Good Bye Brother
On October 1st my second eldest brother, Don, ended his fourteen year endurance of cancer and went gracefully into the great beyond.
Don’s obituary can be read on The Bay Today website here.
Being the youngest born of seven children, with births spanning 50 years of our father’s life and two mothers, it’s no surprise that I am not part of my sibling’s daily lives. However, we’ve always had a mutual respect for each other, with various ways of manifesting it, and we do spend time with each other from time to time. Where our late eldest bother Larry, who passed away watching a Jays game a few years ago, helped keep me grounded with his inhibition toward letting me know that I am an asshole, my brother Don used his personality-defining “direct route” to encourage me to stop being a pathetic failure at life. If I were to describe Don in a handful of words they would be, Good, Strong, Determined, Honest, and Direct. Perhaps those words will help you understand why he has always been an inspiration to me, despite his unmitigated success at tearing me down every time we spoke.
Both Don and Larry were good people, real people with their own positive and negative traits just like the rest of us. I am thankful for the time I was able to spend with them and for the small part of their lives and their hearts that I occupied. A generation and a broken home between us, Larry, Don, Jim, Penny, and Peter accepted my sister and I into their hearts none the less. All of my siblings, without exception, have enriched my life in their own way, whether they intended to or not; I’m “a thinker” with a big heart and they’re always with me.
Good Bye Friends
Speaking of always being with me, the day before Don’s passing I painstakingly said a long good bye to the three trees in our front yard. Unfortunately, the ash borer utterly destroyed the two ash trees that my girlies and I used for soccer goal posts, as well as gutting a part of my soul by killing our once magnificent crab apple tree too. I had to cut them down this fall, so that they can be burned before another generation of boreal devastators can hatch from the weary bones of my deciduous friends.
Some people would probably laugh at my attachment to some trees, but the plain truth of the matter is those three trees were part of the beauty and magic of my family’s small part of this incredible ball of star dust we call, Earth. From marvelling at the droning hum of bees tending to the explosion of pink crab apple flowers, to the many moments spent enjoying ourselves in their shade, our ash’n apple triangle was part of my joy as a father. I will miss them.
Please enjoy the following tribute to lost friends.