To My Friends
I know that this blog is not really a personal blog, its a site I use for entertainment, both for myself and for the handful of you who actually take the time to read it. Its just a silly site where I post movie reviews and other fluff stuff and I usually keep my personal life out of it. But I just feel the need to express myself somehow, somewhere. Of course, I am expressing myself with my wife and my family members and my other friends who were so close to this, but I think I just need to get it “out there” so to speak.
Two of my closest friends and their two children were killed in a car accident Saturday night. In an instant, their entire family was wiped out. Even just typing those sentences just made me break down again. I am only starting to comprehend my loss and just how big of a hole they are going to leave in our lives. (Note: I am posting this a month later. This took a long time for be to actually get the strength to sit down to write the whole thing.)
The story of the crash has dominated the local news here in my city, which has been so surreal that suddenly everyone in the city and surrounding area suddenly knows the names and story of two people who have been so important to me for so long. My facebook feed is dominated by people expressing their sympathies and giving remembrances. I’m a pretty private person, so I dont feel comfortable sharing my thoughts there, but… I need to get them out. I dont know if this is the right venue, but I think it might be for me.
You have been one of my best friends for almost 16 years. We graduated University together with the same degree, taking many of the same classes, lab partners whenever possible. We partied together, we BBQed together, we have had countless pub conversations. We played hockey, softball, frisbee, dodgeball, golf together. We’ve gone camping together. We’ve celebrated each other’s weddings. We have gone through so many experiences and stages in our lives together. And now you’re gone.
The reality of that is hard to comprehend. For someone to be such a close and important part of my life to suddenly not be there anymore is so hard to accept its almost inconceivable. I miss talking with you. I miss hanging out with you. We always made fun of you for complaining about everything, but that was one of the things that made you endearing in your own way. Your sense of humour is going to be greatly missed, and I can’t believe I wont hear you breaking into laughter with that very distinctive laugh anymore. I know that we have frustrated each other over the years, close friends always do, that’s just part of it. Sometimes your practicality would bother me, sometimes my quick temper I’m sure would annoy you. But I’m lucky to have a friend as close and as loyal as you. We were both lucky to have had several of them.
You were an inspiration to me in your own way, though I never really let you know that. Even though we both went through micro together, you were always a much better scientist than I. You’ve always been more inquisitive. One thing I learned from you was how to take pleasure in the simple things in nature. You always had stories about your camping and hiking experiences, and later on your photography sessions. You understood the beauty of the world and were not afraid to express it. When you began photography, we all thought it would be another hobby you were just trying out, but you grew so much with it and I should have seen that coming. It allowed you to visually express the things that interested you, the things that impressed you. I don’t think I’ve ever complimented you enough on this, though I remember doing so during one of the last times we hung out together and I’m glad I expressed at least some of my appreciation for your art while I could. It still wasn’t enough.
I’m going to miss you Jordan. You were such a huge personality and your love for life was infectious, it really was. I’m going to miss you bitching about traffic or work or whatever bothered you that day. I’m going to miss your inappropriate comments and stories. I’m going to miss your awe in space and nature. And I’m just going to miss you being there for me.
I remember meeting you at a new year’s eve party many years ago. I believe this was when Jordan met you too? Or at least where he decided that he liked you. After that, we would somehow magically run into you in the halls at school all the time. Then suddenly we saw Jordan less and less. I’ll be honest, this bothered the rest of us. You were the girl stealing Jordan away. If I was ever a jerk to you, I apologize. I was just being jealous.
Chanda, it seems so unfair to me that your life with your children and your husband was cut short. You deserved a long, happy life with them, you really did. You are one of the kindest souls I’ve ever known. You rarely said a bad thing about someone, and when you did we knew how serious it must have been. You were always looking for that positive outlook, on people, on situations, whatever it was. Its easy to be hyperbolic about the good-natured characteristics of someone after they die, but with you there is no exaggeration needed. You were a genuinely friendly and caring person through and through.
And you were a great mom. You spent so much time with your kids and made sure they had what they needed every moment. Your joy for them was always apparent. When I think back to hearing about how awful Kamryn’s birth was and the torture she put you through for the first year of her life, I remember thinking how strong and determined you had to be to endure. Chanda, you were a person who knew your priorities and always had them straight. You knew what was important in life. You knew the value of relationships, the value of the people in our lives. What I have learned the most from you is to keep what truly matters as first priority.
Chanda, I am going to miss you so much. You were such a stable and calming presence for your family and for those of us who were lucky enough to be your friends. I think about how I needed to be a better friend to you. There were times I chose not to go over to your house, after we learned we couldn’t have children, because it was too hard sometimes. But you didn’t know that and I should have told you. You would have understood. Kimberly and I are going to miss playing cards with you two, hanging out on your deck, listening to that trademark laugh of yours. You had such a wonderful sense of humour which matched Jordan so well. Your smile and your laugh together were so distinctive, I can hear them right now. Chanda thank you for being such a great friend and such a wonderful person.
You were growing up to be such a kind, beautiful, fun little girl. When you were a baby, you gave your parents hell, especially your mom. But it was all worth it. You were such a sweet, kind-hearted kid, always welcoming and always smiling. One of my first memories of you you were only a few months old and we came over for a visit. We were sitting in the living room, you were sitting on someone’s lap, and you looked over to me and then just started crying. Your mom turned you around so you weren’t facing me anymore. So what did you do? You turned your whole head around until you found me and once again started bawling. We laughed a lot, but I was of course worried that I had become the ‘scary guy’ for you. Luckily that was the only time that really happened, and ever since you knew who I was and were always beaming to see me.
You loved being around people. Every time we would come over you needed to be hanging out with us, to be a part of everything. Every time I came to your house, I would get a boost of excitement and esteem because I knew that once I walked through that door you would be there to greet and welcome me. You were the best parts of both your parents. From your mom you got her kindness and laughter, her warmth, her sense that people were far more important than things and that being with people was the best thing you could do. From your dad you got his wonder and amazement for the world. You acquired his inquisitive character, his love for nature. I loved hearing that you got a camera for Christmas and went out shooting the northern lights with him.
One thing I will always remember about you is that smiling, happy face of yours. Your smile was absolutely infectious and always present. And those piercing blue eyes of yours will always be stuck in my memory. It is a tragedy that you were only around for a few years, because I know that you would have grown into an amazing woman like your mom. I’ll never forget how excited you were to see Kimberly and I and how you loved visiting with us and sitting on our laps. You were such an amazing kid.
Our last night with you, I watched you playing around our friend’s living room thinking to myself of just what an amazing little boy you had grown to be. You were just so cute and so sweet and soft-spoken. When you spoke it was only one or two words, followed by a giant smile that would melt ice. It is unjust that you were taken from us at only 2 years old, but those two years you were around have given those who have known you many memories that we can always hold on to.
I remember holding you for the first time at one of our friend’s wedding. Your parent’s had brought you along, and you were so small and bald. Even on that last night, you will had only the lightest blonde fuzz on your head. You shared that with your sister, who was bald for a long time as well. Your eyes were always full of wonder, and you shared an inquisitive nature with your dad, trying to figure out how things worked. And you had such a caring nature as well, given to you from your mom, a harmless nature in which you always wanted to make sure everyone was safe and okay, in your own way.
It is so unfair that we dont get to see you grow up into the amazing person you would have been. Its so unfair that you didn’t get to experience more of life. But its comforting to know that your parents did everything they could to help you experience as much of it as possible. We will never forget that wondering expression on your face, followed by that sudden cheek-to-cheek smile of yours.
I wish we had a chance to know you longer Miguire. You were part of an amazing family who meant so much to myself and many others. The four of you remain together now, and we are left thankful for having you in our lives however brief it may have been.