My computer wallpaper consists of a photo featuring two hockey players: Kris Letang and Luc Bourdon. Kris’ arm is draped around Luc’s shoulders. They are both grabbing the handles of a trophy cup. Medals hang from around their necks. Luc’s face is split in a wide, joyful grin. Kris is smirking, his free hand raised to show the “we’re number one” gesture. It’s a jubilant moment frozen forever in time. The only things on these two young men’s minds were their great accomplishment, and quite possibly, where they would go celebrate afterward.

I don’t know when it was taken. I’m going to guess that it was a tournament that Team Canada won because Kris is wearing a Team Canada hat. We all know that Kris went on to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins and Luc joined the Vancouver Canucks. We also know that Luc died in a motorcycle accident near his home in New Brunswick last month.

Suddenly, young and carefree collided with painful loss and responsibility. Kris talked about how excited Luc had been to ride his motorcycle, which he had bought just two weeks before his death. In a press conference just hours after learning of his friend’s death, Kris insisted that Luc knew the dangers and knew to be careful. (The RCMP does believe that rain made the road slippery to handle and call the collision a terrible accident.) And the hockey world watched a young man struggle to understand just what had happened. At this moment, he wasn’t an NHL star on a team that was making a run for the Stanley Cup. He was just a young man trying to come to terms with a heartbreaking fact: that his good friend, with whom he had planned to vacation this summer, was gone. Just like that.

The tributes I’ve read about Luc describe a man with tremendous hockey talent and a tremendous heart. Everyone said he loved living and lived to the fullest. He contributed on the ice and off. He was friendly and enjoyed everything about being an NHL player, from playing with the likes of Trevor Linden, to meeting fans. The future only looked brighter for this 21 year old. And then it was gone.

And so, I come back to that photo, that moment frozen in time. My son asks me why I have it as my wallpaper. I explain. I keep that photo as a lesson to always LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

Celebrate every victory as though it is your first… and last.

Never take a friend… or yourself for granted.

Because you never know when it will all go away.

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