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  • Writer's pictureMarcus Kowal

A letter to Liam.

Today you would have turned 6. That sounds so big, you would have been a little boy. It’s easy to imagine what you would be like when I see other children your age. Anytime I see a child born in 2015, I can’t help but look at them and imagine you next to them.

Your little brother took his first martial arts class the other day. It was hard to watch and not to think of you. You were supposed to be there in class and show him what to do. He is doing so well though. He’s so kind to your little sister who is the most independent and stubborn one out of the three of you. She often looks even more like you than Nico does and she definitely has your appetite, she eats absolutely anything. We thought she was going to be the calm one and although Nico is the wilder one, she’s the most feisty. She’s a biter, just like you were. She now says your name and she sang happy birthday for you today. Nico is getting old enough to on some level understand that you are his brother and that you’re not with us. It’s heartbreaking at times when he asks when he gets to see you.

It’s been a testing year for everyone and you didn’t miss much to be honest but this crazy year has allowed us to spend time on learning, strategizing and planning on how to move forward, since your bill “Liam’s Law” aimed to lower the legal BAC to 0.05 was killed by Chair Reggie Jones-Sawyer in the House of Assembly.

I think many would count us out at this point, since the bill didn’t get introduced and we haven’t been able to focus much on the mission due to the pandemic.

But we are far from done.

On February 27th, we ran 70 miles in your honour to raise funds and awareness and to show that we are still here and we are not going anywhere. There’s a lot of people that have joined the fight. There’s a lot of groups who are supporting our efforts and this is how a movement gets started: You don’t accept “no.” You don’t accept “impossible.” And you certainly don’t accept a small loss as final. This is how change is made. You accept the defeat you were dealt and then you move forward, better and stronger. Other states have started following suit and introducing the bill, such as New York and Hawaii, where it almost passed. I recently spoke at the National Lifesavers event, where several lawmakers and top law enforcement officials were present. They learned your name. They learned your story. They asked questions. And we provided them with statistics and facts and that’s how change comes about. Slowly but steady. Many small fires that will continue to grow and spread. Once the documentary is completely done, it will help explain and open people’s eyes why it’s taking so long to change this law and what we are up against. It’s crazy to believe that the documentarian team has been embedded with us for almost 4 years. What was supposed to be a smaller project has grown into a four part docu-series. They have just wrapped up the last episode and your story will continue to inspire, educate and save lives.

As every year, we did "Liam's WOD" (Workout Of The Day). This year, your siblings did it with us for the first time. We will continue to do it every year on your birthday, to continue to educate and save lives.

Not a day goes by without me thinking of you. Thank you for showing me love I didn’t know existed and strength I wish I didn’t need to have.

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