We lost our beloved McQueen. Sadly, accidentally, in the deep dark night. No teen suicide, drugs, or foul play involved. Perhaps a concussion from a stupid bike stunt the week before played a part. Nuff said. Giving the family the privacy that celebrities beg for.
He was so loved by the entire town. We had an event on Sunday. It started with a few kids wanting to have hot dogs and take a bike ride in the park in his memory...and ended with a community sharing their love and memories on a lovely Sunday afternoon.
When it was time for speakers, "Mr. T," his seven year old brother spoke first. "I love my brother." I didn't hear the rest because my heart was already broken. And stupidly for me, I was trying to get rid of a push pin that had punctured one of Mr. T's crocs. Earlier he told me I should not throw it away, that we needed to save it to use again (little mr. reuse or recycle) so when he got up to speak I went to pin it on a board. Stupid me. I wished I had not paid attention to Mr. T's orders, but listened to his words about his brother instead. But I did pay attention during the worst, hardest, most difficult time. I held Mr. T as he cried at 3:30 am on the night his brother died, while his parents had to deal with their worst nightmare.
Hello English teachers, I was looking for synonyms for worst so as not to seem repetitive but I can tell you right now there is nothing worse than worst. And as bad as my worst feels, it is no where near what his parents' worst is.
My heart was broken yet again when Mr. T told me, "I don't want to be an only child." I told him that McQueen would always be his brother. And Frank and Ernest have vowed to always be there for him. There's also a whole community of big brothers and sisters.
McQueen was the town mascot. Everyone knew him. His orthodontist reminisced that thinking about his future, she could see him as the mayor. He was a constant presence on his bike. Shopkeepers would wave as he went by. I know from personal experience, if I saw him on his bike I waved and went home smiling.
Many spoke about his love of bikes. But what about the Volkswagens? That was shared by Mr. Rick, the school bus driver. Kids that didn't know him that well regretted their loss. One young man (thank you C.J.) composed and rapped his own tribute. Art students were grateful for his support of their beautiful chalk art projects. One of the bike shop dudes regretted he hadn't taken McQueen on a real trail ride, but we let him know that Ernest and McQueen had been on a real trail for their last ride together 2 weeks ago. They were looking forward to more rides. Another anecdote: at freshman orientation when asked about their favorite food, our sweet guy immediately yelled out, "CANDY!!!"
I leave you with a parade of pictures of a dear spirit. I think I might possibly believe in heaven if there was a chance I could see him there again.
Say cheese? Cause we've just eaten a cheesy pizza?
They're not couch potatoes. They're couch sweetie patooties.
This is unusually pensive.
What is in that sand? Treasure?
The end of the awesomest water battle ever.
Crying.... And missing him. Forever and ever, we love you McQueen.