As I write this column, I am looking forward to spending the remainder of the day with my son, who is 11 years old — the same age as Xander Moore was when he quietly passed away Thursday night.
As I absorbed the news, I was also reminded by family friends, J.W. and Cassie Peters, that Xander's passing (he spent nine years battling a form of brain cancer) is not a moment of mourning, but rather celebration. Xander never seemed to fear the future; he enjoyed his short time on this Earth, and was looking forward to his next stop in heaven.
I was first introduced to Xander in early 2012 when he was treated to a special tour of Devon Energy Center.
Construction workers embraced Xander, immediately took him in as if he were a yearslong friend, and appeared to be reliving their own childhoods as they let him on the scissor-lift and gave him honorary fellow-crew status.
Xander went to the top of the tower — quite literally — and took in a view of the downtown skyline that he dearly loved. He loved visiting Bricktown, strolling the canal, enjoying the new Myriad Gardens, and witnessing the rebirth of Oklahoma City.
When Xander wasn't traveling to Houston or the Oklahoma Health Center for cancer treatment, he spent his days like any other kid, playing baseball, going to school, doing whatever he could to enjoy a normal life.
He showed no hint of self pity or fear. He continued to look forward to an ever-changing city that maybe, just maybe, he might defy the odds to see for years to come.
Now Xander is looking down from above — and I hope he enjoys the view as the next skyscrapers come out of the ground.
Xander was a reminder that this downtown being rebuilt, this community being recast as a 21st-century big league city, is not really for the Baby Boomers, or Gen Xers like me. It's for the youngest among us, those whose faith in the future, their bravery against uncertain times, and passion for our city, as exemplified by Xander, show that the investment being made now will pay off long after the rest of us are gone.