Sunday, September 04, 2011

There are no words

an excerpt from Alex's obituary:
"For 14 glorious years, Alex Pak lived and on Saturday, August 13th 2011, Alex left us.

He was born on October 23, 1996 in Renton WA, into a loving family. He was the only boy in a house of four girls. He was called many things in his life, Little Man, Alex man, Panda man, The “Prince”, and the “Caboose”. But his real name had been chosen many years before he was born. Alex’s parents were still dating when a little old man approached them and said, “You are such a cute couple. If you ever have a boy, you should name him Alexander. It’s a good name and has served me well, all these many years.” Alex’s paternal grandmother bestowed the name Xie Hong long before Alex joined the family. With each pregnancy Alexander Xie Hong was always the boy’s name and his parents would scramble to name each new girl who came along. It was 12 years before Alex would claim his name.

In 1998 the family moved to Missoula where Alex would spend the rest of his life. He attended school at Chief Charlo Elementary and Meadow Hill Middle School. He was preparing to enter high school in a couple of weeks. He would have attended Sentinel with his many friends.

Alex was not a joiner, but a free spirit who liked to pursue his own passions. He loved to collect pandas, skateboard, ride his bike and mostly he loved to play his guitars. He was self taught and exceptionally talented. He would play those guitars until the rafters rattled and we begged him to turn down the amp. Alex spent this summer playing his guitar at the Farmer’s Market and Out-to-Lunch. Alex called his guitars his “kids”. He loved them and we fondly remember the very first time he saw his first guitar. His dad brought it home after work, late one night and Alex could not have been more excited. They sat on the couch together and his dad taught him some cords. From that moment on he would play, morning, noon and night.

It seemed that everything came quickly and easily for Alex. He learned to ride a unicycle in minutes; he could juggle without even thinking about it, if he heard a song he could pick out the notes and cords and play it. He was a wonder to us all. One day, at age 4, he asked his mom to teach him to ride his bike without training wheels. She did the standard “hold the seat and run along” bit. Alex instantly saw the flaw in this plan and asked his mom to go in the house for a minute. When she came out just 10 minutes later he was whizzing around in the street on two wheels. Before the day was over he had taught two other neighbor kids to ride their bikes. Alex knew his own mind and heart and was fiercely independent. He wasn’t afraid to go against the grain or make a wave. He spoke his own truth without a care for what was popular opinion.  He had the wicked sense of humor and would use it at will.
Alex, we love you with every ounce of our being and will miss you forever. You brought us so much joy and happiness with your silly antics and wise cracks. There are not enough words to tell you how much we love you and miss you. Our hearts are shattered but we know that you are safe with those who left before you. We will see you again one day.

We want to express our sincerest thanks to all the people who tried so hard to bring Alex back to us. We are grateful for all the love and support that we have received from our friends, family and our community. We could not travel this road alone. We are humbled by all that we have received." 


Tracy Borgialli said...
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Tracy Borgialli said...


You don't know me...but you have been in my thoughts and prayers for weeks.

I have to take you back to the fair this summer. This was the first fair that I let my 12 and 16 year old daughters walk around with their friends. I am a very protective mother, and worry about them constantly. My husband and I were taking our 4 and 6 year olds around to ride the rides of their choice. We were walking by the ferris wheel, and there stood a cute little girl in the arms of a very admiriring boy. This may sound like a very common occurance at the fair, but this was different. The girl was familiar in that she lives in Frenchtown and goes to school with my older girls. Her mother graduated a couple years after I did. Although I think her name is Jaidin or Jaylyn, I recogized her. The reason I mention this is because, the boy who was holding her was your son. For some reason when I looked at them, he looked at me in the eyes.

Friday came and my daughters father came to pick her up for the weekend. He wanted to take both of my older girls to float the river. He told me they were going to park at McClay's bridge and float down to their house at Harpers Bridge Road. I told him that I didn't feel comfortable with that and told him that people loose their lives there every year. He laughed at me and told me to "cut the cord". I didn't find much humor in that at all!!! I told him the only way that I would allow them to go was if they were wearing life jackets and they needed to pay extra attention to under currents. They all laughed at me thinking that I was being rediculous. (sorry for the poor spelling)

Saturday I went with my dad to a family reunion up in Pable. All day I felt very uneasy. My stomach was in knots and I felt like my blood presure was out of control. At around 5pm the tension increased to the point that I felt like my heart was about to jump out of my body. When I got home, my oldest daughter came home about 7:30, she informed me that when they went to go pick up their car, search and rescue were in the process of looking for a 14 year old boy. My heart sank with sickness. My thought instantly went out to that boys mother. I got on the police scanner to see if they had found him yet, watched the news at 10 and by then they were reporting that he had passed.

I wanted to run to you...give you a to ease the pain that you must have been feeling at that point. As I sit here typing to you now...I can't hold back the tears. I am so sorry for your lose. You have been in my thoughts so often, I just want you to know that you and your family are in my prayers.

I didn't know Alex, but he was a lovely young man from your posts and pictures. You were very blessed to have had the gift of Alex for 14 years.

Tracy Borgialli

Jennie said...

Tracy, I was unable to respond directly through my email, so I hope you see this. Thank you for taking the time to post this to me. You did see Alex at the fair and his girlfriend's name is Jaylyn. They were such a cute little couple. Please know that my faith has lifted me up when I thought I would die from the pain and, though each day is a new adventure in pain, grief and acceptance, it is manageable. Thank you again. Your post means a lot to me. Hug your children and never let anyone make you feel silly for having those motherly instincts.

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