I received the news that my childhood best friend Alexa, lost her father Jamie today to ALS. Jamie Caswell was my leader in cubs and scouts for many years, but outside of that, I knew Jamie from being at Alexa's house almost every day when we were kids. I can remember almost every moment I walked in Alexa's front door Jamie would greet me with a 'noogie' which would consist of him grinding his knuckles into my head until I could escape. Jamie always knew what to say to make people laugh, whether he be at home, camp or anywhere else for that matter. He also had a way of telling if someone was having a bad day, and always made sure to approach that situation from a particular, caring angle.
I have always admired Alexa's perseverance and strength as an individual. Whether we were doing dog sled races through Camp Samac or walking miles from Raglan to Oshawa in flip flops, she has always had a perseverant attitude. Over this past year, I've realized that she got this from her Dad. Jamie Caswell fought a hard battle against ALS, and I will always admire how his family came together to care for him, and especially how hard he fought. Once Alexa and I went away to University I didn't get to see her or Jamie often.
Although I was only part of Jamie's life for a short time while I was growing up, he had a significant impact on how I see the world. While I'm on my journey half way around the world, I find myself subconsciously thinking about him whenever I am packing up my stuff, like we would on the last day of camp, I think of all of his advice from his many years of camping. Whenever I see a fridge magnet with some crude joke on it I think back to his unique humour. Jamie, your legacy will forever live on in the many lives that you touched, may you rest in peace.
Neue Bop: (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
Today's song has always had a special place in my heart. Otis Redding finished recording "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" just days before the plane crash that took his life. Listening to the cheerful melodies, I feel like it's a fitting song to remember a man who lived such an adventurous, courageous and beautiful life. Rest easy Jamie.