Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!


on July 21, 2010

I know that I’ve been a bit AWOL lately….  Things around here have been a wee bit hectic.  Insane?  Weird?  Definitely overwhelming.

It all started three weeks ago with a phone call from Ja’s brother Ian.  Their other brother, Kenny, had died in his sleep that day.  He was 34.

We don’t know the actual cause of his death yet, just that he couldn’t be woken up, and then he was simply gone.  Taken home.  He left behind a wife and two small children.

The first three days after his death were fairly torturous.  We couldn’t find Ja’s parents.  They had just left on a cross Canada tour…  their first one ever.  They were headed from central Ontario all the way to British Columbia, a dawdling tour, with full intents of shooting off the highway if the whim so took them that way.

They do not own a cell phone.

Yup.  The thought was that they do have a GPS doohickey, and no one, not one of us thought that WE would need to contact them.  We’re all healthy, things are good, and if THEY needed help, they had one of those panic button thingies on the doohickey.

All we knew is that they left London at around 10 AM, and were headed west.

Canada is a very large country.

We made a phone call to the OPP, who, unfortunately were very little help.  The people that were finally able to help us locate them?  Canada Parks.  They were amazing.  They checked the system every few hours and emailed us an update.  They were kind, they even had one park ranger at a certain park drive around to see if they were still in the camp.

Ultimately, it was Canada Parks who caught them signing in at Kakabeka falls and gave them the message to call us.

I think that may have been the hardest thing that Ja has ever done in his life.  He had to tell his mom, over a bad connection no less, that her son was dead.

Her youngest son was dead.

Parents are not supposed to outlive their children.  Ja said afterward that he has never ever heard his mom make that kind of noise before.  He said that he hopes we never ever are on the receiving end of a phone call like that.

But, I am very thankful to the Lord that up until that point?  They had a wonderful trip together.  Ja’s Dad said that it was three of the best days of their married life together.  Was that intended to shore them up so that they could deal with the heartbreak of losing their youngest child?

Ja and I have seen a lot of death in the past few years.  We both lost our grandmothers last year, and we also lost a very dear friend.  Nothing has been like this though.  Nothing has seemed so… personal… so wounding.  So heartbreaking.

My niece and nephew are aged 2 and 1 respectively.  My niece spends most of her days screaming “DADDY” whenever her front door opens, and dissolving in inconsolable tears when someone leaves.  At first she thought that her Daddy was playing hide and seek, and she would search the house for him.

When my Gramma died, I was heartbroken.  We went to the funeral, we mourned.  I miss her still to this day, but we moved on.

This?  This is going to be an open wound for a good long while.  I had to marry Ja to get brothers.  Kenny was a brother to me, we went to highschool together, we sat on the bus.  He made fun of me when I cried because Ja went back to Thunderbay, and then would tell me jokes and make me laugh until I felt better.

He had a grin and a laugh like you wouldn’t believe.  We would always say that Kenny was such an ASS.  And yet, he was the most lovable bear of an ass I have ever met.

His pride over his kids was something to see.  He got so excited about the least little thing they did, and would happily tell the whole world about it.

Kenny was a dreamer and a schemer.  Fully willing to take the ribbing if you would just spend 10 minutes listening to his latest scheme.

We didn’t see him enough.  We felt used a lot of the time, and yet now?  Now we won’t ever get that time back.

Kenny was a believer.  He knew where he was going when he died, and there is no doubt in my mind that he was right.  There is hope there.  Hope that we will see him again, that we will hear that laugh again, and that we will be able to smack that bear of a man when he makes a silly teasing comment.

Kenny was a son, he was a brother, he was a husband and a father.  He was a nephew and a friend.  Kenny was… Kenny.

I look forward to the day when I see him again.



3 responses to “Kenny

  1. Russell says:

    I read this at work – even though I said outloud that I shouldn’t . . .
    You’re a gifted writer, but even more, you are a truly loving friend, sister (in-law), wife, mother, daughter.
    I Love You!

  2. Great Aunt Joyce says:

    Jamie this brings back Frank’s death. Yes, I can imagine the scream of horror that I assume that Ja’s mom made as that is what I did when they came to tell me about Frank. No one knows how much as a mother we miss our children when they are taken home early….On the bright side I inherited his cat which is a bright spot in my life…Also, my great great nephews & nieces are an inspiration to me.

  3. […] Yarn Harlot Admin Log in « Kenny […]

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