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In Memory of Randy by Ann Arkes


How One Day Can Change Your Life

By Ann Arkes


April 16th, 2005 we had two RCMP officers knock on our door and
deliver the bad news that our 22 year old son Randy had been
killed in an ATV accident. The bottom dropped out of our world
right then.

Randy was one of those kids that had big dreams, wanted to design
and develop all sorts of inventions and was always on the move
both job wise and life wise.

As Tom, a friend of his, who did his eulogy put it, Randy had
more jobs in his short life than most of the old timers that are
around. He was a plumber, carpenter, roofer, snow plow truck
driver, electrician, chef and the list goes on and on.

But Randy had finally found his calling in life, he moved to a
small town called Longview, Alberta with the population of
approximately 500 and he discovered the volunteer fire
department.

Randy was a changed person, he now knew exactly what and how he
had to do, to make this dream come true and was taking training
courses he needed to make it happen.

Randy also had a little black lab puppy called Shadow who he had
started training with the hopes that she would be a search and
rescue dog. He finally had it all happening and the way he
wanted his life to go.

I guess you don't realize how lucky you are to live in a small
community but Randy was totally embraced by his fellow
firefighters, their families and the rest of the community.

They could never figure out why a young, single, good looking guy
would want to live in that size town, but Randy loved it, we'd
invite him to supper (10 minutes away), but he'd say I just don't
want to leave Longview mom, but thanks for the invitation.

(Randy had to drive by our home to get to his place though and if
it was supper time when he drove by he pretty much would always
stop then! I find I still make sure I take out enough meat
just in case he stops.)

Randy had discovered the joys of hunting, fishing and camping
with his best buddies. I guess the fish and wildlife are now a
bit safer as there is one less fisherman and hunter in the area.
But maybe that will change, I think the rest of the family will
take it up, just to be a little closer to him.

Once again I wish we could have done it with him and not for him
but hopefully others will learn from our mistakes.

You never realize how many people one young man aged 22 could
touch. At his memorial we had the honour guard as well as
representatives from all the surrounding fire departments, as
well as approximately 500 people.

Randy's memorial was everything he would have wanted it to be.
We were allowed to hold it at the firehall with hay bales and we
even had a beer for everyone to toast Randy with, he would have
loved to have been there, but I guess we know he was not only
there in spirit but in everyone's hearts.

Randy has left behind a lot of grief but he has also left behind
a lot more laugher, because as his three siblings have said, when
you think of Randy you just have to smile and laugh at the things
(some pretty dumb) he has done.

My boy has left a big hole in my heart that I hope will someday
fill in just a bit, but I thank God that he was put in our family
if only for a short while.

As a girlfriend said to me, Randy has caused a ripple effect from
his passing. There are a lot of parents telling their children
how much they love them, how proud they are of them and just
holding on tight to them.

Randy would be proud to know he had caused that kind of effect in
peoples lives!




Copyright © 2005-2008 All Rights Reserved Bev Swanson
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