October 27, 2013
Last night Dad and I went to the Lovenuik’s for dinner. Your winter ski bud and summer beach bud, Calvin, was there too, choosing a night at home instead of a night out with his friends. It was really great to see him, Will… though I wished more than anything that you were with us and that you and Calvin could have been hanging out together like it just should be. I remembered when the two of you first met – at the daycare at the base of the ski hill in Fernie — ski buddies before you even knew how to walk. The two of you, only 3 weeks apart in age, became great friends seeing each other every weekend during the winter months in Fernie for almost all of your “much too short” life. Winters full of dinners and play dates, swimming at the aquatic centre and building snow forts on the Lovenuik’s front lawn until you boys were frozen or wet or it was time to go home to bed. On many of those weekends, you and Calvin would go from building a snow fort outside to building a nest in the linen closet inside where the two of you would sleep. I find myself both smiling and shaking my head as I write this, wondering how the heck that could have been comfortable. Then, in the same breath, I remember that for boys, “fun” seems to always trump “comfortable”.
As the two of you grew not much changed. Sure, your little one piece ski suits became trendy ski jackets and cool pants, your skis got longer, your feet grew bigger, and building snow forts turned into building ski jumps. You no longer needed your dads to take you swimming for you were old enough to go on your own, the Disney DVDs disappeared replaced by endless hours of watching ski movies over and over and over. Your friendship circle grew too, encompassing more boys your age, all of them members of the Fernie Freestyle Ski Team; boys that became part of a world that you loved so much. Ski movies, stickers, ski mags, toques, posters, park passes and helmet cams became the norm. What never changed though and what I believe would still be true was how much the two of you enjoyed each other’s company and how much your friendship meant to one another.
Seeing Calvin last night and how much he has grown is another bittersweet for me. (You’d love his hair, Will!) But, what I will never forget is what he gave to Dad and I after dinner. He’d come from his bedroom with a photograph (the one above); a photo of the two of you when you guys were about 5. Two little boys, hamming it up for the camera and as I looked at it my heart went back to that time and to that happy place. This photo is a treasure; a gift so precious; a gift that’s worth can only truly be understood by a parent who has lost a child. Sadly, there are no recent photos of you, the last one taken the day before the accident. Photos of your 12½ years, though they will never be enough, are all we have now and each time I see one that I haven’t seen before my heart wants to take a picture of it so it will always be there. I will always appreciate another photo, another story, another remembrance of you. More memories for the memory box that will never be full enough. Which makes me think… maybe I should put it out there to all who knew you to please share any photos of you that they may have. All of them are treasures and memories that would mean the world to us.
It was nice to spend an evening with good friends and to see your friend, Calvin, too. I am ever grateful for the “gift of you” that he sent us home with.
Love you little blue. Like a bus.