July 10, 2006

Like a humid milkshake

July feels thick. June was humming and buzzing and crashing, now July is thick. This time of year is heavily connected to memory of recent years past which waves in and out in my head. May/June of last year was when I traveled to India for 5 weeks then Scotland for 1 – clearly a big deal. But Canada Day in particular has it sting. I love Canada, I love the fireworks more than any person above the age of majority should, but screw all that because you all know that fireworks are fantastic. No, Canada Day isn’t difficult because of anything to do with Canada, just a kind of temporal coincidence really.

In June of 2004 the Owen Sound Alliance had a rough time. There were four young people who died in freak incidents, all within a few weeks. First was a 13 year old (Jordan) in a moto-cross race who hit a tree. Next was a recent TWU graduate (Laura) who got sick one morning and didn’t make it to that night. Then a mountaineer (Mike) who got caught in an avalanche with his friend while hiking across the mountains in Alberta. Last was an evangelist who was in a car accident in Palestine during a summer missions trip.

Jordan was my little brother’s age. Laura and Mike were my older brother’s age. The evangelist, James, was my age. We knew them all, knew them well, knew that they were exceptional. Not just in the way that people seem exceptional when they’re not around anymore, but truly exceptional.

So now I’m thinking about it, even though it was 2 years ago, and in the passing of Canada Day July retains a thickness for me. On Canada Day 2004 was James visitation, the day before the funeral. That day I saw his brothers and sister and his parents, who have had an especially important impact on me particularly through high school. And then a bunch of us who ended up there went to a bar-b-que and created a memorial ceremony. That was the first annual James Pyles memorial Palestinian rock throwing contest. What happens is you get someone to stand an arbitrary distance away, then you hurl big rocks and them and they’re not supposed to move. One friend who willingly had rocks hurled at him was so good at it that he didn’t even move when a large rock came and nailed him in the foot. Go team.

Anyway, really a blur of thoughts and experiences. It all sounds sad, but it is truly hopeful since all four of our dear, young friends are with Jesus and we are the ones left here waiting.

Thus is the thickness of July.

1 comment:

Dinah said...

Oh, Beeth. You made me cry, that was so lovely.

I am so happy that we got to see fireworks AND wear glowsticks (even though it was a week after Canada Day).

I miss you already.