Thursday, October 04, 2007

Only the Good Die Young

Canaan's MomI never met Canaan Miller, but after spending only a few minutes with his friends and family, I really wish I had. Fresh out of high school, the grinning kid with the oversized 'fro was soaking up the last of his childhood. Skateboards, playing the drums, volunteering; these are the things Canaan did in the tiny town of Denton - even as he quietly weighed the scholarships in his pocket. For no, he worked. He was in the middle of a landscaping job on that day back in August, when he briefly stiffened before going suddenly limp. Doctors still aren't sure exactly why - but they Say Canaan most likely died before his body ever hit the ground.

I scarcely knew any of this yesterday when I met Canaan's mother. All I knew is a Davidson County woman wanted to honor her fallen offspring by bringing a skateboard park to distant Denton. Upon arriving, I had no more emotional investment than an overwhelming desire to get done early. But then Jennifer Miller produced a box of pictures, and her dead son's story came alive. A happy, handsome face winked at my viewfinder; a freewheeling bohemian who'd figured out life early. I could only nod quietly as the mother of four fought to process her loss. Thinking of my own kids, I sifted through now priceless photos and, for not the first time in my career, prayed I'd forever remain on this side of the victim's gallery.

Selfish? You bet - but we all gotta get through our day. Good luck on yours.


Johnny D in Miami said...


You still have heart.

Don't ever lose it.

It's what makes you good at what you do...both here and with the camera on your shoulder.

Keep being honest with yourself and us.

It's why I keep coming back to read your thoughts.

Best to you, as always.

Anonymous said...

It was nice you felt more when you started to listen to Canaans story. He was a bright person with his whole life in front of him. He could of done so much more and become even bigger in is dream of drumming. Thank you for doing this on my brother.