A Humboldt couple's letter to their late son, Evan Thomas - Macleans.ca

A Humboldt couple’s letter to their late son, Evan Thomas

‘You are everywhere. Your room, your couch. Your marks on the wall we used to measure when you were growing. We need to find a new place to live.’

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Laurie and Scott Thomas pose with a painting of their late son, Evan, in their Saskatoon home. (Photograph by Mark Taylor)

Scott and Laurie Thomas were asked to write a victim impact statement about the death of their son, Evan, who was one of 16 people killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Instead, the couple wrote a letter to Evan, which Scott read aloud in court on Monday at the sentencing hearing for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the truck driver convicted of dangerous of driving causing death in the tragedy. A transcript of the Thomas’s letter appears below:

Hi Son, it’s Dad. 

Mom, Jo and I wanted to write a letter to you to read at the trial of the man who has plead guilty to killing you and your teammates and injuring your buddies. We have struggled for weeks to write something down and in the end we thought we could just write you a letter. God, we miss you. We miss you every waking moment of every day. We miss your smile, we miss your laugh. We miss everything about you.  Your presence, your energy and your patience. This is nine months after the accident and it still doesn’t feel real. Every day your mom waits for you to come through the door looking for her to make you a pot of Kraft Dinner. 

We went to Orlando for Christmas. This was the year we would have been at Grandma’s cabin. We just could not be there without you. We could not bare the thought of cleaning a spot on the ice for our shinny games, of starting the bonfire without you.  We couldn’t sit at the table and play hours of Kaiser and award the belt without you there. We went back to the same places we were at the Christmas after Grandpa E died. Took some of the same pictures. We missed you there too.  Everywhere we go we miss you. 

Your buddies came by before Christmas. Tyson, Tye, Rhett, Evan, Brodes. They brought you a signed baseball bat that Brodes used in his playoffs at school. They stayed for two hours. Mom took them downstairs to your room and went through old pictures. Everybody cried and then laughed lots to remembering the times you all had. Brodes is pretty messed up. He got a nice tattoo on his shoulder to remember you. Taz is having a real hard time. His dad texted last week and said he came home from the bar bawling, just beside himself missing you.

Jo just finished her finals. She is trying real hard to be a good student like you. You would be proud of her. I know you are. She doesn’t have a mark below 95. She can’t wait to start university in a year and a half. I know you guys planned to start it together once you were done playing with the Broncos. You guys would have had a ton of fun going to school together. Mom and I can’t wait for her to bring a boyfriend home in college. We know he is going to be so much like you. Jordyn misses you so much. It is so hard for mom and I to watch her try to find her way in the world when all she wants to do is reach out to you for help and guidance. You were so patient and loving with her. We are trying our best to take care of her as you would have.

Mom and I cry everyday. I had a good cry the other day when I saw an old clip of Toy Story. It was the part where Buzz showed up in Woody’s room for the first time and Buzz was trying to convince everyone he could fly. I remember how much you loved Woody.  You were so much like him. A kind leader, always looking out for everyone else. Kind of goofy. We watched Toy Story so many times when you were little I bet I could still recite every line.

We are moving. We bought a new house. We have struggled since the accident to figure out how we can move forward without you.  Most nights either Jo or mom end up sleeping in your bed. I don’t think we can stay there anymore. You are everywhere. Your room, your couch. Your gaming TV downstairs. Your marks on the wall we used to measure when you were growing. The fridge that you used to walk up to every morning and run your finger from the top of your head to the top of the fridge to see if you had grown taller than the fridge yet. We need to find a new place to live.

Jo and I kept going back to a house every time it had an open house. Every time we went there we couldn’t believe it was still for sale. Finally, just before Christmas we decided to buy it. We will take all your stuff with us. It has some nice big walls where we can hang all your pictures, jerseys, sticks, bats.

We almost have your memorial trust set up. We are going to have a big hockey game and social on April 13 to celebrate your life. A lot of the boys are coming. Chanz and Mo; Banker and Tye. I think all your Thomas cousins are coming to play to. We hope to continue to raise money to fund all three of the scholarships in your name. I know how much of an impact you would have made on this earth and how many people you would have helped if you would have had the chance to grow up. Hopefully this way we can give a whole bunch of young people a good start in their lives. I know its not the same as having you on this earth but we think this is the best we can do.

I could go on and on Son. I should probably wrap things up as I know there are a lot of people here that need to speak today. This tragedy has changed us all forever. I spoke at your memorial service about how all your souls exploded across the earth in the aftermath of the accident. How you, Schatzy, Parker, Jacob, Jaxon, Adam, Logan H., Conner, Stephen, Logan B., Darcy, Glen, Brody, Mark, Tyler and of course Dayna flew across the landscape to put a little piece of your hearts into the hearts of people across the world. I am more convinced than ever that you all are doing the best you can where you are to make this world a better place.  All us families grieve together everyday. We will for the rest of our lives. Mom, Jo and I miss you so much. We love you with all our hearts.

One of the things I have read is that when parents lose a child all of a sudden their fear of dying themselves ceases to exist. That when a parent realizes that their child can be wiped off the face of the Earth in a breath they realize that if their child can die, then so can they.  Son I can say that is true.  I no longer am afraid to die as I have to believe that I will meet you somewhere on the other side.

Rest in peace son

 ***

Evan, it is Mom. Dad sent this to me yesterday while I was traveling home from Toronto. Your father has been so strong and an amazing spokesperson in the face of this tragedy but we three are so torn without you. There are days I lie on your bed and smell your clothes.  Last week, Jo and Dad had practice. I opened your suitcase (which I can’t unpack) and broke down.. My anxiety is high when I worry who is taking care of you, because it was always Dad and me. I know you are at peace now but it doesn’t stop the pain of missing you my boy … and as Dad says you will be forever in our hearts. I love you so much.

Mama bear

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