"You have managed to permanently mark a place in so many people's hearts all over the world, people who don't even know you" - from Natasha Crisp's letter to her younger brother
Last night, every major Ontario-wide evening newscast - CBC, CTV, Global - all featured the report of Brandon's service as their leading/top news story for the day. Even the national newscasts made mention of the story. The Toronto Sun home page added a special tab titled "Brandon Crisp" between its News, Entertainment, and Sports sections. It is truly incredible to think that Brandon's story has truly touched the hearts of so many. The new Facebook memorial group (much more closely administered now), again features over 16,000 members, and almost 2000 'wall posts' of sympathy and remembrance.
What gifts are there to be taken away from Brandon's story? Certainly we all need constant reminders of how precious life is, and how easily it can be taken away. Parents are hugging their kids just a little bit tighter, and re-evaluating some of their priorities in life. As one of Brandon's schoolmates said after the service, "It's almost like a wake-up call to be more appreciative of your family... now you see what parents go through." Brandon's story also tells us about the good in people - volunteering in the search, supportive of the family, an entire community in mourning. Yes, this is not the first nor will it be the last story to teach us these things, but these are lessons we constantly need to be reminded of.
It's hard to imagine a better messenger than Brandon Crisp to bring these important gifts to the rest of us that he left behind.