18 is not the number for goodbyes
EDITORIAL: Watching the red and white balloons float into the sky over the ocean at Urangan on Saturday, it was hard not to become emotional.
I didn't know Liam Arndt, the 18-year-old former Hervey Bay man who lost his life while driving to Darlington Point in New South Wales on July 25.
I do know that 18 is not an age for saying one's final farewells - it's an age for making plans, becoming an adult and enjoying life.
It was also the finer details that brought tears to my eyes as the family paid tribute to Liam at Dayman Park.
Liam's girlfriend, Kailah O'Keefe, was badly injured in the crash and was not well enough to travel to the memorial.
At the time of the horror smash, Kailah was three months pregnant with the couple's first child and fortunately their baby also survived the accident.
I imagined all the wonderful stories that baby will hear about Liam in years to come.
And how those stories will never quite make up for him not being there.
Liam was only a few weeks away from turning 19 when he died.
I wonder how the child will feel on his or her 19th birthday, knowing he or she is older than dad ever got to be.
No, 18 years is not enough.
But it was touchingly poignant to see how grateful Liam's family was for the brief time he was here.