"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die"
~ Thomas Campbell
Last Wednesday night, a lively standing room only crowd filled Selma's Chicago Pizzeria and Tap Room. During football season, a busy atmosphere at this Rancho Santa Margarita restaurant is not entirely unusual, but on this night the place was packed, and it was packed by kind, caring people for an event far more significant than a football game.
They came as a result of an invitation from Peter and Elizabeth Moersch, who wished to toast their son on his 21st birthday. Although their son, Travis, passed away last June, they wanted to remember their son on his birthday, and to share this event with their family and friends. What was evident from this gathering is that everyone remembers Travis Moersch.
Travis was an extraordinary young man who left a legacy of love, kindness, selflessness and service to others. He worked with the Lion’s Heart Service Organization, became a leader with his High School Ministry at Saddleback Church, traveled to New Mexico to work on an Indian Reservation, and raised over $4,000 to fund his own trip to Rwanda as part of the Orphan & Vulnerable Children Ministry Soccer Outreach Program. I had the pleasure of coaching Travis, and I can attest to the fact that he was simply a marvelous person. (http://ranchosantamargarita.patch.com/groups/brad-mcgirrs-blog/p/the-tragic-loss-of-a-life-taken-too...)
This was not a somber occasion, far from it. It was nothing less than a celebration of Travis's life, and an opportunity for everyone to reminisce about this young man. A peek at the Moersch's Facebook pages reveal that the toasts weren't confined to Selma's, but came in from all over the country; from family, friends, co-workers, former teammates, etc.
Peter and Travis made a pact that they would share a beer on Travis's 21st birthday, presumably to celebrate Travis's coming of age, his entrance into manhood. But in his short life, Travis had already come of age, and he was one of the finest men I've ever known.
Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.~Rossiter Worthington Raymond
What a wonderful evening in celebration of such an inspirational young man. One such as this is never truly gone.
Mr. McGirr serves as the Mayor Pro Tem for the city of Rancho Santa Margarita. He resides in RSM with his wife, Julie, and their three children.