A Friend Finding Fame for All the Wrong Reasons

That’s my friend Crystal Violante (formerly Crystal Hehr) – and the headline sadly speaks for itself. Here’s the article that ran with it recently.

There was also a story that ran in the Calgary Sun that was basically the same (24 Hours is a Sun publication), and an online version. Crystal is a vivacious, wonderful woman who gave birth to a beautiful daughter (Mattea) then was told she had terminal cancer only a few months later. Her friends have rallied around her, creating a Web site, a blog, and a trust fund to help them with their daily expenses. Crystal’s husband Tony isn’t working because he has to care for her and his daughter, so any funds you can donate to help them out would be greatly appreciated by them and by myself.

There really aren’t words to express how much it sucks to watch one of your friends, someone you love, be slowly taken by cancer. It hurts.

Saying Goodbye to George “Nampy” Dunn

George Dunn in 1939, around age 22.

George Dunn at age 74 enjoying a four-olive martini.

It’s been just over a month since my grandfather (whom we all called “Nampy”) passed away, so I thought it appropriate to publish these two photos as a way of saying one last goodbye. Goodbye Nampy, your family and friends will miss you…

Being Home Never Felt so Good

After being away last week from Monday to Sunday night, it felt so incredibly good to come home – I always miss home after a while on vacations and travelling for business, but in this case because our week was so hard (my grandfather passed away on Tuesday night) and full of alternating periods of being busy and then standing around for hours, I think it made me miss home ever more. I’ve never been so involved in all the aspects of a family member passing away as I was this week, so there was a lot of learning for me. I try to be a lifelong student, always learning, improving, and growing. I took away lessons about the importance of having a living will, something I’ll likely write about in the future as I drafted one for my parents on the way home from Penticton.

This blog will likely take a slight turn away from technology over the next couple of weeks as I process this experience and what it means to me.

I Lost My Grandfather Last Night

I’m typing this sitting at a Starbucks in Penticton, British Columbia. On Sunday night I received a phone call from my sister telling me that my grandfather was suffering from kidney and liver cancer, and was near death. This came as a complete shock to everyone – a few weeks ago he was healthy and walking around. Ashley and I got on a plane and flew to BC Monday afternoon, and got to see him open his eyes and acknowledge we were there. Last night, while I was holding his hand, he passed away – his lungs filled with fluid and his heart stopped. I’ve never experienced death in such a direct manner before, so it was an experience unlike anything else – and likely something I’ll be exploring on this blog in the future. We’re going to stay in Penticton until the funeral on Saturday, then we’ll be heading home.

I have no connectivity unless I walk over to the nearby shopping mall and pay $8 for an hour of online access ($13 for the day) so if I don’t respond to email messages, that’s why. I’ll likely be back on Sunday night and returning to work Monday morning.