I had barely joined this board when I was the trip mom for my son's eighth grade class. We had to walk down to the waterfront to catch a boat and my pace was much slower than that of a bunch of 14-year-olds. A young man came late and walked with me. There was something about him that I couldn't put my finger on, something great. He was remarkable. He was Demetreous Beals. I took a photo of him sitting alone on the ferry to the island a short time later.
After supper, as the sun began to set, I was here typing. For a moment the noise of children playing out by my window was
by one loud wail of a siren. Just one. It sounded like it was right beside the house. I can still hear that sound.
I later discovered it was the first-response EMS unit, but they realized there was no need for more sirens, so the fire department and RCMP divers arrived in silence.
The local TV station showed groups of sobbing people standing on the shoreline as boats and divers looked for young Demetreous; He had gone swimming in the lake down by our house and never came out of the water.
He was a great basketball player, and when he was about 13, he wrote a letter that resulted in basketball courts near his house being refurbished.
Today I was trip mom again. The same group of boys are now in grade 9 and afterwards there was a basketball game and I might be going crazy, but it was almost as if I could feel his presence in the gym. I had to fight back tears.
It makes no sense to me that a boy I knew for only a few hours would have such an impact on me, and to be honest, I wish it didn't. It hurts.