Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Most Precious Gift

On occasion I am given a gift. It is a truly precious one, and a gift I treasure for years to come as it means more to me than others will likely ever know.

Perhaps for some this kind of gift involves diamonds or rubies, furs or luxury cars. But for me, as a writer, the most precious gift I can ever be given is the opportunity to write a story that is so personal and close to the hearts of others that every word I write becomes both a tremendous responsibility and a privilege.

So it was with a recent story I penned for YMM Magazine. Early this fall, long before the snow now on the ground had arrived, I spent two hours with three people who had a more profound impact on me than anyone has had in years.

The truth is there were really only two people I was interviewing, but the third person, their son, was so present in the room that I could feel it, even though he was stolen from them and our world some time ago. The time I spent with Brian and Gail Snook allowed me to not only come to know them and learn what remarkable people they are but it allowed me to come to know, in some very small sense, their son Jeremy. The loss of Jeremy is one we should all mourn,  because there is no doubt he was a very special, wonderful and truly unique young man. I will always regret that I did not know him - and I will always regret that this world lost him.

You can read the story in the most recent edition of YMM Magazine at the link below. What you cannot read, though, is the unwritten story of Jeremy and his parents, forever imprinted on my heart when they gave me the honour of not only telling me his story but allowing me to share it with others. To say I am grateful is far too little - I am so very truly honoured to know Brian and Gail, and through them to know a young man who lived the kind of life I embrace: no regrets, and no excuses.

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