A Legacy of Love

The world lost a bright light two weeks ago.  A twenty-four year old young man who changed the world in the short time he was here.
Blair was a young man who grew up with my daughter Amanda.  We come from a small town of about 7000 people and their class graduated about 70 kids.  This made for a close knit community not only for the kids but for the parents as well.
Blair was a soccer and baseball player, played the trumpet, sang in an acappella group in college and was a virtuoso on the piano.  But I remember him best as a member, along with my daughter, on our school’s championship swim team.
I fondly remember the swim meets, team dinners and especially the team parties we held in our basement.  The kids would come over right after practice and play pool & ping pong, eat pizza, watch movies and laugh.  Our basement would smell of chlorine and be filled with residual joy for days after.
During regular season, the boys on the team had a tradition of growing their hair out.  Then when sectionals came, there would be a “shave” party.  That’s where everyone would gather and the boys would shave their heads.  All this in the hopes to “shave” seconds off their best time.
Blair was known for his long, flowing main of red hair and his piercing blue eyes.  To me, it just seemed unnatural for him to be walking around bald.  
Blair was beginning his life having graduated from college and now working at an  architectural firm in Washington DC.  He was making a difference in the world.
His father told stories of Blair’s kindness and generosity and his sense of humor.  Stories that we would never have known had this tragedy not occurred.
When my son, Spencer, heard of Blair’s death, he said he was so sorry as he always knew him to be a good person.  Not one person could remember him saying a bad thing about someone else.
After Blair’s funeral and many tears, my daughter and I sat alone quietly trying to make sense of this loss to the world.  I told her quite simply that there is no answer to the question “why.” 
She was grateful for all of the goodness and kindness that Blair had brought to so many lives.  She remarked that it was such a loss for those whose lives he would have impacted in the future.  We thought that life would have been so much better for so many if Blair were still here and we mourned that loss as well.
We decided that if each of us were just a little more kind, compassionate and generous maybe we could honor Blair and make the world a little bit better place.  Maybe not the world it would have been if Blair was here but a better place nonetheless.
So I challenge all of us, in honor of those we’ve lost, to be a little kinder, a little more compassionate and generous with each other.  This won’t bring back those we’ve lost or make up for the goodness they would have brought but it may inspire others to do so as well.  In my opinion, this is Blair’s legacy.

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