People can come in and out of your life so quickly, but the best ones always make a lasting impression. My friend Gareth was someone I worked with for eight months before he moved to Ontario and onto great, and grand adventures all over the world. This picture is of him on top of a train riding through Zambia when he worked in Africa this past summer.
Gareth always encouraged me to do the things I wanted, even if he wasn’t sure that they would really work out. He was incredibly patient, and I only ever saw him angry once. But we were all sort of frustrated then and I’m not really sure it counts if everyone was angry. He believed in me when no one else did, and when I had lost faith in my abilities. He always knew when to take a deep breath and take a step back and relax, but even then it felt like he was moving forward.
Gareth died this past Saturday. He was walking over a railway bridge and fell through a wooden slat. He was going to graduate this spring. He leaves behind hundreds of people who loved him, worked with him and who were inadvertently touched by his warm smile. My thoughts will be with his family and his girlfriend tonight and forever as they struggle through living life without Gareth physically with them.
The Heart of Rwanda by Gareth Coombes
The Heart of Rwanda tore through my being
an emotion swept over the hills and my soul contracted.
My mind honed in on one single source that wept for so little joy
that remembered so much lost.
My soul touched this other yet only as an observer
feeling his presence without him ever knowing mine.
Rhythmic cords in my mind connecting memories unearned;
hearing a past through the emotions of a lost soul.
My life swept away for but only this single moment
finite in my mind and yet infinite in my heart.
a metric of one or one million it makes no matter.
It was love, it was remorse.
It was Rwanda.