Monday, May 11, 2009

The valley of my childhood

This is me and my childhood friend Glenn. We were pretty much inseparable from stroller to school bus. Our parents were good friends and we lived one block away from each other. Lots of holidays and summer days and nothing special days were spent together until we started school – he at the local English Catholic school and me at the local English Protestant one.

We used to go exploring in our neighbourhood, climbing rocks and trees, poking sticks into dark holes; we snuck popsicles from my house and then his on hot summer afternoons; we went tobogganing at the nearby hill; we played board games in our pyjamas; we divvied up our Halloween treats, bartering what we didn’t want.

As is the usual course of life we made new friends once we started school and began to drift apart. There were still birthdays and Christmases but we saw less and less of each other as the years flew by. Glenn and his family moved away when we were about nine or ten. After that we rarely saw each other aside from the occasional visit during summer vacations but by then our devoted childhood friendship had faded into our parents’ photo albums.

I recently found out that Glenn died last summer from complications of a second kidney transplant surgery. I had always known that Glenn had diabetes. He was diagnosed when we were little kids, but I never really knew much about it. I knew he had to have needles – that was about the extent of my awareness. It never occurred to me back then that he could die.

It’s been probably 20… 25 years since I last saw Glenn. My favourite memories of him feature a grinning, mischievous boy with dark unruly curls. I hope he’s still climbing rocks and trees, and exploring, and finding new adventures.


WALKINSHAW, Glenn Kevin 1962-2008

On July 16, 2008 at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, QC at the age of 46 after complications from transplant surgery, Glenn passed away peacefully with his family by his side.

Glenn is survived by his mother Lorraine (nee Ward) Walkinshaw, predeceased by his father Albert. Beloved brother to Brad Walkinshaw (Mary), of Montreal, QC, and Jill Walkinshaw (Steven) of Orleans. Glenn will be fondly remembered by his nieces and nephews Rini and Amanda of Montreal, QC and Alexandria and Anderson of Orleans.

The family gratefully thanks the Dialysis Unit of the Riverside Hospital of Ottawa for their kindness and nursing care, and also the Royal Victoria Hospital Transplant team and the ICU Medical and Nursing teams for their care of Glenn since May 19, 2008.

A Mass in the presence of the ashes will be held at St. Patrick's Basilica, Kent at Nepean Sts., Ottawa, at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 with burial in the Botanical Gardens at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.

In memory of Glenn, please consider the Juvenile Diabetes Association and remember to be kind to everyone. Rest in Peace, dear Glenn. We Miss You. "Live Free and Ride".

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