Tragedy struck my world this week. My friends’ only son died when a bolt of lightning in a freak act of nature struck him in Venice Beach, CA while he was swimming and enjoying the last days of summer before starting school at USC in the fall. I’m trying to make sense of this and mourn the loss of such a wonderful young man whose future seemed so bright. I suffer the pain of knowing the difficulty and heartache his parents will suffer in the days ahead and don’t even know where to begin to help ease their suffering.
I’ve thought much about this young man. He was special. He had the most welcoming smile I’ve ever known and it brightened your day every time you saw him. He was only 20, but in a day and age when many youth are self-absorbed and harbor a lot of angst, he was always friendly, and asked how you were doing. If he had cares in the world that tortured or concerned him, you didn’t know it. He noticed if you needed help and was always willing to give a hand. I told his parents many times that I had never met such an engaging, sincere, thoughtful, sweet, caring individual. They had much to be proud of.
In the moments of wondering what I can take from this senseless tragedy, I hope that I will honor his memory and remember to cherish every moment. I hope that I will remember to tell everyone I know how much they mean to me and the difference they have made in my life. I hope that I will be kinder, more thoughtful, and more aware of others and their needs. I hope that I will be friendly to everyone, not just those in my close circle. I hope that I will brighten the day of those I come in contact with. I hope that I will become a better person. I hope that I will never forget the impact this young man made on me. I hope that we can all find something positive from this tragedy.