I didnt really know him, never met him in person, didnt even know his name. But through his online posts on a fishing bulletin board I frequent, I did come to know him as, “Bigstick”. From the words and pictures he posted I began to form a picture of him. A big, strong man. Once a logger, falling trees larger in diameter than he was tall. An avid hunter and fisherman, that seemed to be his real passion. The outdoors of Alaska his playground, and he does reap the harvest from all the bounty it provides. Many, many pictures of all the game he had taken….and it was copious, have I seen. A master of the wood, ocean, lake and stream, so it would seem, a cunning hunter and fisherman. A man of strong opinion, not shy to voice his to the online crowd. I’m sure just as quick in person. From what I read of those who met him, a funny man, a kind and generous man. And a father. Watching his Youtube video’s as he taught his son how to “break in” a new Leupold scope by throwing it into the brush, “Throw that sumbitch” he coached “giv’er hell!”.
In my minds eye he is a towering individual, like Paul Bunyan, fu-manchu mustache included. Strong, overpowering, capable, living life in his own fast lane, a life to its fullest never wasting a second of any day. And then one day I logged in to my computer and read this from him……
They say time heals all wounds and perhaps for the first time in my Life,I’m much looking forward to time hurrying along and sorta passing me by. My head is screwed on straight,but the last few days are easily the most difficult I’ve known.
Long story short,for reasons known only him and just a short day before he was going to schlep away to Boot Camp,our oldest made the first and only bad decision of his 18yrs and ended his life. This event was/is soooooo out of character to his mild mannerisms and warm heart,that I can’t begin to accurately communicate the magnitude of the surprise. That as applied to us here at the house,his running mates,team mates and the Community at large. Noone can make any sense of it,despite every single thought beating that path of reason,scouring for clues and drawing a collective blank.
And my heart sank. And it cried. This news from a man I do not know, nor have ever met has touched me deeply. I feel for him, for his family, for their loss. The hurt and the anguish he must feel, I cannot even begin to imagine. Nor do I ever want to know. I pray for him the strength to weather this most difficult storm.
And I pray I may never know such heartache myself. My two boys, my two men. Each so different, yet so alike. So full of life, their futures bright and long before them. My two men, my precious, beautiful boys. The most amazing thing I have ever done, or ever will do, is to be their father. And I thank my Father every day for the gift of these two boys he has entrusted to my care. And I pray that though they may encounter turbulence in their life’s journey, they will have the strength and the wisdom to endure and overcome. Lifes journey is wonderful, but not without hardship. Be strong my boys, my men……..you are a Child of Ben. And you are a Child of God. And we both love you, just the same.
Carpe diem, sieze the day. The time we have together is short, and precious. And oh so very, very sweet.
And Bigstick…….may God be with you, and give you peace. You will see your boy again, some day…..