Iâ€™m not sure exactly how long ago it was, but Iâ€™m guessing it was at least three years ago, that a young man on Bowen Island was killed while riding his skateboard behind a car. The details of this tragedy have never been clear to me, but I do know two things. 1. Lance had worked for us the week prior to his death and was a vibrant young man with dreams. 2. Alcohol was involved.
If you drive toward the tacky shop, or The Knick Knack Nook as some call it, on the right side of the road, stands a shrine to Lance.
It was put up in the location of his death just days after he died and has been there ever since. The shrine is not small. Work boots, a skateboard, a water can, his climbing belt, and a lot of other things that were either important to Lance, or had some significance to those who loved him.
In some ways it’s beautiful, in another, it looks like road side clutter. No one has suggested it be moved or dismantled. I do know I remember Lance every time I pass it.
Shrines are everywhere if we look, some are simple, some more complicated. All serve so that we remember.
Then there are the serendipitous shrines. The kind that come out of the blue and hit our heart. Like when I see a red cardinal, I think of Jeanette Todd, a rhinoceros brings to mind Linda Brackett.
A song by Eva Cassidy makes me remember Janice Wood, red cowboy boots remind me of Jan Daly. Acupuncture needles – Roger, brown labs – Doug.
I get a flash of my mom, when I look in the mirror and see her face looking back at me. A race track or fine piece of carpentry reminds me of Jack, and every time I cut a banana with a spoon I remember my grandma.
Today, is Tomiâ€™s funeral. My thoughts are with Ken, Ron, Dallas and Randy. And as time passes Iâ€™m pretty sure every time I see someone with a pretty scarf around their neck â€” Iâ€™ll think of Tomi and remember.