Not a moment goes by that Julie Morrissette and Jay Perkins don’t think about their son.
Although it’s been over four months since he’s been gone, they say, it hasn’t gotten much easier.
“Time doesn’t heal,” said Morrissette. “You just learn to live everyday. It’s hard because you have to go on with your day like everything’s OK, but it’s not OK.”
On July 3, Tristan Morrissette-Perkins, was struck and killed by a VIA passenger train near Lancaster, Ontario.
The 16-year-old was on a CN rail bridge taking photos with two friends when the train approached — the other two boys survived, but Tristan did not.
Tristan’s father says it was a day that he’ll never forget.
“I remember watching TV shows and they do that whole thing with the police coming to do the door or calling, thinking, ‘oh that’s got to be horrible,’ and then it happened,” he said. “It’s the worst feeling.”
Tristan’s parents say the teen, who had recently graduated from John Rennie High School, was loved by many.
They describe him as a happy kid, who loved life and had a passion for hockey.
He was the captain and top scorer on the West Island Royals midget AA team.
And so when Hockey West Island, in partnership with John Rennie High School, reached out to the parents about retiring their son’s jersey, they were humbled.
“It was amazing,” said Perkins. “It’s unbelievable. I didn’t know they would do that, I didn’t think they would do that. It was a touching call.”
A first for Hockey West Island, its president, Andrew Brookman, says the gesture is to show just how much Tristan meant to the association.
“We lost a family member,” Brookman said. “It’s as simple as that. We want to be able to remember that family member. Tristan was part of Hockey West Island for a dozen years, and when he passed, I think everyone felt like they had lost a family member.”
Perkins knows his son would have been honoured.
“The way they’re gonna celebrate what he did on the ice and off the ice, I know he’s happy, I know he’s smiling,” he said.