‘Such a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence and you are my role model’

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - scrosier@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/ StephattheWhig

“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.”

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