02 January 2012

Christian

Parenthood changes everyone.  It just does.

As a father, one change I've noted in myself is that I tend to assess individuals based not on the firmness of their handshake, or the smile they wear on their face.  Truthfully, on most occasions, I tend to judge people based on how they react to, and subsequently behave toward, our daughter, Bekah.  Like most fathers, my child means the world to me.  Therefore, the quickest route into my good graces, into my favor, is to be kind to, and to listen to, and to include her in real, honest, and genuine ways.

Christian, the oldest son of my oldest-friend, Derrill, has always been more than kind to our daughter; he is her friend, despite the vast difference in their ages.  He epitomizes the way a young man should behave toward a kid like ours.  And his tender-hearted treatment of others is not unique to the way he treats Bekah. It likewise is demonstrated in the genuine and abiding love and compassion he shows at all times toward his younger brother with special needs, Alexandre.

I've been fortunate, during many hikes and talks and shared meals, to be able to get to know Christian over the years, first as a child, and more recently as a fine young man about to graduate from high school.  For the record: He's a really great guy with an easy smile and a friendly, compelling demeanor.

Late last night we found out that Christian was killed in a car crash.

This should never happen.

Yet it has.

My heart breaks for my old friend Derrill and his family.

More each moment as the reality of this awful thing sinks in more terribly.

I have no other words.


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