Lions’ helmets will have DR stickers on them today.

So how does this all work?

Here’s what I’m thinking.

With Mr. Harris already up in heaven I think he has given a big welcoming bear hug to Dylan.  He may have asked Dylan who that guy was with him and why he’s carrying around a funny looking stick.  Oh that’s Chris, Dylan would say, my good bud from Langley…plays that strange field lacrosse game.  That would of course get Chris fired up and a good natured broohaha would occur, which is probably what we’re seeing/hearing with the current wind and rain storm outside my window at 5am this morning.

Anyhoo…I could see Richard giving Chris a big bear hug too and then deciding where they were going to watch the game.  Richard and Dylan, a little newer to the experience, may be concerned about the roof on BC Place and not seeing that well.  Chris, with now 20 months of experience would show them where to sit and how to see everything.

They’ll see two football teams playing for the Grey Cup.

They’ll see two football teams playing for people they loved.

They’ll see two football teams both winning, because no one loses today.

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Be The Best.

Geroy’s class act.

Max and I had planned to attend the BC Lions football game vs. Edmonton a couple of weeks back.

When the world changed for the Reichelt family last weekend I had a sneaking suspicion that Bill would be in the thick of the action Sunday.

There was a beautiful moment of silence for Dylan at the game and it was hard to see the picture of him so big on the center screen because of what it meant.

As guys we generally don’t like to talk about our feelings all that much.  We’d rather be doing stuff, building stuff, competing against something, winning.  (did you know the Taj Mahal was built to honour the then emperor Shah Jahan’s 3rd wife after her death?…yah, I looked it up…)  It is HUGELY important for men to honour those who have passed.

The Lions wearing DR stickers on their helmets was also a class act.

Geroy Simon giving the ball to Bill after scoring an amazing touchdown further shows the class he has and the support Bill and his family has from the team.

From the Sun article:

Reichelt said the victory and now the opportunity for the Lions to win a Grey Cup on home turf can never compensate for his loss.

“But Dylan loved the team to win. He just loved it when they won. He played a part in this, for sure.”

Exactly.  Dylan LOVED to win.  I know the Lions loved to show how much they cared by playing yesterday’s game for Dylan.  A class act all around.

Here’s the full article.

Lion hands ball to Reichelt after score

By Gary Kingston, Vancouver SunNovember 21, 2011

The ‘DR’ stickers on their helmets was an indication that the loss was still raw for some B.C. Lions players on Sunday.

But veteran receiver Geroy Simon felt a need to go one step further.

Following his second-quarter touchdown reception, Simon took the ball and gave it to longtime trainer Bill Reichelt on the sideline. It was Reichelt’s 18-year-old son Dylan, a frequent gameday helper on the sidelines at Lions’ home games, who was killed in a car crash eight days earlier.

“We lost a member of our family,” said Simon after the Lions’ 40-23 CFL West Final win over the Edmonton Eskimos at BC Place. “I don’t know what to say man, it’s tough. It’s just tough losing a family member. We wanted to show [Bill] that we love him.”

Simon said he had initially planned to give the ball after a touchdown catch Sunday to his son, “but I just had to give it to Bill.”

An emotional Reichelt, who was sporting the same ‘DR’ button as other Lions’ staffers, said afterwards in a quiet corner of the locker-room that he wrote Dylan’s name on the ball and put it in a trunk on the sideline for safekeeping.

“Geroy’s a class act,” he said. “[The support from the team] has been unbelievable. They just seem to know when to bring me back up. They just get you back laughing, get your mind off everything. It was awesome.”

Reichelt said the victory and now the opportunity for the Lions to win a Grey Cup on home turf can never compensate for his loss.

“But Dylan loved the team to win. He just loved it when they won. He played a part in this, for sure.”

gkingston@vancouversun.com

 

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Be The Best.

Who makes us what we are?

Now there’s a heavy question for your weekend.

If you haven’t read the latest few comments on this blog, take a look.  They are both from teachers of Dylan and Chris.

Our families have a huge influence on who we are.  How we’re raised, the home culture, values etc.

When I think of Chris, I can’t help but think of all the amazing influence outside the home that helped to shape him.  Teachers, coaches, trainers.

I was reading Dylan’s obituary today…(hard to even type that).  There are a few lines that so accurately describe him.

Dylan was charismatic, genuine, optimistic and never shy or awkward. He enjoyed life and excelled at anything he set his hand to. He was quick with a grin and a smart remark and was loved by everyone he met.

Yes.  That is exactly Dylan.

Dylan comes from a great family and has been shaped by them of course, with the continual positive influence of teachers, coaches and mentors over time.

For all teachers and coaches…please know that your legacy reaches far beyond the achievement of a grade or success at a sport.  It shapes young men and women who in turn provide positive influence in their circles and beyond.  We continue to see that in Chris’ legacy as people all over are aiming to Be The Best.  We love it.

As we grieve for Dylan and his family, we know that the legacy of laughter, caring, acceptance, kindness and excellence will live forever.

Here is Dylan’s obituary in full with a link to the memorial site.

REICHELT, Dylan James February 4, 1993 – November 12, 2011

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our son Dylan James Reichelt, who died in a car accident on Saturday, November 12th, 2011. Dylan is survived by his parents, Bill and Cathy, sisters, Keri and Keira, twin brother, Jesse, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Born and raised in Langley, Dylan had a passion for golf, hockey, Iron Maiden, Manchester City FC, working out, refereeing, fishing, boating, video games, wakeboarding, wake surfing, steak, and Caesar salad.

He attended Murrayville Elementary, graduated from Brookswood Secondary in June 2011 and was in his first year of a business degree at Kwantlen University. Dylan enjoyed all forms of athletics, playing baseball, golf, soccer, ice hockey, street hockey with the boys, tennis in the park and he was always game to go to the gym. He enjoyed being a referee for Langley Minor Hockey and “”Gatorade”” boy for the BC Lions Home Games.

He was ranked #1 in points with the Maple leaf golf tour in BC and had been invited to the MJT National Tour Championships in Orlando, Florida, along with his best friend and brother, Jesse. Dylan was charismatic, genuine, optimistic and never shy or awkward. He enjoyed life and excelled at anything he set his hand to. He was quick with a grin and a smart remark and was loved by everyone he met.

A celebration of Dylan’s life will be held on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 11:00 am at the Christian Life Assembly, 21277 – 56th Avenue, Langley. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to RBC, account #00608-003-5018650 in support of the Dylan Reichelt Memorial Fund.

Condolences may be offered at www.hendersonslangleyfunerals.com

Arrangements under the direction of Henderson’s Langley Funeral Home, Langley, BC.

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Be The Best.

I Remember

i remember

 

i remember each september

when the summer sun still glows;

i remember each october

when the winds begin to blow;

i remember each november

when the leafs are painted red;

i remember each december

when through the snow we tread;

whatever the month

whatever the day

whatever we’re doing

wherever we stay

you are loved loved loved

forever and always

 

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Be The Best.

The Hike

Last week a few of Chris’ highschool buds called (ok, texted) and said they wanted to drop by.

The fact that we have the lacrosse gang and friends gang wanting to stay in touch with us is very cool.

I suggested a little hike and through a series of texts, the plan was approved.

So here we are on this little hike…about a one hour up and down walk in some beautiful forests near Ft. Langley, BC.

I’m not sure what other people on the trail were thinking as we made an unusual hiking squad.  The lovely Ingrid leading the pack with 5 big young men at her side and some old guy trying to keep up and shoot videos at the same time.

Cooper, Dylan, Jesse and Alan all predicted that Tanner (Newport Vacuums) would arrive in dress shoes.

Yup.

Nice jeans and dress shoes…perfect for hiking of course.

What followed was the obligatory, ‘you didn’t tell me this was a hike, you said a walk’…and of course the word ‘tell’ and ‘said’ are just another way to say ‘text’….cause no one really talks to each other any more right? 😉

So, we had a great walk/hike.

The sun streamed through the trees and it reminded us that Chris was with us too.

As we walked we actually didn’t text, but talked, and learned about the latest updates from the Gang.

It’s a privilege to stay connected.

For a little fun, I’ve put together a video of the event.

Have a great week.

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Be The Best.

You gotta hear this one…

Ok, you gotta read this one, but you get the point.

I talked to a someone today who is leaving for a new job, a new adventure…following dreams, but very concrete dreams.

In our conversation it came out that I had said something about writing goals down a few years ago that caused some reflection.

That reflection became thoughts which became action in the form of goals being written down.

Those goals turned into visible reminders and invisible ones too that propelled further action in terms of a definable action plan which is really a series of small decisions that push one forward creating energy and momentum as you go.

We never know the impact our words and actions have on others.  Ever.

I saw what happened when we wrote goals down as a family…yes, every New Year’s Eve.  It was a tradition, but a very important one.

I saw how those goals helped each of us focus and achieve.

I used the question, ‘Are we doers or viewers?’ many times with the boys.

ie, Are we going to watch life go by or be actively engaged and help others along the way.

Seeing the impact Chris continues to have shows how much you can influence…even in a short 17 years.

We still see a stream of comments on his Facebook page and we know his words and actions are still inspiring many today, young and old….er.

I know it’s not quite New Year’s…but if you have goals that you’ve thought about in your head for a long time but that’s where they’ve stayed, I’d challenge you to write them down.

You’ll be amazed at the results.

Be The Best.

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Be The Best.

Clouds

I’ve had several conversations about clouds in the past months.

Some with others, some with myself.

I can’t look at the sky without thinking about Chris and I can’t look at clouds without thinking of silver linings on the most darkest of skies.

We all have our journeys…and many times life does not go in a straight line.

For those experiencing loss of any kind, my encouragement is to look up at the sky.  It may seem dark, but if you look closely, you may also see a silver lining.

Plus, I needed to work these pictures into a blog post of a near sunset sky earlier this year in BC’s amazing Interior…!

Have a great day.

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Be The Best.

I love losing.

Now that is a complete lie.

Except for today…just a little bit.

Max (our oldest son) is studying at BCIT.  This gives us the unique opportunity to see him multiple times during any given week.

Today he had an hour between classes and joined our weekly staff basketball game down at the gym.

He was my check and I’d like to say I schooled him, but the video evidence (thankfully there wasn’t any) would prove differently.

He played very well and his team beat our team.

I hate losing and I hated it today, but I did have the conscious thought that I maybe hated it just a little bit less because I had the amazing privilege to play basketball with my kid.

Pretty cool, I thought, as I kicked the ball in frustration after losing by a lousy 2 points.

Anyone have time for another game?

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Be The Best.

Lions, Eskimos and Fathers…V2

I wrote a post in June 2010 after Max took me to the opening of Empire Field for a BC Lions football game vs the Edmonton EskimosHere’s a link to that story.

Fast forward 16 months and we did it again.

Not Empire, but we went to the opening of the new BC Place on Friday with 50,000 of our closest friends and saw those same BC Lions beat the Eskimos in a great match at a fantastic new facility.

New building aside, the best aspect of the evening was another experience shared and added to the memory banks for life.

Those are gold and worth every cent of admission…and then some.  (just don’t tell the Lions that…I don’t want them to raise their ticket prices)