Thursday, March 10, 2011


Sunday morning before going to the Zilker Kite Festival as is our annual family tradition, I got a horrendous email that our young friend Trevor Searle had passed away in a skateboarding accident Saturday afternoon. He was 18, just about to graduate, begin college, and serve a church mission.

While skateboarding down a long hill in a local subdivision, he was being towed by a car back up the hill, lost his balance, and hit his head on the pavement while not wearing his helmet.

Troy and I both taught Trevor in Sunday school for several years when he was 11-13, and despite our best efforts remained one of the only kids in the class who seemed to not only remember who we are but always struck up a conversation when he saw us. He was charismatic, fun loving, lived big and loved life, a spiritual and moral young man. As this photo taken by my friend Shawneen Williams clearly shows, he found a way to be a strong upstanding Christian and still have an amazing good time, and was a shining example of this to his friends.

I find the experience for me as a mother has been very telling of some parenting issues and expectations I didn't realize that I had and need to address. I haven't been able to speak with his parents yet, which is wonderful because they are surrounded by incredibly supportive family and close friends, so I have had an opportunity to look through my own lens and work through some emotions. I go between desperately hugging and cherishing my sweet children to anger at the power I have given them to hurt me. Yet with all light there must be darkness in order to know joy from pain, and coupled with our intense and desperate love for our children is the risk of crushing pain or loss.

Trevor honored his parents and his god by being an outstanding young man, and that is the most comforting thought at his loss. He packed more into his short life than many of us are able to do in a lifetime, yet we still grieve for the loss of him in our lives, for missing him, and for all the experiences he'll never enjoy.

This is such a difficult age to lose a child, on the brink of beginning his own life after years of careful preparation, and Trevor made such high quality choices there is no doubt his life would have become even better than most. In a moment of irresponsibility that he would warn us all against if he now could, he finds himself in another place with a new set of experiences and goals to set. We are certain he will fulfill his new obligations with excellence per his usual flavor. BLT, Be Like Trevor, is what all his friends and family are wearing on their crazy skater shoes, and that is the lesson he taught us. As his grandfather concluded at Trevor's funeral today, he would tell us to go and do likewise, my friends.

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