Thursday, December 08, 2005

Another sad day... another little story

The very day that we arrived in Montreal back in 86 we went to see the fireworks. By chance we met up with an old friend of my mom’s from way back when… He was married at the time and they just had a baby… however, the relationship was far from good at the time..
Within a few years his marriage had fallen apart and I started to see him more and more often at our home. It was good, I liked him a lot and he was very respectful, of me and my mother.
When it was time for us to get a new apartment he asked me if I would mind if he moved in with us. He explained that he had not yet talked about it with my mom because he wanted my opinion first… with that move he got my respect and he became a very important part of my life, and within a month or two we were living as a family. I was in my early teens when he came into our home and quickly he became a father figure for me. He was a real “Dad” We had fun times, long talks, laughs, spats… he gave advice, looked out for me, presented me as his daughter, chauffeured me around… everything that I expect a “real” father would have done….
The thing about Roger was that he was just an amazing man… he was always the center of attention, he was always the one that everyone wanted to be with, he was the life of the party, he was a walking encyclopedia of music and sports, he was intelligent, he was street-smart, he was honest and thought good of everyone, he was hard working, he was sensitive, he was always there for the ones that he cared for, he was one of the most amazing men that I have had the honor of meeting in my whole life. All of these qualities made him loved by everyone and his job of barman was just a perfect match…
A few years ago he was diagnosed with Hep C…, it scared him and he didn’t do the things that he should have done to get things under control… he was scared to leave a lifestyle behind that had been part of him for so long… At that point the relationship with my mom had also deteriorated and things were just a bit off for him…Not long after, he was diagnosed with cirrhosis and a tumor that was the size of a large orange was found in his liver that was beyond treatment.
He was given 9 months to live.
He was a grandpa, he was ready to leave a part of his life behind, he was ready to live better an healthier but it was too late…
He started on a experimental treatment that would help buy a little more time and through it all there where many ups and downs… He was so proud of me and he was so much in love with Xavier. They had an amazing relationship and they had a very special connection. Xavier loved his “Pops”
Soon after I found out I was pregnant with Colin, in the spring of 2004, Roger was going through very rough times. He was hospitalized a few times because his disease was affecting his brain making him confused and delirious, it had been a year that he had been diagnosed and we thought that he wouldn’t make it to summer… Summer came and so did cottage time and his spirits and heath rose… he was in good enough shape to enjoy the time that he and my mom spent up north, he was in good enough shape to help us put some paint on the walls, he was in good enough shape for us to have a great summer with him, I regained the hope that he would meet Colin… In September he was there when Colin was born and it was one of the happiest moments of my life…
However, his health went back down as the weather got colder, we celebrated his birthday on Oct 4th, we had a great Thanksgiving supper (the first traditional super that I have made) and we talked on the phone more and more often as we saw each other less and less as he got sicker… On Dec 7th of last year we talked on the phone, laughed and said I love you and during the night he took a turn for the worst and died in the hospital the next day…
It has been a year today and I miss him more then anything… I still cry every few days, I still talk about him often with Xavier and Xavier still remembers him vividly… I don’t want him to lose that…
The world lost an amazing man one year ago today….


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