Last night I had a tearful text conversation with my boss. If you know Steve at all, you know that really isn’t abnormal. He may play the part of the hard-assed boss, but he is one of the kindest, soft hearted and loving people I know.
Not only was Connor my son, he was an employee of S Keyes Electric, Inc. First as a summer employee, then as a co-op employee through FCTS. He loved working for Steve, learned things in the real world that even FCTS Shop Class couldn’t teach him. He honed his work ethic, how to deal with customers and how to correctly do paperwork.
On the other side I think he taught us quite a bit too. He was serious about doing a good job and learning all he could about the trade. But he also had other loves in his life. Baseball, which during the season he would have to leave early for practice and games, and Jordan. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind how much he adored her, he would move heaven and earth for her. What has come to a surprise to me is how much my guys knew that he loved his mom. At the end of each work day, Connor would come into my office, empty my trash, sometimes bring me a soda, fill me in on his plans for the evening. Was he going home, or to Jordan’s, or maybe to Rusty’s to work on his car. Then before he left he would say “gotta go, love you mom.” My response was always “love you to the moon and back Connor, be safe.” He would roll his eyes at me, with the be safe thing and then out the door he would go.
In a lot of ways it was as hard for me to go back to work as it was to stay home surrounded by all his things. At my office he was there too, his time sheets, his paperwork, the “CP ornament” that he made out of copper when he was exploring plumbing that hangs on my wall. He is literally everywhere I turn.
His loss has taught us all that life is full of accidents, both good and bad. Sometimes we get second chances and sometimes we are one and done. Before this I always lived by the motto “there is no such thing as an accident.” It is something that my Dad always drilled into us, there was always something that was done to cause it. But for this I just have to accept the accident and let it be.
When I was in my early 20s I didn’t want children, now I can’t imagine my life without either Kyle or Connor. Children are unconditional love, even when they are being shitheads. They are proof that you can do something right, you can have a positive impact on this world.
I look at Kyle and see the strong, independent, hardworking young man we raised, and think we did good. I just wish that the world was able to experience Connor for more than 17 years, because I’m sure we did good with him too.