“Be the change that you want to see in the world”
Leo became a great inspiration to others, including his young friends and the not-so-young. Hundreds came out in cold winter weather to be at his Celebrations of Life. Those whose lives were touched by Leo are still talking about his positive influence on them. The tributes included here speak for themselves. Leo made full use of the short time that he had. He made a difference by being the difference. Through his thoughts, words, and actions, he made it clear that we can all make a difference, starting with ourselves.
He is challenging us to ask “Who am I and what am I here for?”
He is saying “You matter and you are here for a purpose.”
He is smiling and saying, “Be the best that you can be.”
Our lives are not guaranteed; we don’t know when our time is up. Smile, laugh, love, and be a gift to others. He did all of that.
He gives us Hope.
Through his own example, Leo showed us the power of a kind word, a warm smile, a listening ear, an honest compliment, and an act of caring – all of which changed the lives of those around him.
LEO INSPIRES US
Leo’s smile, his voice, his bright eyes, his vitality, his laughter, his music, his bear hugs, his brilliance, and his passion for life are always with us.
As parents, we miss Leo’s physical presence immensely. But our love for him and his love for us are more powerful than death. He has demonstrated that death cannot destroy us or separate us from those we love. Consciousness survives death. He has shown us that love never dies and we are forever grateful!
This has been a transformative journey for us. It has challenged us on all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. After Leo passed, we began to search for answers. Leo inspired us to find our real purpose in this life. We have had many experiences of awakening. We have had many epiphanies and aha moments. Leo has been showing us that this is not the end. This is the beginning of a new relationship with our son. He has been our teacher and he continues to guide us as we move forward, as we honour him and work for the highest good. To be of Service is clearly our reason for being here.
For those who knew him, these virtues would not sound surprising:
Leo’s Love and Compassion for Humanity are evident in his thoughts, words, and actions. They have been the driving force of his existence in this life. He is aware of the sufferings of others. He has aligned himself with the highest thoughts to serve the highest good.
With his Wisdom, he saw through the illusions of rigid belief systems and dogmas imposed by those having power to subjugate those beneath them. It was not easy for him as a young person with this special virtue. Yet he was able to laugh and have fun with his peers. He was never false or condescending.
Leo shared the Joy within him. The bliss within his heart and soul radiated out into the world around him. His beautiful smile and bright eyes warmed our hearts and lit us up in his presence. He was generous and shared his gifts wholeheartedly. He gave others the precious gift of time and his willingness to listen.
“See the light in others, and treat them as if that is All you see.”
– Wayne Dyer
Leo’s Strength and Courage lie not just in the physical but in the transcendent. He chose a path less travelled. He was fearless and unique in knowing his path and setting his intentions early on. Being different often makes one an easy target for bullying and harassment. This did not stop him from making his aspirations known. Such strength and courage, combined with his wisdom, always served him well in speaking the Truth.
Humility is one of Leo’s qualities that we took for granted. He was gifted and talented in multiple ways; he won numerous awards as a child and young man. We can’t recall him asking for any favours or rewards because of his accomplishments. He always strove for excellence in whatever he was doing. The compliments and accolades he got from others did not inflate his ego. We only learned about his acts of kindness and compassion from those who came out to share after his transition. He never expected anything in return and gave without an agenda. It was so very natural for him.
The morning after he passed, we had to be at the hospital for a meeting. We were approached by the two nurses who had tended to him in ER before he went into an induced coma. They told us how Leo was thanking them for their help in the midst of his unbearable pain and suffering. Leo was grateful for everything he had and for all who showed any kindness towards him. He never forgot his good manners and Gratitude.
I will never forget one Thanksgiving meal we had together when Leo told me and his dad: “I am most thankful for having the two of you.”
We are so very proud of our precious Leo! Our son touched all those around him by living these virtues. He has made us reevaluate our reason for being. He has helped us be better people and to make the best use of our time here.
We would give anything, including our own lives, to have him back. As parents, we have to acknowledge that though we love our children and though we have brought them into the world, we do not own them. We are only the vessels through which they arrive into the world. We have to be grateful for the time we have with them.
Leo will always be loved and remembered. His Legacy is much more than raising awareness about meningitis. He has made his mark and he has left a gift to the world. His Legacy inspires us to think. “What are your priorities in life? What is the most important to you?” In a world where there is so much despair and destruction, how can you make things better? How can you be of service?”
We can hear him saying, “At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought but what we built, not what we got, but what we shared, not our competence, but our character, and not our success, but our significance. Live a life that matters. Live a life of Love.”
Our Love for Leo will never change. Let us be inspired. Let us work together to make positive changes for the love of all children and young people. Let us make this world a better place for all.