Words will be hard to find in this post and they may not make a lot of sense, but I dedicate this one to Charlie Bowins, a life gone too soon (March 3, 2015) who’s smile touched so many throughout the world.
I met Charlie years ago. There were a bunch of us skateboarding. That’s usually how we ended up hanging out, just a bunch of us skateboarding. Tomorrow will be that way again in honour of his life.
I’ll always remember McNabb, skateboarding the streets, him helping my son skate and just being kind to him, me telling him my son has his middle name and that he shares the same name as my Dad. Charlie. I remember one day sitting on our skateboards outside one sunny day at McNabb, talking about the trip he was taking to my home country the Philippines… and so many other conversations, that at the time seemed small.
I regret not going to visit him at McNabb more often even though he always put out the invitation to us. I wondered why I didn’t hear back from him when I finished painting my skateboard for aSymmetry, asking him if he knew anyone that would want it. I felt like a REALLY big idiot to discover later that week that the reason why I didn’t hear back from him was because he was gone.
Just like that. Suddenly and unexpectedly. What the fuck.
His passion for life was amazing. I remember how excited he was to visit my hometown Cebu, Philippines and he asked me where he should go. I told him that the skate community was huge there, what skate parks to visit and I told him of all the places he should see, things to eat and do.
He travelled everywhere doing exactly what he loved to do. It was genuinely inspiring.
I can’t say I knew him like I know some did, like his family did, like his brothers did, like his best friends did but I will remember him in these small memories.
And that’s what matters most.
Not any of our things. Not any of the money we spend. Not anything we buy. Not our careers. Not our rewards. Not any material thing. We spend so much time being busy. We spend so much time trying to fill our bank accounts. We spend so much time worrying. We spend so much time on our phones. Watching mindless T.V. And it is hard in a world that puts so much pressure on us being successful with material things, with how we look on the outside that we forget that none of it matters.
When we are gone, none of that will matter.
It will be only the time we have spent.
It will be how we made someone feel.
It will be the small memories that we share.
That is what the world will remember of us.
I am thankful for the reminder.
So to you Charlie, I will keep on my journey.
I will keep loving and helping others.
I will pack light, smile, love life and remember what matters most to me.
I will do everything that I love with no fear, while letting my light shine as hard and as bright as it can until I am part of the trees and oceans and I have taken to the skies just like you.