“A moment later Jonathan’s body wavered in the air, shimmering, and began to go transparent. “Don’t let them spread silly rumors about me, or make me a god. O.K., Fletch? I’m a seagull. I like to fly, maybe…”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
A few months ago, I heard a tragic announcement on the radio about a young local boy who had been run over and killed. Of course, my heart stopped as I thought of the boy, his family and friends.
Although we didn’t know them, the memories came back.
I hadn’t thought any further about this boy until ads for Australia’s Got Talent started appearing. Last night, Fletcher Pilon appeared on the show singing the song he’d written as a heartbreaking tribute to this young boy, who was his much-loved younger brother, Banjo… Infinite Child Infinite Child. Please listen to it. It will blow you away!
I know I wasn’t the only one whose heart stopped beating. Not only was there the anguish, there was the love. That, along with Fletcher’s courage performing such an emotional tribute on TV only three months after his brother’s death. You could really feel the love in the room during that performance, even when I replayed it on my laptop which was running too slow and kept cutting out. I could still discern that cry from the heart…from the very innermost chamber of his brother’s heart. It was heartbreaking and yet it was also incredibly uplifting, somehow transcending the grief, expressing his incredible love for his little brother. It was so incredibly beautiful!!!
Although we didn’t know the Pilon family, once upon a time, we did.
Over 20 years ago, a young boy from our Church was tragically run over and killed instantly on the last day of his first year at school. It was a horrific and absolutely chilling tragedy for everyone at our Church. I couldn’t even begin to fathom the depths of his parents’ grief. I still can’t.
I was filling in time browsing through the newspaper, while waiting to get a haircut. Suddenly, the horror set in when I saw his name on the front page. I didn’t recognise his face straight away because he was wearing his school uniform and looked so grown up. Well, at least grown up for a 5 or 6 year old. I’d known E. ever since he was born and Mum accompanied his Dad on the trumpet. Naturally, it was like a Mac truck had hit me in the head. Only a week beforehand, he’d been a shepherd in our Christmas play and I was angry with God: “Where were you when your shepherd crossed the road?” From where I was sitting, it looked like God had ducked out for a smoke or whatever else God does when he’s tired.
Although nothing could bring him back, a song was written in his honour and sung at his funeral and the Sydney Symphony orchestra played. What else could anybody do? Mum asked me to drop some flowers round after my haircut. She thought they’d appreciate a familiar face with the media there. I noticed them talking with our Pastor and I left the flowers on the steps and left. At that moment, I realised the enormity of what Pastors do and I’ve never forgotten. I found it hard enough just walking up the stairs but the Pastor and his wife were there.
I have never forgotten E. Never will.
On the last day of my son’s first year of school, we held a vigil at home for him and lit a single candle on a cupcake.
That afternoon, my friend’s toddler ran across the road in front of the school but thank goodness, made it to the other side.
My kids have done the very same thing over the years.
Some things will never make sense!
Love to the Pilon family and a standing ovation for Banjo’s incredible brother, Fletch. You’re such an inspiration! Thank you!
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