I'm Back...And It's All Small Stuff
By buzzcollins79111660, Jul 25 2018 07:02PM
Wow...I see the last time I updated my blog was April 3 of last year. The fact of the matter is that although I've "kept up appearances" as far as performing goes since then, my life got derailed just over 4 weeks later when my 15 year old son, Garrett, was killed in an accident at a local park . I won't elaborate too much, but an unanchored soccer net fell over on him; striking him in the head.
Much has happened since then. My wife and I have lobbied the provincial government to make it mandatory for all mobile soccer nets to be safely anchored. "Garrett's Legacy Act" is very close to becoming an actual law.
We have also established an annual music festival called "GarrettFest" which generates funds for a memorial scholarship in his name.
Losing your child is truly the epitome of every parent's worst nightmare. Over a year later, it continues to be a struggle; some days being easier than others while some are more of a challenge to get through. However, if there's one tangible way that this experience has changed me, it's from the amount of perpsective I gained within moments on the night of May 12th, 2017.
I experienced a moment of clarity like none other. What I realized at the most unexpected moment was that every issue I ever thought was a problem; wasn't. Everything that had previously caused me stress or other grief was nothing. It was nothing, because it all had the potential for resolve depending on how badly I wanted it. This, however, the loss of my son, had none.
Ever since that day, there is truly nothing that really rattles me anymore. Dr. Richard Carlson wrote a book I'm sure you've heard of, "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff - And It's All Small Stuff". I've never read it myself, but that title alone pretty much sums up what I realized that night just a little more than a year ago.
The next time you find yourself getting wound up about something; that person who clearly has 12 items in the 8-items-or-less check out lane, the guy who just cut you off in traffic without signalling, the boss that isn't giving you proper recognition, the sibling who you haven't talked to in years - whatever it is - I challenge you to let it go. Let it go or do what you need to do to resolve it. It's your choice. I'm not promising that it's easy. Some times resolve requires self discipline, humility, self control, a structured plan, etc. but you have the power to decide what or who is going to affect your day.
I can't bring my son back, and the heartache is unbearable at times, but I can at least allow that terrible loss be the catalyst for a new found perspective that allows me to have clarity regarding those things that really matter.
If my loss can be your gain today, think about the words I've just shared. Don't let your circumstances decide your mindset. Rather, allow your mindset to effectively address your cirumstances.
The incredible irony, is that when I think of anyone who seemed to have had this mindset philosophy already figured out, it was my son Garrett.
I am glad you are writing again.
I read "Don't sweat the smal stuff" in high school. Maybe it is time I pick it up again.
Words to live by.
I hope all of your efforts, despite your experience, help to prevent anything like this from happening to someone else. I'm sure Garrett is very proud of you.
Thank you for the inspiration and the words that will make the difference in so many lives. Thank you for writing again, you have the ability to touch ones soul. Thank you for allowing us the chance to in some little way to honour Garrett by making the world a better place. All the love in the world to you and your whole family
Thank you for sharing your story I hope everyone reads it and stops to “smell the roses” so to speak!
Im so sorry. I remember this well and applaud you and your wife for using this loss to make changes that will keep others safe. Your words are chillingly familiar- the clarity you describe and that sudden realization that all that other stuff doesn't matter. My husband was responding to a fire in Amherstview as a vol firefighter and lost his life July 16 2016. I felt exactly as you described and yet as a mother I have to agree the only loss more heartbreaking and gut wrenching is the loss of a child. Like you, I would like to have a law put in place to make cages around standpipes in public buildings and apartments. The one at the apartment where my husband died was clogged with debris and they ran out of water. Perhaps I could talk to you in private one day to pick your brain re how to get such a motion going. I commend you on your good work and what a wonderful way to honour the memory of your son.
Growing up & living in Napanee my entire life, I know how hard this hit the town...It's unbelievably the worst pain...I am glad you & you're wife have chosen to survive this painful experience... I am positive Garrett must be smiling from heaven as his law is almost passed...What a wonderful way to celebrate his life in giving a gift to children to continue in education... Sometimes from the deepest tradegy comes the greatest gifts...Time can't take away all your pain...The beautiful memories will always remain...One day, I pray you will both be smiling & even laughing at something that reminds you of Garrett... God Bless you & keep you...