The recent death of Steve Dodd has saddened me. He lived two houses down from me for much of elementary and high school. I remember playing after school with Steve, his brother Robin, and Stephen Wright. We jumped on the trampoline, wrestled, wondered through the gully between our houses and our school Harold Bishop Elementary.
The innocence of our childhood is a striking contrast to how he died. He was shot in the head Friday, February 27, 2009. He died on March 6. Unfortunately, this in not an isolated tragedy. We have lost many to drugs, alcohol, drunk-driving, and terrible violence.
I have spoken to some of you in depth, about the troubles we face. Some of us have beaten addictions to cocaine, crack, crystal meth, alcoholism. Some of us have been to jail, others imprison themselves in depression. Some still fight these battles. We are victims of abuse and neglect, and sometimes we abuse and neglect ourselves. And there is always the temptation of violence and revenge.
The volume and intensity of the challenges we face, make me grow tired of the baby-boom generation claiming that only they have the solutions to the problems they never faced. There were no gangs at their schools. No AIDS, crack, or meth. The relative cost of a home today is 5-10 times higher than it was when our parents were our age, and they didn’t need a $50,000 dollar education to buy one. Yet, our pornstar/rockstar culture demands that we live a life of riches and reckless abandon.
With all these challenges facing our generation, are we listening to what Steve Dodd says to us in his absence? Are we listening to the memory of Johan Vanloo? Are we listening to those around us that we have lost?
If we listened, we would hear them ask, “When we draw a line between courage and fear, love and hate, peace or war, on what side shall we stand if we are to be happy?” I feel great love for those that leave such a gift for us.
Our lives are difficult. As someone who has lost many battles to many demons, I pledge to not judge you for your faults, since I share many of them with you. Whatever challenges you face, know that I am here to listen, and to help in any way I can. firstname.lastname@example.org
The service will be on Friday, March 13 at 2:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, 10460 – 139th Street, Surrey, BC.
Leave your thoughts and messages for Steve and the Dodd family here.