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Bill Bateman
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Bill Bateman   My Press Releases

Life's mixed blessings

Published on 7/23/2016
For additional information  Click Here

Today has been one of those great, hard, good, awful days.


One of those life days.


I glanced at my emails early this morning and noticed a familiar pattern of messages forwarded from IBOToolbox. Sure enough, it meant what it had before, I was the featured member of the day.


I’m honored, maybe a little embarrassed.


I’ve been featured 30 times but I’m nothing special.


Occasionally a legend in my own mind. Sometimes a little too prideful and/or too quick to anger but generally just a regular guy who learned the “activity secret” to being featured on IBO every 6 or 7 weeks for the last 4 years.


I got on IBO and fired off a few quick comments but I was watching the clock and shepherding my wife, coffee in hand, out the door to open the bakery she manages…


Then my boys, 11-year-old Gus and 14-year-old Max out of bed, through the paces of breakfast and into the showers.


We had an appointment at 10:30 this morning. The kind that often comes on Saturdays and is rarely much fun…


Gus just got back last Sunday from his (so far) adventure of his lifetime. It was a 10 day camping trip with the Boy Scouts “Troop One” out of my home in Albuquerque  to San Diego.


They camped under the stars, visited sea world, earned merit badges. Did the “scout thing”. 30 boys, 12 parents including a dad/doctor.


Gus had never been away from home for more than 2 nights in his life and those 3 occasions were all in the last 3 months with the scouts.


No question that 9 nights away was much harder on me than him. But the trip (which had been planned for a year) almost got cancelled. I got the phone call from Gus’s scoutmaster - Andy Meyer - on the evening of June 28th...


This is from the newspaper


“An Albuquerque Boy Scout was killed in a bad crash Monday in Arizona that also killed his cousin and hospitalized six of their family members.


(that's Djivan wth the hat)

Djivan Escandon and his cousin, both 13, were killed Monday morning in the crash on a northern Arizona highway.


Escandon’s troop leader, Andy Meyer, says his fellow Boy Scouts are devastated.

"They're broken. They're distraught. They're angry,” said Meyer. “I had one scout ask me yesterday if there's a God. Why did God allow this to happen?"


Police say Escandon and his cousin were passengers in the motorhome when an 18-wheeler crossed the centerline and crashed into it, tearing open the side.

The vehicle


Six other people in the motorhome were also hurt.”


I didn’t really know young Djivan ,I’d only met him, but the 4 hours I spent helping at and attending the funeral with about 500 people made me smile and cry.


Andy the scout leader, Aaron the neighbor and John the school principal all gave beautiful testimonies about a young man who was polite and industrious. Loved both in his neighborhood and school, competitive and curious and a testimony to the boy scout creed.


They described Djivan as an eclectic , “old soul”,  a budding clarinet and tennis player who also wrestled and did Kung Fu competitively, loved camping and photography. He was as comfortable with the neighbors little kids as he was with the the adults.


Somehow he also fit in a “movie career”. That big smile got him “extra” work on several films shot in Albuquerque - most recently in the Independence Day sequel - "Independence Day:Resurgence"


Both my boys had only met Djivan within the last year. Gus met him in scouts a half dozen times. Max met him at a single tennis match. I call that a mixed blessing.


Let’s keep Djivan’s young brother August, mom Tannirat, dad Geoffrey and all of their family in our prayers.


I don’t know who to attribute this quote to but I think it’s appropriate “LIfe is short - break the rules - forgive quickly - kiss slowly - love truly - laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile

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