A Tribute to Lucas Henry Mehl
While there are no words to express our unimaginable pain
with the loss of our son and brother we’d like to share a few thoughts, memories, and what we fondly refer to as “Lucasisms”.
Lucas always had a positive attitude, a great sense of humor, and was an inspiration to many.
As a child, the highlight of his year was going to Muscular Dystrophy camp and as a young adult with MD, going to FUSE camp. Upon his return from camp, his favorite line was always, what happens at camp stays at camp.’’ (He liked to use that line for a few other occasions as well, when he returned from trips with his friends or after a stay with his brother, sister, and cousin).
Lucas loved road trips. He traveled to 46 states and was our trusted navigator on the road. We didn’t need Google Maps, we had Lucas Maps. He was always a back seat driver and never missed a beat when telling Dad where to turn. He had a special way of referring to each and every RV we passed along the highway that can’t be mentioned here. He could tell us every state’s capitol, where to find the major football stadiums, basketball arenas, historic fire stations, landmarks, etc.
He was a wealth of trivia knowledge, history buff, and geography expert (he could tell us the name of a random country by looking at its shape). His nightly ongoing commentary during the evening news often resulted in a continuous back and forth of pushing pause and play, pause and play on the TV remote, he always had just one more thing to say…
Lucas had a thirst for knowledge and never-ending questions, but if anyone had a random question, he could answer it – like why are some of the streetlights in Lawrence blue. He had a memory like an elephant – Mom and Dad will be lost without him telling us what we did yesterday.
He was a jigsaw puzzle master. His bedroom wall is covered with his completed masterpieces.
He loved Sunday jam sessions at his Uncle Chuck’s house as their auxiliary percussionist – #1 cowbell player and woodblock extraordinaire.
Rarely would you catch Lucas off guard with the phrase, “Hey Lucas”, “what?”, “you’re a nut”, but he loved catching others off guard.
A tech savvy, young man, Lucas knew all the latest gadgets, apps, etc. Lucas would always tell us which remote to use and which buttons on the remote to push. Guess Mom and Dad won’t be watching much TV anymore. On occasion, Lucas would get stuck in an elevator, unable to push the button, he was quick to ask Siri to text Dad “I’m stuck.” – thank heavens for Siri!
Lucas had a penchant for keeping things organized, which kept everyone on their toes (often organizing his brother and sister’s rooms). He had a keen sense of attention to detail. He was meticulous about his hair, clothes, socks, and after 15 minutes of adjusting and re-adjusting, Lucas would always ask “Is my shirt even? Is my hair down in the back?” If Mom dusted his room and moved something in even the slightest direction, he noticed and was sure it got back in it’s place, everything had a place.
An avid KU fan, Lucas could rattle off the sports news and stats like an ESPN pro (his dream job was to be a sports commentator). Lucas wouldn’t think of ever missing a game, even if it meant waking up at 2:00am when we were living overseas, or finding a KU watch bar if we were on a road trip. Most recently, his all time favorite find was KC Barbeque in San Diego with a KU alumni fan room and watching KU win the Final Four. Of course we had to cut that road trip short to get back in time for the KU National Championship parade.
Lucas enjoyed going out on walks with us, he knew every accessible trail around Lawrence, he was our motivation, he kept us going, pushing us to go just a little bit further. He spent hours sitting in the sun in our backyard, a backyard nature enthusiast, he recognized bird calls, loved hearing the owls that nested in the trees nearby, watching the many animals pass through our backyard – deer, bobcat, fox along with the resident rabbits and squirrels. (Next time you’re enjoying the great outdoors and hear an owl in the woods, think of Lucas).
He had an adventurous spirit, traveling to 4 continents; he loved our time living abroad in Myanmar and Africa (as long as he made it back in time for March Madness). He was such a trooper on our many travels as we maneuvered him in and out of some tight squeezes on planes, trains, buses, and boats. His favorite stories to tell are about being lifted while in his wheelchair by a few strong men into the cargo area of a bush plane while on safari in Africa. Also being lowered over a short cliff/wall into a narrow wooden boat on a river in Myanmar, only to turn around and have to be hoisted back out on the other side by a few more happily waiting men at the shore. Landing safely each time at the expense of Mom’s frayed nerves. No matter what country we were in, the local people loved their time with Lucas. His favorite time spent in Myanmar was joining the building security guards sitting out on the front steps in the evening. Lucas not able to speak a lick of Burmese, nor they a lick of English, they spent hours together communicating with hand gestures, smiling, laughing. It was the universal language of a smile that spoke volumes. Whether he spoke the language or not, he never met a stranger.
Lucas never complained about his situation, living a life with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, (only about the wrinkles in his shirt, and the loop in his hair at the back of his head – or the single piece of hair standing up). He rose above the challenges; he was our hero. Lucas made us better people, we were lucky to have him.
Lucas lived a short life, but a well-lived, full life. He was loved by many and will be forever missed by all. He sends his love to all the friends and family he leaves behind, especially his Grandpa & Grandma B, his aunts, uncles and cousins, his mentor Bobby, and his dear best friend Ruben.
We ended each day as we turned out the lights with
“Goodnight, Lucas, love you.” We end this tribute with
“Good night Lucas, we love you, Dad, Mom, Johanna and Zachary.
Please join us in a Remembering Lucas Day
Saturday, May 21st from 2:00 – 5:00
2115 Terrace Road
Lucas would enjoy seeing everyone in their favorite KU gear
We would love for you to share a favorite memory, thought, or photo.
To honor his memory, Lucas would love it if the next time you see someone in a wheelchair, you see the person, not the wheelchair.
Contributions can be made to
- Muscular Dystrophy Young Adult Group – MpowerDKC
Facebook: M Power D KC
Checks can be mailed to
12175 South Black Bob Road Apt.307H
Olathe, KS 66062
Or Venmo: @MpowerDKC
- Muscular Dystrophy Young Adult Camp – FUSE
Facebook: The Fuse Foundation
- Your favorite charity