‘Such a positive influence and you are my role model’
“His last meal was a Nanaimo bar from his best friend and a Dr. Pepper he shared with us,” Holtz said.
Garrett was the youngest of four children: two boys and two girls. His siblings — Landon Mills, Brooklynne Mills and Eliyah Mills — all spoke about their baby brother.
“I remember when mom was pregnant with you, we all prayed for a little baby boy,” Landon said. “The day you were born, Dad took us out of school and took us to the hospital to see our new baby brother — our prayers were answered. There you were. The perfect baby boy. The final piece to our family, you completed our pattern and completed the symmetry in our family.”
Without having compared their notes, the siblings all noted Garrett’s kindness, strength to be himself and his not-always-great puns. Sisters Brooklynne and Eliyah both wished for Garrett to jump out from behind a corner and scare them one last time.
“You were such a positive influence and you are my role model,” Brooklyn said. “You wanted to change the world for the better and I can’t think of a better way to keep you alive in my heart than letting you lead it. You just wanted people to be kind, accepting and supportive to one another. You never expected it from others, you just got out there and were that way, leading by example.”
Eliyah said her little brother was a breath of fresh air whom she looked up to.
“I’ll miss seeing you excited: it was contagious. I’ll even miss you calling me a dingus,” Eliyah said. “It’s hard, almost impossible, to come to terms that this is real. I’ll never forget the dance parties we had in my room when we were little, dancing to music at 2 a.m., till Dad would yell at us to go to sleep and we would try to hold our giggles in.”
The sorrowful atmosphere was lifted briefly when David read from the Twitter handle @mysonsmouth. The collection of 40 tweets are quotes from a nineyear-old Garrett published by his father. The quotes, especially “Wow, look at all these people. To think that they all came out of a girl,” and “It’s not gonna be pretty, but I’ll do my best to continue the family name,” caused belly laughs despite the tears wept by many in attendance.
David noted the quote on his son’s Instagram account: “Get out world than he did when he was in it. Maybe we’re being too optimistic, maybe we’re dreaming, but we’re Garrett’s mom and dad, and the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree ...
“The 15 years we had you with us was not only a privilege and an honour, but it was so much fun … and we love you more.”