When my cousin Gary died many years ago I was still fairly young and although I was sad, I hadn’t yet come to realize that life will pass you by if you let it. I thought off and on, about how suddenly he went, an accident and that was it. But I was still happily drifting through my life back then, the full implications had not sunk home.
When many years later in 2006, I heard his younger brother Mike, was seriously ill in hospital with cancer that had taken hold of his whole body, I was much older myself, well into the part of my life where I’d begun to realize how much I’d let pass me by and how little I had to show for it. I couldn’t believe it. Mike had a special place in my heart, I’d always thought of him as my favourite cousin even though I’d only spent time with him on a handful of occasions.
River Stones, F Prescott
Those meetings were some of the great times of my life – Christmas in Canada with the whole family in Aurora, snowballs, snowmen; little things. Mike always cracking a joke and making us laugh. But it was the trip I made to Canada on my own when I got to go canoeing at Seneca College with him and had the trip of a lifetime to the Allegheny Mountains for a Scout Camp. He smuggled me in, dressed up as a Canadian Rover and a great group of us spent a wonderful few days hiking around some fantastic wilderness. Climbed up to a high, high wooden bridge and looked down to the beautiful stream below. My feet were covered in blisters and my muscles ached and I wanted to cry at the thought of bathing because the water was so unbelievably cold. But it was just so great. I had one more opportunity to spend time with Mike when he and his wife Cheri came to St. Lucia; we hiked, talked, relaxed and enjoyed the brief week. Cheri gave me a lovely pair of walking shoes from their shop Sojourn. They wrote once, I think I wrote once. Time slipped by.
Then when the end of his life came I realized I knew so little about this person, my cousin Mike. I’d just seen a glimpse of his spirit and been inspired – he wasn’t a showy person, just so genuine and enjoyed life – especially nature - so much. But when I heard he was ill I realized how little I’d done to keep our friendship alive. Still, time slipped by. I sent a message close to when he died, and then it was too late. But in true Mike style, he didn’t go out the way most of us do – he went out celebrating his life, friends and family.
So, I’m not here today on the 2nd anniversary of his leaving this life to feel bad or mourn with sadness, but to ask everyone who reads this today to do one thing as a celebration of life and the people we love – give someone a call, email, shout-out, whatever; just to reminisce on the good times you spent together and re-confirm your appreciation of each other; and encourage them to do the same with someone else. You can leave greetings here in the comments if you like, and pass on the celebration of friendship to as many as you’d like. Just celebrate.
In fond and happy memory of my Mother Mary, Gary, Mike, Myriam, Uncle Paddy, Uncle Pat, all my Grandparents and all you other great spirits we miss you all and cherish our happy days with you.
Live, Love Life, T Prescott
Today, my Alphabet Attitude is:
P is for Perpetual as the Spirit is.