I remember the commitment I made so many years ago, the long walk up to the front of the church building on a Sunday evening to give him my life and my love always and to make him my King and the walk into the water and the words spoken over me by my dad and the going under and the coming up and the newness of the new life I’d heard about my whole life.

And how it wasn’t long before the new wasn’t new and I’d messed up and made mistakes and said sorry more times than I could count.

I remember standing at the front of the church, at the beginning of it all, you know, before God and everyone, and wanting to do it right. To love and honour and cherish, till death did us part, and feeling the sting of failure before the week next was barely spent.

I remember finally getting pregnant, after the long wait and the wondering if ever, and thinking this gift, this precious life,  would be treasured, every minute of every day. And then one day I lost my mind a little in the chaotic mess of real life and I spoke harsh words and the mommy promise was broken then and over and over through the three boys and the many years.

I wish I could remember better.

I wish the promises made at the beginnings were better remembered in the middles of it all.

I am thinking of a man today. A man I didn’t really know – had only just met, actually. His name was Trent and a few days ago we were singing together around a campfire on the shore of a beautiful northern Saskatchewan lake. He was leading songs for the kids, silly songs with silly, made-up verses, and then, in a blink, he was down.

This week Trent’s wife and two boys will attend his funeral. They will put their new lives into practice as best they can, and their friends and families will help them as best they can, and life will go on … as best it can.

And I will try to remember better.

I will try, after the cold water shock of seeing how quickly it can all change, to celebrate and cherish and love those to whom I’ve made these promises.

This is the gift I’ve been given by a man I barely knew. The reminder of what really matters and what really doesn’t.

Wishing peace and love and the hope of Jesus on the family of Trent Konecnik, today and in the days to come.