Ian was a neighbor and a friend to my kids who lived in Lake Elsinore. He was in high school when they first met him. Jim and his family even attended Ian's high school wrestiling matches. The family joined in block parties and a number of neighborhood activities.
Ian would have been 22 on April 21st. Which is the same birthdate as my sister, Karen, who was killed many years ago in a similar incident. They both had brain damage, were in comas, and eventually were allowed to leave this earth because the damage was too great to move on. Karen was taken off life support and expired on March 30, 1979, and her funeral was on April 6th. Ian passed earlier this week and his funeral will be the 2nd of April. She would have turned 25 that month.
Both too young. Both left this earth life with us wondering what they missed, and what we miss not having them here. Ian touched my family very intensely, and I believe his life, and his death will continue to touch people. I know specifically of a few who are searching for answers in faith for Ian and themselves. Ian sacrificed so often for people he loved, and in death he gave his kidneys and his liver. Another similarity to my sister is that she also gave of herself after death. In her case she gave her eyes and her kidneys. Both families knew that this is what they would WANT to do because that's the kind of people they were.
Apparently another similarity is that Karen and Ian were not innocent in the accidents that took them first into a coma, and then beyond the veil of this life. Karen was driving a shuttle bus at the Salt Lake City Airport, and though she was driving very slow and kept all of her passengers safe, she didn't hook her own seatbelt and when she was hit by a reckless driver she hit the steering wheel leading to her lung, heart, and brain damage. If she had buckled the seat belt she probably would have survived. Ian apparently stepped into the crosswalk before he had the green light and the other driver sped up to beat the yellow light hitting Ian.
In my job as an insurance agent I had the opportunity to talk to teenagers just as they got their licenses. One of the things I talked about, even using my sister's accident as a point, was that you always have to stay in the moment. Will we remember to learn from Ian and Karen to be patient and cautious? A moment made a difference in their lives and made a difference to all of us who love them?
I don't really believe in horoscopes but it was hard not to when I found that Ian and Karen were born on the same day. They had very similar character traits, and I believe and have faith that their spirits will continue to work and move forward on the other side of the veil. I'm grateful for that faith. When my sister died it was the first time my faith was tested. I knew then that I really did have faith in the things I hoped I believed. That same faith helps me with Ian's passing, and hopefully will help me express it to those who wonder "Why?"
Jimmy too. He was 8 years old when Aunt Karen passed away. The casket was open and I gave him the option of saying goodbye to her. He said wisely "It's okay mommy. That isn't Aunt Karen. It's just like a clam leaves the shell behind when he dies. That's just Aunt Karen's shell. She is still with us, and will always be watching over us." I know the loss of his good friend, Ian has been desperately difficult for him emotionally. But Jim understands that there is more. This isn't an end, it is just a new chapter. He will have the opportunity to feel his spirit everyday, and he will see his friend Ian another day. We all can.
Thanks to Hailey for her computer, and her pictures for this blog. Thanks Ian for being the person you have been, for making our lives better because we knew you.