We will never forget…

I am a bad blogger.

I have fallen behind, but I did not forget.

There are several reasons why, all of them good; some of them sad.

I am fortunate. I have a wonderful family, an amazingly supportive husband – who also happens to be my best friend – and an outrageously marvelous son. I also have awesome parents who are housing my family as we wait for the close on our new home. We are a lucky bunch.

This past week was full of all the turmoil that comes with the purchase of a new home, but I also found myself finding extra reasons to be busy.

On November 4, 2012 my husband and I lost a very dear friend. Brandon was an incredible light extinguished far too soon. The anniversary of that loss hit me harder than I expected. Brandon was a close friend. He was good people.

Below is part of the speech my husband gave at Brandon’s memorial, I wanted to share it with you:

Brandon and I met through a mutual friend. I was friends with Brandon for twenty years; I saw nearly every incarnation he had. Our relationship was something more of a brotherhood. We looked out for each other as best as we could. Brandon will always be one of the funniest people I have ever known, as well as, one of the kindest, most loving and talented.

R and I were talking, remembering Brandon, the other day and when we think of Brandon there are a few things that really stand out; however, nothing stood out more than his love for his parents; he really loved you both, and would always speak of you with such deep fondness.

Another thing that stands out when we think of Brandon is his intellect. He was really intelligent and thoughtful. You could have a conversation with Brandon about anything, from politics to gardening. You could also talk to him about anything, good news or bad news, he would lend his ear. He was a good friend and would always try to help you in his own Brandon-way. He was deeply concerned about R’s health. Brandon had great empathy for people.

Brandon was hilarious and had an awesome sense of humour that hit on several levels. He never failed to make you laugh. He could do amazing things with his voice. We fondly remember the time Brandon made our 8 month old laugh, so hysterically he fell over, with a funny Donald Duck impersonation. Then there were Brandon’s phone messages. We used to keep them for a couple of days because they were so ridiculous and rude – though Brandon would always apologize to R if they were, the consummate gentleman!

He was always very talented. We all know he had musical talent; however, Brandon was an incredible storyteller. He told and wrote very interesting anecdotes about a number of things, among them his love for the city.

More than anything Brandon was a good person. He was kind and caring. He loved animals and nature. Brandon knew how to love everyone, except himself. Unfortunately, he could not see the potential, the light and the goodness, that we did. We will miss him and all his antics and experiments; we hope he has finally found his peace.

The anniversary of Brandon’s passing makes me think of all the life he missed out on but also encourages me to live mine to the fullest.

I look forward to the spring. I look forward to stepping out into my new backyard and getting my hands dirty, very dirty (there is much to be done!). Brandon and I shared a green thumb and I love of gardening. I plan to honour him in that way, in addition to the dragonfly I have tattooed on my shoulder (since he always had my back, as his father said).

I miss Brandon, as I know my husband does. Sadly my son does not remember him as much as one would hope but then again, we thought “uncle” Brandon would be around for a long time. We didn’t expect him to leave so soon.

I plan to never forget the friend who brought us so much joy in the middle of so much personal suffering and turmoil. For those of you like Brandon, who feel out of place, inexplicably sad and in the throes of terrible addictions, please, PLEASE, reach out…to anyone.

You are not alone.

And remember, even with one small light gone, the world is a noticeably darker place.

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day.

My grandfather fought in WWII. I have two brothers who currently serve, one of whom completed two tours of duty. While we are not what one would typically call a military family, I am grateful to the three of them for the efforts they have made and continue to make to uphold the rights and freedoms of people worldwide.

Unfortunately, my brothers and I do not have a relationship. I am saddened by this. They do not know my family; they have never met my son. They do not really know me. And they seem to have forgotten who I was. Regardless of their anger towards me (for reasons only they know) I love them.

And I will never forget all the good times we shared.

Tomorrow I will do a lot of remembering with a full heart and hope on the horizon.

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