This is a mad weekend for me, with birth, love, and marriage all represented. I got hitched on this weekend in 2006, and still am, with gratitude.
One of my three best friends' birthdays also occurs this weekend.
On a sadder note, I unexpectedly lost Hugh DeCourcy, a beloved friend, mentor and kindred spirit on this weekend back in '96. He had a heart attack.
I have no online photo of him. I do, though, keep a framed picture on the bookcase by my writing desk. It is the last photo someone took of Hugh before he moved away from Cornwall to go out west and teach high school in Vancouver. Hugh is standing under a tree, in August evening light, nonchalantly, as though to say, "This is me. I'm happy to be going. Here's a tree. There's that."
Sometimes, if you're lucky, restless and growing up in a small city, you can meet someone who changes the course of your life, and influences you still later on. Hugh was that someone for me. He introduced me to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and showed me that I could pursue my passion no matter what everyone else thought. Hugh taught me that you can be an hobby guitarist, a keen chess player, an amateur painter, a cross-country runner, a close observer, and a writer of infinite passion and curiosity.
This one's for you, Hugh.