Labrador family thanks Cain's Quest for chance to visit son's final resting place
'It’s just the most thoughtful thing,' says Maxine Lewis, 'that someone would even think of it'
Maxine Lewis never expected to visit her son again.
She knew, when she and her husband decided to spread his ashes on Sims Mountain, in the interior of western Labrador, that she'd never be able to make the trip.
It was rough going — hours and hours on snowmobile through treacherous terrain.
She also knew that Jamie would love it there, atop a mountain overlooking their cabin on the other side of Sims River.
"He absolutely loved it. That was the best place, to him. If he had to pick a place where he wanted to be, it was there," she said.
So Lewis took comfort in knowing that her only child, who was just 29 when he died in a fire in 2012, would be happy up there. Her husband and Jamie's friends mounted a plaque, and placed a bench on top of the mountain.
One day, when the time comes, her ashes will be spread on Sims Mountain, too.
An unexpected call
Lewis's husband, Brian, was just back home in Labrador City after spending days on the road with the Cain's Quest film crew when the phone rang in their house.
He had volunteered to chauffeur the crew to checkpoints along the 3,200-kilometre snowmobile race so they could film as teams made their way across Labrador.
The race ended earlier than expected so a helicopter rented by organizers to track racers was no longer needed, but there was some time left on the contract.
One of the film crew asked, would the Lewises like to go to Sims Mountain?
That's where it would have wanted to be. It completed something for me.- Maxine Lewis
"It's just the most thoughtful thing," Maxine Lewis said, "that someone would even think of it."
At 7:30 the next morning, the couple were airborne, and after a short ride they touched down on top of the mountain.
"When I stood there at that memorial and I looked out over — I feel like it's finished now because I know that's where it would have wanted to be. It completed something for me," she said.
"My husband found it really hard to talk about Jamie. He's pretty soft-hearted," she said. "But in this past week, he's talked about Jamie more than he has in the six years since he died."
Lewis said she doesn't know who first came up with the idea to use the helicopter this way, but she was thankful to the whole Cain's Quest crew for agreeing to it.
"They were so compassionate and considerate." she said, "It really makes you realize just how good some people are."