No honest examination of my life can avoid the circumstances of our youngest son Thomas. I am always torn about talking of him. It is not something that comes easily, but neither do I avoid it at all costs. So I try to find a balancing act, of acknowledging what we have lost but not living in that loss.
On 27 Sept 2013 my beautiful son Thomas was taken from us. I have always struggled with how to describe his death, this is the closest I can come to describing how it actually feels. That morning I was walking Isaac and Thomas to school. Isaac was starting grade 4, Thomas grade 2. From our old house it was a short 3-4 block walk to their school, Ecole Marie Poburan. As we walked to school that morning, Isaac would run ahead with Thomas chasing. After getting some distance apart, Isaac would stop and wait for Thomas. As Thomas caught up, Isaac would again sprint ahead. They were young brothers having innocent fun on a sunny morning.
We were walking north on Woodlands Rd up to the intersection with Sir Winston Churchill ave. Isaac got to the intersection first and crossed to the west side of Woodlands. I was about 100 feet behind the boys, Thomas waiting at the east corner of Woodlands Rd and Isaac on the west corner. As they waited at the corner, a school bus approached from the east along Sir Winston Churchill. As the bus neared the corner, it slowed down. As the school bus slowed, Thomas started crossing the road. But the school bus did not stop. In what seemed like slow motion it turned the corner, catching Thomas just before he cleared from its path and killed him instantly.
My life, our whole life as a family has never been the same since. More than anything else in my life, this single event has defined and shaped me. Not a day goes by that I do not curse myself for not keeping him safe that morning.
I do not include this part to my life story looking for pity. I have seen enough of this world to know that the state of security which we in St Albert enjoy is only experienced by a very small percentage of humanity. For most of the rest of the world, losing a child is almost an inevitable matter of course. This acknowledgement does not diminish the pain and loss, but it creates some perspective in that we have not been the first family to suffer a tragedy like this, nor will we be the last. I guess it reinforces in me that I really only have two choices; to give up and stop living, or to keep moving forward even though our lives will never be the same.
In the depths of my being I know I will get the chance to be with him again. This promise, I can’t say that it brings me hope. A better description is that it keeps me from falling into a state of perpetual despair. He was a perfect little soul. All I can do is pray that when my day comes, I will accept God’s grace and be with him once more.