By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — At his memorial service almost a year ago, Brock Bowman was remembered for his smile, for his cheerful heart.
Today, he’s remembered the exact same way.
It’s been a year since Bowman, then a junior at Hewitt-Trussville High School, drowned in the Cahaba River while inner tubing with friends. Bowman would have been a senior this year, and the Class of 2015 is honoring his memory.
Classmates and teammates on Friday will wear shirts to school to remember Bowman, to honor his memory. White T-shirts read “In Memory of Brock” across the front, with his last name and football jersey No. 70 on the back. Red T-shirts show “#70” in white over the heart, and the back has his last name across the top, the date “8-8-13” below that. Under that, Matthew 5:4 is printed in white: “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.”
Friends on Thursday night remembered Bowman.
“This is his senior year, too,” said senior football player Hunter Songer. “Although he’s in heaven, a lot of us feel like he’s still with us. It would be wrong for us to not do something like this.”
Songer said the football team will honor Bowman in some way this fall. Bowman played right tackle, and was improving leading up to his junior year last season.
Jacob Baggett said the question will always be “Why?” He said the answer to that question may never be discovered.
“It’s just been a tough year without the life of the party being around all the time,” he said.
Those who were with Bowman on the Cahaba River a year ago plan to go to that site Friday. The plan is to place a cross on the banks.
“Everybody loved him,” said junior quarterback Zac Thomas. “Wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t make someone laugh or smile. He was always there when you needed him and was just the best friend anyone could ask for. He is so greatly missed by everyone. He would make you laugh and smile constantly. He was just filled with happiness.”
Senior baseball shortstop Carter Pharis said Bowman was one of his closest friends. He said he’ll always remember Bowman’s “big smile that would just turn a terrible day to a great one.” He said Bowman was the definition of love.
Pharis said he thinks about Bowman every day, about how he was a light and a joy to so many people.
“He was the example of how to love people,” Pharis said. “Every day he showed love just like God calls us to do.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.