When I first started writing this blog over two years ago I wanted it to be a true reflection of my life here. Fortunately over these past two years I have written far more happy stories than sad, and shared more good news than bad. The reality, however, is that on occasion the sunny skies above us darken, and events occur that trouble us deeply. This is one of those events.
I don't know the facts of why James and William Beck died, and I won't conjecture about the reasons behind this horrendous crime. I know they left behind a devastated group of family and friends, and that those who loved them leave small mementoes at a tree in Borealis Park that has become a touchstone for their memories. I know that as a mother I cannot imagine the pain their mother has experienced in the past two years. I know that I find myself drawn to that tree in Borealis Park on occasion, which may seem inexplicable since I do not know their family or friends, and have never met their mother. And yet their deaths are something I will never forget, perhaps because it was the first tragedy I wrote about in this blog.
The Wood Buffalo RCMP continue to investigate this crime, and I hope some day they will find those responsible and bring them to justice. That won't bring the Beck brothers back, though, and it will never mend the rip that tore across the fabric of our community that dark day in June. It will never make up for two boys, boys of just seventeen, who died at the hands of others. Their deaths will now always be part of the history of this community. The loss suffered will never be regained.
I don't know if I will go to that tree in Borealis Park today, but it is likely that late tonight I will, as I often have over the last two years. I will probably sit in my car, or on the concrete barrier beside it. As always I will think about loss, and crime, and community, and how time moves on but how some things are never forgotten. I will think about how some stories will never be told, because those who could tell the stories are now gone. I will think about how there is so much good in this community. I will think about how there is so much light here, so much sunshine in these early days of summer - but how when darkness descends and day turns to night we examine the dark corners of our hearts, and of our community. I will think about how it is the dark that makes us appreciate the light, and how when night turns to dawn and the darkness lifts we find the strength to carry on, whatever challenges we have faced, and whatever sorrow we have encountered.
Two years ago today. The heartbeat of this community goes on, but two years ago two hearts stopped, decades before their time. That loss is now part of our history, and it is, too, part of mine. I will not forget, and today I dedicate this post to two twin boys who were lost two years ago today.
In Memory of
James and William Beck
June 26, 2011