This short, painfully inadequate message is intended for the young girl whose father died on Sunday.
She may never read it, but we are putting this into the universe in hopes that its intended meaning somehow reaches her, and lifts her up in this time of unthinkable tragedy.
The family was together on Sunday — yes, Father’s Day — at Mill Creek park behind the airport when she slipped and fell into the water.
Kashif Sheikh, 46, went in after her, but could not get safely back to shore and drowned.
Onlookers pulled him from the water and tried CPR, but they could not revive him.
Ambulance crews arrived and were also unsuccessful.
We can only imagine this family’s pain, and we hope they understand just how much this community is sharing their grief.
This is so much more than just sending “thoughts and prayers.”
We here are fathers and mothers, ourselves, and we can tell you that your story will stay with us — and the readers of this newspaper — for a lifetime.
We also want this young girl to know that her father — and countless fathers and mothers around the world — would have jumped into that water a thousand times over to keep our children safe.
Her dad was no exception, and we think he would want her to know just how much he loved her and is proud of her.
We hope she can live her life knowing that he sacrificed himself so she could thrive.
Please, do not blame yourself. We hope to all that’s good in this world that she can recover as quickly as possible and go on to lead a complete and fulfilling life.
We hope you embrace all this world has to offer, and all the opportunities it presents.
Attack life, relish it and find your passions so you can pursue what you really love.
We think that is what your dad would say to you now, because it’s what we would say to our children.
Travel to faraway lands to take in glorious sites. Eat exotic foods in crowded markets. Listen to music that stirs your soul.
Find love, and share it with all your heart.
Of course, you will take your father’s memory with you wherever you go, and we can only hope that you will remember just how much he loved you.
To those that tried to save this man, we hope you know you are to be thanked.
It’s hard to predict just how we would react during times of tragedy, and you answered the best way possible.
This summer hasn’t started the way any of us would have wanted — not after COVID-19 and George Floyd — because another man drowned in Kal Lake on Sunday.
None of us need any more tragedies like this, not now, not ever. But they happen, and how we react is our only recourse.
To the young girl who lost her father, think of him as you soar through life, and thank him for the gifts he gave you. It’s all you can do, and it’s the best way to honour a dad’s love.
— Managing Editor David Trifunov