When we’re little we can’t wait for summer vacation, or Christmas break, or the weekends. I don’t know how you were as a small child but I definitely was a “countdown kid.” I counted down to my birthday, to Easter (always got a fancy new outfit and shoes for midnight mass, so exciting)back to school (the one time of year we were afforded new clothes)and of course Christmas. Most of us had these sort of countdowns happening outwardly, these are the normal acceptable big events in life to be excited about. But, I also had an entire inner countdown happening, which was not so “normal” as it turns out. I knew how many steps it took me to walk to school, I counted stairs going up and down, even though I knew from the time before exactly how many there were, minutes, you name it I counted it down. Our youngest Mikaela has this same trait, watching her count down her entire life made me realize how stressful that habit is. Since witnessing it from the outside as a mother, I’ve been able to help her live more in the moment, and ultimately train myself to also be more present in my day to day life. I had no idea that what I was doing was unhealthy until I observed it in my own little girl; what a blessing that was, and how thankful am I that I recognized it in her enough to help us both get a handle on it.
But this is not at all what my post today is about, not one little bit, so I apologize for going down a distracted path, I’m back now.
What today’s musing really is about, is how I find it amazing that we can meet a person, if even for thirty minutes, but can be so impacted by their energy, and their generous souls, that it touches us for a lifetime. So often we’re all moving so quickly that we don’t really take the time to take in a remarkable person’s vibe until it’s too late…this happened to Yannick and I today. Today we learned that a man, a sweet, giving, warm 43 year old man, whom we had the pleasure of knowing for probably thirty minutes died in a freak accident. Even though we only had the one face to face encounter with him, and his wife, we were both touched by him, and vowed to become friends.
And now he’s gone. Just like that.
We won’t ever get the chance to chat with him again. Yannick won’t have the pleasure of developing their budding friendship any further. His wife isn’t likely to come back through Toronto, like we promised one another so they could visit the Murdoch set, of which she is a huge fan and how we came to know them. Olivier Rochette approached Yannick post opening night of Luzia in Toronto so his wife might meet Yannick. With all of them being “Quebecers” they hit it off immediately. Plans for dinners were made, trips to other locations where Cirque du Soleil performs were discussed, back stage tours for our girls were offered. So much sincere generosity of spirit taken away in the blink of an eye. Now here we sit. New “friends” who will never get to know why he was so kindhearted, and friendly, or what any of his favorite things were. We won’t get to know what it was like being the son of one of the creators of such a spectacle that has entertained so many of us over the years, and why he chose to travel with the “circus.” We won’t know anymore about him than we learned in those thirty minutes of meeting him. The dinner we all swore we would go have together will never come to be now. The young man, who along with his father helped to breath new life into the Cirque, which sorely needed it, had his own creative life cut too short because of a terrible freak accident on the stage of the show he had such passion for.
Even though I don’t know him, I can share what I did know about him from one meeting with him. Olivier was the sort of man who gave without expecting anything in return. He was so thankful to Yannick for taking the time to chat with him and his wife, that the men exchanged numbers and he swore; “If I ever have extra tickets available for a show, I will text you to offer them to you.” Which he did, twice. We had already seen Luzia twice so we were able to give them to friends of ours who hadn’t gotten so lucky. Olivier didn’t care that we weren’t going to be the ones who actually made use of the tickets, he gave them to us regardless. He also offered that Yannick should; “Bring your daughters and I will give them a tour of the behind the scenes of the tents…” There was no need for him to make these offers, meeting people and chatting with people who love and support Murdoch is something Yannick is more than happy to do. Especially if the people gushing over MM are from Yannick’s hometown of Montreal!
And now he’s gone. I knew the man for a blip of time, and I am in mourning, feeling like a beautiful soul was taken much too quickly. I pray for his beautiful wife that she find peace someway, somehow during this difficult time. As a mother, I especially pray for his parents, our children are not supposed to go ahead of us, it is so unnatural, and I cannot imagine the depth of her sorrow today.
RIP Olivier, and thank you for making our world a bit more magical, and much more colorful. I for one am sad that I didn’t get to spend more time with you, but will think of you whenever I watch another Cirque du Soleil performance for as long as I have breath in my lungs.