Chris will have some very dear company now. The Dixon clan lost a long-cherished friend this week with the death of Ron Laidlaw. The Laidlaws were like a second family to Chris and were among the first people to meet him when he was just a baby.
Ron and his wife Vips welcomed me into their home at Christmas- time several years ago when I visited them with Chris and his mom and grandmother. I was a bit nervous because Chris had talked about them so much and in such a warm and affectionate manner that I wanted to be sure to make a good impression. I need not have feared any stern inspection! At the Laidlaws, strangers quickly became friends and friends became family.
Even though he was 88 when he died, Ron was never old. He was passionate about current events and curious about people, he had a wry (sometimes even corny) sense of humour and loved to share cartoons and jokes with loved ones near and far via his computer, he loved a good bottle of vino and had been helping his younger son build up a small vineyard in the Niagara region. His life-long passion was photography which he continued to practice up until his death.
But most of all he loved his family and his friends and they reciprocated in spades. Although I didn’t know him long or well, I could see the deep, abiding love and joy that Ron felt when he was surrounded by those he loved. He just bubbled with energy.
After his wife died several years ago, Ron described himself as a ship without its sail. He has rejoined his beloved Vips and I know they will enjoy smooth waters together forever more. Bon voyage – we will miss you.