Like old friends, that are provinces apart, I thought I’d see you again. My employment at the Centre met up with you at the beginning of your recovery journey. Ninety days and nights we got to know one another. Ninety days may not seem like much to some, but as you journey down this road, open yourself up, and lay down the truth – it’s like a lifetime.
Over the years we stayed in touch, you visited Powell River and eventually, the alumni program brought me to your big city digs – one that a small-town girl wasn’t used to. You paraded me through city streets, you opened your home to the alumni, you always walked me home after the alumni dinners, and you were usually game for a baseball game with your peers and myself. You were the very essence of what I considered to be Toronto… the vibe, the culture, the style, the swagger, and the attitude.
Memories are what I have and I feel lucky to have shared them with you. So many laughs we had – a couple of sober riff-raff we were. The problem with time is you think you have it, that it’s endless… regret for days that I didn’t try to connect more with you when I was there only a few months ago. You’d made it to every alumni event over the last 4 years and it was just that time where the universe didn’t sync us up. How silly and naive of me to think that you’d be around next time.
It wasn’t this tragic ending either in the sense that you were plagued by your demons again… The truth is you were sober and happy. Life reminds you that we need to make effort every single day and that there are no guarantees. None. Zilch. I now have an ‘In loving Memory’ of you sitting on my desk. A reminder of sorts to be diligent in mindfulness, to not take life for granted, and to enjoy the moments more with your tribe. I will for sure miss you brother.