The Passing Of A Friend

Our neighbour Don passed away in the wee hours of Friday night. Sure, he was pushing 90 years old, and his body was riddled with cancer (among other health issues), but it doesn’t make it suck any less.

We moved into this house four years ago, and our neighbours adopted us – as older couples whose own kids live far away will do when a younger family moves onto the street. We went back and forth, they made a fuss over the kids, they’d watch our cat while we were on holidays, I’d always clear their lane of snow every winter… and then we’d have play fights over whether or not they should pay me for doing the work (I always won, because of course they should never pay me for that. I love being outside in the winter, so they’re doing me a favour). Months ago, Don gave me a bottle of whiskey. His chemo wouldn’t allow him to drink it, and he wanted me to have it. I haven’t opened it, and I doubt I will. Well, maybe some day.

Anyway, it’s a tough time for the family and the neighbourhood, even though we all knew it was coming. It was a long, slow decline for him, hard to watch. And it’s only adding to my own little reorganization here. You’ve maybe noticed I haven’t posted much in the last little while. A wee bit ago, I’d texted James to say I was thinking of taking the summer off from blogging. I was running out of steam. I’d just started that All The Everything series and it is (admittedly) very daunting. You’d just have to see the Man Cave’s contents to think I was nuts for even starting. James’ perfect response was “meh, just post when you want.” Good advice, as it is what he does in these pages.

I turn 43 years old in a couple of weeks (I am quickly coming to the end of my year of being the answer to life, the Universe and everything), and I was reflecting back on having done this blog for nigh on eleven years. It’s a labour of love and fun and great tunes and experiences and the building up of an awesome community and it’s cool. But for now I’ll read all your posts (likely at the weekends over coffee, mostly). I’ll rest for a bit, focus elsewhere… jam tunes for the sake of pleasure, not for how I’ll write about them. Chase the kids (and my lovely wife), do some work on the house, create, breathe… I’ve done this before, and I know I’ve said hiatuses are for chumps (they are), but here I am.

R.I.P. Don. The last few months were a true struggle of pain and worry, but hopefully now he can have some peace. And I’ll still be here, moreso as a Reader, for now. Some day, surely, I’ll be filling these pages with gibbering once again. Until then, see you in the Comments.

29 thoughts on “The Passing Of A Friend

  1. stephen1001 says:

    Neighbours like Don are wonderful folks, rest in peace.
    And James is wise, just post when you want, about what you want, whenever/whatever that may be.
    Have fun chasing the family!

    Like

  2. Marshall Gu says:

    Post whenever you want! It’s the same advice you gave me. I hope to see you around, every now and then. Sorry about your neighbor.

    Much love,
    Marsh.

    Like

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Hey Marshall, thanks. It sounds like something I would say, but it’s harder to follow one’s own advice, apparently. I’ll probably be back at some point. I’ll still be reading, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Heff says:

    Sorry to hear of the passing of your neighbour. Never an easy thing to deal with. As for blogging, even though I may not comment on each post, I do read and enjoy each one. I have seen pictures of the man cave, so I can understand the task ahead. Post when your heart desires and I will read on. Rock on!

    Like

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Hey Heff, thanks and you’re right, it sucks. You and Deke were the only ones to see that shot, an inside scoop! Thinking now I’d need a second lifetime to do it all. Thanks for reading, and rock on back atcha.

      Like

  4. Becky says:

    Sounds like your family brought a lot of joy to Don and his wife. It’s a beautiful thing when neighbours take care of each other that way. Condolences for your loss.

    Like

  5. mikeladano says:

    Rest in Peace Don.

    Write what you need when you need…that’s…kind of like what James said. You might have something happen that really inspires you to post. Whether it be an idea or a photograph or even just a meme! Let yourself dictate!

    Sad to say but as I get older I have been to too many funerals. We know they have to happen yet when they do you’re never quite “prepared” for it. For me anyways.

    Condolences on your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Hey thanks, Mike. Don was one of the good ones. As for the blog, I must admit I’m enjoying just listening for the sake of listening, right now. But I will write again, the thought is still there. Eventually.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. deKE says:

    Sorry for your loss. We have great older neighbours as well. Hang in there bro and to your family as well…
    Anyone passing on no matter at what age makes it no easier ….
    Blog when u want fella. Man 11 years??! You and James should get the Order Of Canada! Blogging for about a full 7 years before I knew what the word Blog was!
    Ha!

    Like

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Hey Deke, thanks for this. I think our neighbour’s passing was the last in a long list of things making me need to take a break. Yup, October will be 11 years. I dunno about the Order of Canada, but I’m glad you fired up Superdekes!

      Like

  7. 80smetalman says:

    Sometimes, my life gets caught up with so much other things, that I feel I’m disappearing up my own rectum. That’s when blogging gets put on the back burner. Many condolences for the loss of your friend.

    Like

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks, 80smetalman, Don was good stuff. I certainly agree that things are busy, but I’d always force something up (which likely explains a lot of the questionable quality of my posts). But now it’s busy and I’m not writing and it’s feeling pretty damn good on the back burner, at the moment. I’ll probably be back at some point, though.

      Like

  8. Sarca says:

    Well, you know I’ve taken a few hiatuses from blogging. Now, I post once a week, and feel like I could post more, but am holding back as I know time and stress could become a factor. I say take James’ advice and write when you want. No one will think any less of you.

    Like

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Hey Sarca, you’re right. James is right. This break has been good so far – life has filled in the time I spent on this anyway. I’ll probably be back at some point, but I like your idea of restraint. Time and stress for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Zack says:

    I find myself taking hiatuses more frequently recently, but I never plan it that way. I just get busy and the next thing I know a month has gone by without a post.
    It makes me wonder what it will be like to hang up the blogger hat. Will I burn out? Or fade away?

    Like

    1. keepsmealive says:

      I’ve taken several breaks over these years, and always come back. So far into this one, though, I haven’t really even thought about writing here. It’s… freeing. But you raise a good point… personally, I don’t think you’d burn out or fade away. You’d just be awesome elsewhere and we’d miss you.

      Liked by 1 person

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