Monday, March 25, 2013

If This Were The Last Day Of My Life

Brittany Wardle, 21, & Meagan Lofthouse, 19
Rest in Peace, Never Forgotten

March 24, 2013

This afternoon I received the terrible news that two beautiful young women, Meagan Lofthouse, 19, and Brittany Wardle, 21, both of Tillsonburg, were killed in a tragic car accident around ten o'clock last night. Two lives wiped out practically at the beginning of their lives. It seems so very wrong. While I didn't know Meagan nor Brittany, I have ties to their families, and even that hits close to home. My thoughts are with their families today. 

Such tragedies make us think of our mortality, and what we would do if we were to receive a legitimate message tomorrow morning telling us that this was our last day on Earth.  People often mention things that they wish they could have done on a more regular basis:
  • Tell their friends and family that they love them.
  • Screw the diet and eat as much chocolate as they could.
  • To not be afraid of things that may have kept them down in life.
  • To have no regrets.
Still others go for the extravagant:
  • Skydiving (so cliche).
  • Buy a sportscar.
  • Sleep with as many people as possible.
What would I do if I got a text in the morning from the Universe telling me it was my last day? I was going to write that I wouldn't do much differently than I already do, but that wouldn't be entirely true. 
  • I would kiss that stranger that I've wanted to kiss for a long time.
  • I would eat a tonne of gelata in Uptown Waterloo with a good friend and we'd walk through Waterloo Park and say hi to the ducks and geese.
  • I would have a jam session with my close friend Jay; we'd drink red wine, make religiously inappropriate jokes, and sing and play. 
  • I'd gather close friends and family to my favourite pub (the Duke of Richmond in Toronto) to laugh and drink and cry.
  • I'd gather once more with my church family.
  • I'd also take an hour-long walk (at most) by myself in nature to take it all in and give thanks. It wouldn't be any longer than an hour because I am already too introspective.
In general I like to think that I live in a way that already blesses others, so I wouldn't have to run around trying to make amends with lots of people in my final hours. And it would be up to other people to decide how I'd be remembered. Was I the contemplative mystic or the guy with the odd sense of humour who always used puns? Was I both?  There are so many facets to our lives. I think we have to honour our brightness and our "darkness."

And I'm sure there were many facets to Meagan and Brittany's lives. Tonight I honour both of them. There will never quite be another of either of them.

Mark Andrew Alward