Number Eight

BasketballWednesday, June 29, 2011  (38 days)


Good morning, little sun,


Last night I was reminiscing about your favourite number.  Eight.  Kathleen and I had chatted on Monday about why you loved the number “8” so much and the obvious reasons, of course, where that, for one, it looked like a snowman and we all know how much you love snow.  Secondly, it was Ben’s favourite number and it was no secret that whatever Ben liked, you liked too.  Thirdly, Powder 8’s came to mind and one of Dad’s favourite memories is of you and him skiing fresh powder in Fernie; he crossing over the fresh turns you’d already made in the snow in front of him to make an “8”.  Then, we remembered that in all of the sports you played, if there was a jersey and a choice of which number could be worn, you always chose a number that had an “8” in it.


Last night as I stood in the driveway saying goodbye to Kathleen, I turned around to walk back into the house and staring at me was our house number.  Number 8!  I stopped and stared, unable to move, and thought that perhaps the most beautiful reason of all, was that home was number 8.   Beautiful tears filled my eyes and at that moment I thought that maybe you were telling me something; that maybe “8” was your favourite number because it was your home.  Our home.  Because of that, I have never loved our home more.


I love you WillBilly.  Like a bus and to infinity.  (Which Mrs. Fischer reminded me today is an 8 turned on its side).  Another Wow.



Time Still Stands Still

Will's Tribute  001 copyFriday, May 17, 2013

Dear Willy,

The long weekend is here and it’s the one that I dread more than anything. I have gone right back to the weekend that started out being so much fun and ended so tragically two years ago. As I type the words “two years ago”… I think how long two years sounds and then in the same breath it feels like it is all playing out like no time has passed. I remember this day so vividly; where we were, what we were doing, and how much fun you were having. It was a PL day so no school for you (oh, how you loved those PD days!). I was taking a CPR certification course at school learning how to use CPR in the event that I would someday need to administer it in an emergency. Not ever in this whole, wide world did I think I would be using it on you two days later. A mom’s worst nightmare? Yup. And that’s just the beginning. 725 days and the nightmare just won’t go away.

This night we were at a friend’s home celebrating a birthday. Many of your friends were there and you were having such a fun time playing outside with all of them. Instead of coming home with us you were invited to go have a campfire in a campground in the Kananaskis with our friends who have camped their annually every long weekend in May. Kale’s mom and dad delivered you home later that evening and I remember how happy and tired you were, smelling of a campfire and energized on marshmallows. When I tucked you into your bed that night your whole room smelled of campfire – from your clothes that were laying on the floor to your hair. You were tired and I had to tell you (more like order you) to brush your teeth and wash your hands and face. Eventually you did but it wasn’t without a little Willy battle. Oh, we had a few of those, your strong “Will” showing its true colors. All such normal “twelve going on thirteen” negotiations that ended way too soon. All in all, it was such a fun evening and a great way to begin the weekend that until 2011 always kicked off the promise of summer fun.

What we didn’t know/couldn’t know was that that Friday would be your last. The pain that comes with that reality is paralyzing. I spent most of today in my pajamas. I remember how much you loved “pajama days” and well today was one of those for me. I did manage to get out of bed for a bit but found myself back in my pajamas and under my covers wondering how it was possible that I was still alive and that I hadn’t died in my sleep from the heart break. Two years and I am still here but still hurting. It doesn’t feel any different, not any less painful and in some ways it is worse because I miss you so much. Watching life go on for so many when my world is still shattered and broken is difficult. But I look for you everywhere. And I see you in the most beautiful things. Yesterday, it was the little blue butterflies that appeared out of no where and fluttered around me while I was looking for a stick to throw in the river for Finn to fetch. I knew it was you, Willy. No one can make my heart flutter like you.

So here I go again… another long weekend in May to live through… minute by minute, breath by breath. I miss you Will. More than anything and everything. And I always “Will”.

Love you like the biggest bus ever,


Mother’s Day without you

Holding you close always and forever

Holding you close always and forever

Mothers Day, Sunday, May 12, 2013 (721 days)

Dear Will,

It’s not an easy day for me. I woke this morning and tried a couple of times to get out of bed, but I just couldn’t do it.  I took the Kleenex box back to bed with me and stayed there all morning. I am trying to find happiness in remembering all the Mothers Day’s I had with you; the breakfasts in bed, the dinners you and your brothers and Dad prepared, the handmade gifts you made at school and the most beautiful handmade cards that I loved more than anything. I have saved them all.  I considered them treasures always but now that I will never have another from you they are more precious than anything I own.

As I write you this letter I am sitting on a blanket beside the rock and your tree at Heaven’s Gate; the place where we lost you forever almost two years ago.  It is both so very sad to be here but in some ways, comforting too. Memories of that day and the fun you were having here are as crystal clear as if it were yesterday and in the quiet times in between the birds chirping and a squirrel behind me in the forest chattering away I can hear your laugh and your voice. But, in the next breath as the tears trickle down my cheeks I, too, remember how it all came to an end and our world was changed forever.

Before I sat down I opened a bag of wildflower seeds that I brought along with me and sprinkled it all around the rocks and the base of your tree. In a month or two from now I am hopeful that I can sit here amongst the wild flowers; this spot already beautiful but a little closer to heaven I think with a mix of wildflowers shining their faces up towards the sun during the day and bowing their heads at night as if praying for another day to keep you company.

I am in no rush to leave this little place of heaven on earth. I will finish up the cup of tea that I also brought along before I pack up the blanket and my iPad and head back home.  Dad and your brothers are going to put together dinner for me this evening. We will talk about and remember the Mother’s Days when you, too, were at the table with us.  And we will all miss you so very, very much

Love you, little one.  More than a bus.


Biking for Freedom… and Candy and Ice Cream

BicyclesTuesday, April 24, 2012 (11 months and 2 days)

Hey WillBilly,

I got a new bike today.   And I parked it right beside yours.   Side by side they stand next to each other like a mom and a son… mine taller than yours, but not by much, just like the height of you and me.  I am reminded of how important it was that you and your brothers had your bikes; a boy and his bike went hand and hand, like peanut butter and jam.  It always made me so happy that we chose Redwood to call our home; a rare place in a world that is so busy; and a place where boys and bikes could be best friends.  I think back to the freedom that came with being able to ride your bike to the park with your friends without a parent.  What a right of passage, a momentous adventure it was for each of you.  And then to be able to ride to Bragg Creek for ice cream or candy (or both!?)… well, that was the ultimate in freedom at twelve years of age and, in fact, was what you did on that Saturday afternoon of your last weekend with us.  You and Matt rode into Bragg Creek returning with a bag full of “sugar” from the candy store; the little white bag still sits on your desk with the candy you were saving to enjoy later.  You were funny that way; always spacing out the candy consumption – saving bits and pieces for another time, another day.  There were times, Will, (cover your ears!) when I had to throw out some of that candy for fear of it going bad.  For a long time the chocolate Easter bunny that you received last Easter sat on the floor beside your desk, package open and one ear missing because you liked to eat it that way, and I had to throw it out.  You never noticed… or you never said anything and well, I have a hard time believing that you’d have let me throw it out without making a kafuffle.  I can hear it now, “Throw away candy!  Why, Mom, would anyone ever do that!?  That should be against the law!”  Hmmm.  I did win that time… because, like I said, I don’t think you knew.

So, now I have a bike too.  Wheels to freedom for me?  Well certainly not in the same way as it was for you, but it will be nice to ride to Bragg Creek along the path to freedom that you enjoyed and then beyond to the beauty of our bigger backyard west of Bragg Creek.  I will always take you with me on my bike, Will, and when I stop for ice cream it will be for you.  I’ll order mango; your favorite.

Love you like a bus and all those bike rides to the candy store and for ice cream.