As a father I tried my best to drill home the message ‘you are the company you keep‘ to my daughter Rehtaeh. I wanted her to choose her friends wisely for not only would she be judged through them but surrounding yourself with good people makes an incredible difference when you need it the most. It’s a father thing. I have no idea how many times I mentioned that to her but I do know she always did her best to keep good company.
During the last conversation I had with Rehtaeh she answered a call on her cell phone from a guy she was seeing. I knew his name and she had mentioned him a few times but this was the first time I heard her say “I love you” to someone she was seeing. I didn’t tease her about it but asked and she said she loved him. I knew it must be serious and I was happy for her.
She said he helped her a lot and it was through his urging that she was trying so hard to get on with her life. To deal with the past and face the future with courage.
I met Mike for the first time in the hospital. He was hurting and it was very apparent he loved Rehtaeh. I feel for him. To be so young and go through something as awful as this.
We talked a bit. I knew much of him from Rae. He’s a good kid; smart, in college, getting his life started. He has a good job and wanted to build a good future for himself and possibly her too. He had good friends who stood by him in the hospital. They made sure he had a drive, something to eat, a shoulder to cry on.
He had the kind of friends he could be proud of. The kind of friends anyone would be happy to be judged by.
You are the company you keep.