It was almost six years ago this month that Brian and Maxine Lewis got a phone call that is every parents worst nightmare. Their only son Jamie died in a cabin fire.
“The Labrador outdoors was his passion,” Maxine Lewis told the Aurora. “He loved hunting and fishing, he was at his happiest in the outdoors.”
The Lewis family cabin is located at Simms River, about 270 Km from Labrador City. High above the River is Simms Mountain. It was there, the family decided, to place a monument and scatter the ashes of their son.
About a year after Jamie’s death, Brian Lewis, and about fifteen of Jamie’s friends placed the memorial, consisting of granite, a bronze plaque, and a Labrador flag, crafted from aluminum and painted, high on Simms Mountain.
“It was a place that Jamie always wanted to go to, but never had the chance to make it happen, the location seemed fitting,” Maxine Lewis said. “They go every year, it is a difficult trip accessible by snowmobile, up a steep mountain. It was too difficult a trip for me to make, I thought I would never see my son’s final resting place.”
Six years after the tragic fire, Brian Lewis worked as a volunteer with Cain’s Quest. He drove a film crew across Labrador as they worked on a feature about the race. He drove them all the way to the south coast of Labrador, as they documented the 3200 km race. Part of the filming they did was from a helicopter that was chartered by Cain’s Quest.
Then the unexpected.
Maxine Lewis recounted the event to the Aurora:
“The phone rang, Brian answered, it was the film crew from Taylor Reid creative agency asking for the coordinates of our cabin and the memorial, within an hour or so they called back. Cain’s Quest had some time remaining on the helicopter, they agreed it could be used to take myself and Brian to the monument, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.”
“I couldn’t sleep all night, knowing that I would finally stand next to the memorial with my husband Brian, something I thought would never happen”
According to Maxine Lewis the flight to the memorial was an emotional one.
“I always wondered if we made the right decision, but the moment I saw it, there was no doubt in my mind this was the right place, everything the light, the location from that mountain looking over the river and our cabin, Jamie loved the Big Land and this is where he was meant to be.”
Lewis explained “there was finally a moment of peace, as I stood there with Brian, there was a sense that Jamie was with us in spirit, there was a sense of closure, something that was unfinished in my life, now had been completed.”
Brian and Maxine Lewis say they can never thank the people of Cain’s Quest, and those that made it happen enough.
“Without them this would never have happened, without them there would have been a part of my life that would have seem unfinished.”
The film crew accompanied Maxine and Brian Lewis and the Taylor Reid Creative agency has posted a short video of the journey on Vimeo. It can be seen here:
The Lewis family says that for them the spirit of Cain’s Quest shows a truly united Labrador it brings us all together. They are also grateful for the many people who assisted them at the time of their son’s death.
“There is a human side to people not everybody gets to see,” explained Lewis. “We’ve been inundated with calls and messages from people who saw the video of our journey. We are indeed blessed to be here in the Big Land.”