Parents mourn their 'special son'
By ZOE SATHERLEY
REECE JONES was the baby everyone stopped and smiled at, the student teachers loved, the teenager whose phone never stopped ringing.
"Everyone's child is special, but Reece was something more than that," proud father Mark Jones said yesterday.
Mark can't hold back the racking sobs when he speaks of the dear son he lost in a car accident at Mullumbimby last Saturday night.
Reece, 19, lost control of a high-powered station wagon and crashed into a tree while overtaking a slower car. He was killed instantly.
His 20-year-old passenger and the owner of the car, a longtime Mullumbimby friend, is in a critical condition on life support at Royal Brisbane Hospital.
Mark and his wife, Lyn, of Ocean Shores, are grieving not only for their son, but also for the other boy ? who has sustained massive injuries ? and for his family.
"They had everything ahead of them. This is such a terrible, terrible waste of life. It didn't have to happen," Lyn said.
However, from within their agony, the couple also make an effort to speak about the wonderful qualities that made their son so special to his family and friends.
They confess to having told the odd white lie to the constant stream of friends who would incessantly phone their blue-eyed blond middle son.
"We'd say he wasn't home just so we could steal a few precious minutes in his company," Lyn said.
"You could never get enough of him. Everyone wanted a piece of Reece.
"He made you feel good just by being around him. A party never started until he arrived. He had this beauty and magnetism that drew people and animals in.
"Even wild animals would come to him readily.
"Reece had this calming presence. It's hard to explain.
"Everything about him was positive and inspirational. And he was very, very funny ? a natural comedian."
Mark Jones said he had felt his son's presence around him over the past few days.
"I believe his essence continues to exist, but the pain of losing him is still raw and real," he said.
Mark speaks with pride and love about his three sons, Mikal, 17, Mathew, 23, and Reece.
The boys were extremely close and were planning a holiday in Bali together.
"There was never any friction or rivalry between them, even though they all had very different personalities," Lyn said.
"Reece was always the one to live life to the fullest. He pushed every boundary.
"He was a dynamo in everything he did. It was almost as if he was trying to cram every possible experience into his life."
Mark and Lyn proudly show off more than a hundred of Reece's sporting trophies, medals and certificates.
The former Mullumbimby High School and Mount St Patrick's, Murwillumbah, student was a champion basketballer.
"His nickname was 'Swish' because the ball never touched the ring when he shot a goal, it just swished through," Lyn said.
Among his most treasured awards were a National Australia Day Award for Outstanding Sports Team when he played for the Murwillumbah Magics in 1998 ? the year he was named Daily News Junior Sports Star of the Year.
He was also proud of representing Northern NSW in the under-17s basketball team and an Australian Coaching Council award for his mentoring and training role with youth.
Reece was in his final year of a building apprenticeship ? a trade he embraced with the same passion he had shown for sport.
Last Saturday morning, just hours before his fatal accident, Reece and brother Mikal put a deposit down on a unit they had decided to buy together.
"Reece had big plans," Lyn said.
"The boys were going to renovate the unit and make it a beautiful home for themselves.
"Reece was over the moon that morning. He was overjoyed and feeling very buoyant and positive.
"Reece and his friend were on their way to the Mullumbimby Youth Festival to meet up with Reece's girlfriend, Renee, and some other young friends when the accident happened.
"The last text message he sent Renee said: 'You're so sexy, you're so fine, just want U to know, you blow my mind! Oh I wish U were mine xx' but he never arrived to give her that kiss."
n Reece's funeral is at Mullumbimby Cemetery tomorrow at 2pm. No flowers please. Donations to Brunswick Heads Rescue Squad.