The End – Keepers

We’ve all had phases in our lives that have had to come to an end. That’s how our lives work. We grow, we move on. Besides the lessons I’ve learned in those life phases, the most valuable thing to come out of those endings, are the people I’ve picked up along the way. Friendship is a bit like fishing. Some people we catch and we keep. Other times, it’s catch and release. When a phase in your life ends, it can mean saying good-bye to some friends and letting them go. This isn’t always easy, but usually in hindsight, we…

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The End – Ending and Beginning

A beginning is an ending, always. That quote is from the short story Satan’s Children, by Spider Robinson.  It is, in fact, the very first line, and possibly the best first line ever written.  I mention this because I got to tell Spider that, the very first time we met, and that was the beginning of a thirty-year (so far) friendship.  I love that line, not just for its elegance, but for the sheer truth of it. The thing is, there’s often a transition period between the two states when pain makes it hard to tell much of anything. Birth…

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The End – The Unexpected Gift

I remember exactly where I was when I got the news my older brother Doug had died. It was the Monday of Labor Day weekend, 2011. I was at my home, a 28-acre forested property in Mulmur Township, southeast of Collingwood. The telephone rang, and I answered. It was my eldest brother Peter calling to tell me Doug had passed away earlier that morning. The news both did, and did not, come as a shock. After having a stroke-like memory loss one August day in 2010, Doug spent some time in the hospital before being diagnosed with an aggressive form…

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