Reminiscing back to last year. Thinking of all that had already happened by this time and all that was yet to come. Doubting that I will ever truly understand how I had the strength to walk that day let alone stand up and say these words:
Oh my sweet baby girl. You were the joy of my heart and I long to hear your gentle chatter and laughter as I hold you in my arms. I cannot fathom how long that I have to wait to see you again. And my gracious husband, you brought out some of the best in me and loved me knowing all my short comings. I cannot believe you are gone. I was the lucky one.
I wanted to speak today so that people could understand the love that Colin had for his family, friends, and students.
Family time, with his own kids or extended family, was a priority for him. And he loved us with a willingness be honest and real. There were many sacrifices that most of us will never know that he made for our happiness. Even times when I felt frustrated and overwhelmed with his extracurricular commitments, I had NO doubts about his devotion and love for me and our kids.
I remember discussing one night how our lives would change if we won the lottery and he said “Well, I would still want to teach and coach just maybe a little less.”
It became a joke that when I caught him quiet I would guess if he was thinking about school, his basketball team, or the Calgary Flames.
He truly had found a career that he was made for. Not only was he naturally gifted as a teacher and coach, but his heart was burdened for the lives of every child he came in contact with. For me it was impossible to be around Colin long enough and not become passionate about what he was passionate about. I now know that he not only changed my life but countless others.
Lastly, I want to talk about his greatest love. No, not the Calgary Flames, but his saviour Jesus Christ. But to understand that I have to touch on something that is a little taboo at funerals, and that is my husbands struggles and weaknesses. Not that I want to speak ill of him, but for everything that we can learn through his success I believe even more can be learnt through his faults.
One of Colin’s biggest struggles was always feeling like he wasn’t enough. As a young boy he asked Jesus into his heart, and he told me how every time he screwed up he would feel so much shame and fear that he was sure he wasn’t saved. So he would pray again. Over and over, so much so Colin once told me he could never remember how many times he had been “saved”. His shame would drive him far away from God, yet he always yearned to make that relationship right so he would try so hard to be good and do right.
In the last few years Colin had the opportunity to be freed of this lie as he began to understand the truth of Gods love for him. He began to understand that God cared nothing for what Colin was doing or not doing for Him but more for Colin’s heart. He felt the burden of perfection and doing good lifting. He learned that on his own he was not able to live that perfect life, and that he did not have enough strength and ability. But because of who lived inside of him he was free from that burden.
The peace and joy that this gave him was contagious. As he would sit and read the bible to our boys, they loved listening to him tell about the greatness of his God. As it encouraged me to spend more time in the Word and more time investing into relationships with others.
Because of the perfect love of God within Colin he was able to love me, and love his children, and love his family and love his friends, and love you! That is what made him be the man he was. That was the source of all his strength and compassion, and joy, and peace.
And I can say with absolute certainty that, this is what he would want you to remember:
There is no fear in love;but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
That and Go Flames Go!
I will see you again my loves. Of that I am certain.