The Arsenault Family Mission Statement


We write a mission statement to define our direction; a course we plot as we try to accept a life without Bradley. Just one more thing that consumes my many long minutes in a day; the ways we cope with the empty spaces from a left over timeline, from a past life that I will forever ache for.

Every time I ask myself to write down where we go from here, my heart leads me backwards to a time of Bradley. Thoughts that recapture his extreme slapstick sense of humour; I wonder how many laughs he brought to the world. Exactly how many smiles was Bradley responsible for, with all his off-the-wall comments and hilarious antics? He was so funny at times! That was his gift and he shared it with the world.

I have learned in the death of my son, that a mother can even miss the sound of late night footsteps, doors opening and closing, even the smell of dirty laundry, the sound of laughterand the look of a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Pranks and jokes especially when it is done to get a reaction; and a reaction I always gave! Family moments, mother and son moments. Somehow these moments, these memories ground the truest of my recollections of Bradley

He was a typical, normal, teenage boy. He took guitar lessons. He changed the oil in his car. He loved sports, parties, video games and hanging out with his friends.  Friends were very important to Bradley. Between all the activities that he loved and his social life, Brad did not have a minute to spare, or so it seemed.

Brad would change his plans ten times in an hour. He ran 24/7, which often meant he was guilty of a little bit of absentmindedness. He could forget where he left car keys, cell phone, glasses and wallet, and he could do it four times a day. We had lots of spare keys, and his wallet and cell phone would always show up sooner or later, usually in someone’s couch.

Born of free spirit. Even as a young child he would speak to anyone who would listen. Bradley was polite to everyone, so he was easily loved by many; young and old. He, somehow, was able to gain respect and consideration by not only his peers, but by many of the adults in his life. How he accomplished this, while never being what I will refer to as an angel, baffles me still today and will forever.

Maybe this is charisma. Whatever name you give it, it was Bradley. And this is how we wish to remember our son and the impact he had on all who knew him in the short time he was with us.

I watched him take his first job, getting hired at J&C Greenhouse. When June came around and ended the season, John and Cindy kept him on. That one season turned into five years. He wanted to work and they kept him busy. Bradley knew the path to getting what he wanted was through working hard, so he did.

And the introduction of a paycheck meant he could play hard. So he turned his love for competitive sports into an enormous desire to catch AIR. Skateboards, snowboards, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, anything he could find; it was all about how much air time he could hang.

If you had listened to him speak about Rabbit Hill Ski Club, you'd know that board spent most of its time suspending Bradley in the wind. Wheels off the ground; feet off the ground. Then there was soccer, oh how he hated to lose!

He was a teenage boy and he lived every pleasure that accompanies that right. He made mistakes. He questioned everything you told him. He believed and learned by what he saw, not by what he was told. His independence was his birthright.

I believe, with everything I have known to be real, that he would have matured into an outstanding man, had he been given the chance.

It is his spirit that is missed most by those who knew and loved Bradley. It lives in all the stories that have been shared with my family, by a community in grieving.

It is the essence of my loss, this spirit of Bradley. It is the force that creates the ripples of sadness throughout the community he grew up in; all his friends, teammates, neighbours and family. The reason that made him so easy to love, and somehow makes it so easy to miss him, now that he's gone.

My family has decided that the way we can honour the memory of our son and brother, is to honor others with similar attributes. To watch for it, to recognize it. In acknowledging this in another, we share the relevance of Bradley’s spirit:

  • Recognizing the importance and simplistic pleasures of laughter, having fun and making others laugh
  • Being a hard worker
  • Having a desire to succeed and even excel in sports, in a competitive, yet supportive manner
  • Extremely driven to get the “wheels off the ground” and take a risk
  • Graduating from high school, even if socializing with your friends is the leading force in being there.

It will be called the “Bradley Arsenault Free Spirit Award.”

We are in the process of finalizing the details. It will be awarded through the Beaumont High School or the Community of Beaumont, but applications will be made through all community groups and through private citizens.  We will distribute information in the community as we confirm the details.

The second part of our life after Bradley, is us, a family who has witnessed the destruction and devastation that drinking and driving holds.

We are committing to the education and sharing of Brad, Kole and Thad’s story. It is in sharing the details, that we hope to shift the thoughts and understanding of the loss suffered as a result of such a selfish act.

Our presence will be seen in supporting Families for Justice, SADD and many other family groups that align with our desire for change.

As a family, we engage ourselves in providing awareness and support in regards to the court process, and the inadequacies of sentencing for crimes of this nature. We wish to be a driving force for change in enforcement of stricter sentencing both provincially and federally. It’s time to make a stand that minimal sentences and concurring sentencing are no longer acceptable. It will not be tolerated.

Bradley Arsenault's life was relevant and the taking of his life is worthy of a sentence that reflects the void that is left in my family and all who knew Brad.  The void thrust onto three families is unimaginable and so senseless.  Everyone should have the right to get home safely!

When a life is ended abruptly by the choice of another, it leaves the grieving shuffling and searching for explanations and justification. We are disheartened by the justice system and left feeling completely helpless.

The heart however, is a strong guide. The desire to remember Bradley and who he was as a person has become a primary wish in the hearts of our family.

To imagine him and smile, for whom he was. This is our goal, and it is a challenge everyday. A mental battle amongst the anger, the frustration and the regrets. 

Pure and utter sadness from the inside out. That's what the grieving are left to sort through, acknowledging time itself, and the time that was taken from Bradley.

I can close my eyes and hear his laugh; it pulls my face to smile. I have so many regrets too. I wish I would have made my son more sandwiches... He loved sandwiches.

 

 

We would like to thank you for  reading our Mission Statement.  We believe it helps us in our painful journey of trying to begin to heal and we very much want to thank all those who have and are walking and holding us up as we shuffle through this tragedy. 

Sincerely,

Sheri, Rob and Aimee Arsenault

Facebook: In Loving Memory of Bradley Tyler Arsenault

 

 

 

 

 

 

To share your memories of Bradley

please contact Sheri or Aimee