Smile and determination

Joah charged-and I say charged because she never did anything half-hearted-into my life in my second year of university.

My first memories of Joah are of her red hair, huge smile and determined attitude. Many a night was spent in the gym running beep tests together. I remember her asking our coach Jenny to help her with her fitness so she could play Rep Rugby for British Columbia in the summer. That’s just the kind of girl Joah was, covering all her bases to make sure she did the best possible job.

In my third year, Joah and I really clicked, and any trouble we got into was her fault-I could never say no to that face.

I remember sitting on her bed, on more than one occasion, and absolutely pouring my heart out about my latest boy trouble. Talking with Joah was the most natural thing, she had this aura that made it impossible not to talk to her. Joah always said the right things; she would tell me "of course you’re right" when I doubted my thoughts and actions, and she would help me plot against the person who had done me wrong. Her apartment was always open and I found myself spending more time there than some of her roommates.

As much as we laugh now about her cooking, you never needed good food as a draw. All that mattered was that she was there. There was always a warm smile, and a warm Lucky-X. I was sad when I went to Europe last semester because I wouldn’t have Joah at my usual disposal. However, when I got back it was as if I’d never been gone.

When Joah and Brian started dating, the best of both worlds joined together. I could go for pages about their individual attributes that made every minute spent with them a pleasure, but it was their love for each other that sticks out.

Joah had this fiery personality that went perfectly with her red hair, and Brian was always there to say "it’s okay, Joah."

The amount of time and effort they put into the U of C Rugby Club is phenomenal. You could always count on them to be the first ones to sit at the table selling tickets for the cabaret they had just organized. Joah and Brian showed leadership both on and off the field. You never heard a negative word out of either of their mouths, and Joah tried so hard to get the girls more involved in the club. I sometimes wondered why she cared so much-if they didn’t want to help or come out with us, then it was their loss. But when I thought about it, I decided she just wanted to spread the happiness and satisfaction she got from being able to work and share it with Brian, and maybe she hoped everyone could have a little piece of that.

Up until the last moment, Brian and Joah were busy with the club. We were at an executive meeting for the upcoming Men’s Western Canadian Intercollegiate Championships. We were going over what needed to be done in the next week, and Joah was determined to make sure everything we did was perfect.

If we can learn anything from this tragedy, we can learn to be happy. I cannot recall a time when their faces were not lit up with huge smiles. Find your passion, whatever it may be. Don’t be afraid to love.

Remember Joah the next time you come up against a challenge. Remember how she would put her head down and drive to get it done. Remember Brian when you meet someone new for the first time. Remember how special he made you feel, and do the same.

Slow down. Slow down to ask, "hey, how’s it going?" Slow down when you drive.

It’s our responsibility as friends to fill the hole Joah and Brian’s absence has left.

I extend my greatest thanks to Joah and Brian. I thank them for letting me share a part of their lives. I thank them for teaching me how to work hard. I will miss them immensely. But as long as we remember them they will never be gone. In our hearts and beside us forever.

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