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A friend of mine was buried today- Paul Davies.

I met Paul in the fall of 1968. I can’t remember the exact moment we first talked with each other but we shared a common experience- the first day of Grade 9 in a new School. I do remember wondering how I would ever survive 5 years in this place, Bebeuf College, with these Jesuit priests as our teachers.

It didn’t take long to settle in and to make new friends and soon it was as if Paul and I had known each other all of our long, long lives.

One thing I do remember is how Paul went to bat for me with the hockey coach after I got cut (yea I can’t believe that either that they cut me from the hockey team), and he got me a second tryout. We went on to play defense together over the next 4 years and we had one motto- We may be small but were slow!!!

Paul was the first one to leave Brebeuf as he wanted to get on with life and headed off to Community College. There he met his future wife, Janice, and was- yes you guessed it the first to get married. I got married a few years later,moved to Calgary and we lost touch.

And then life happened!

It is obvious as I reconnected with Paul’s’ circle of family and friends that in the 30+ years we had not seen each other that life had happened.

The tears in the congregation at Mass were evidence that Paul was much loved. The tribute written by his daughter showed that he left behind a legacy and that he was remembered as a wonderful and caring father.

But Paul died early at 56 and there is no denying that hisĀ  life had become a struggle and he eventually lost this battle. I came to learn he had not been well for a number of years and the pain of these years was evident in the faces of those closet to him.

My memory of Paul Davies is that he was a great friend to me when I needed one in those early days as a grade 9er. While I have known other people longer, and may have lost touch with Paul, I will never forget his lastingĀ  gift of friendship.

Rest well Davies and let the next part of the journey begin.

PS: I have a picture in this post called Welcome Home. It helped to remind me, when my own brother Rick died, that the promise of everlasting life is fulfilled when we are guided into heaven by the Holy Spirit, welcomed with the open hands of God the Father and embraced by our brother Jesus.

I believe whatever brokenness Paul experienced here on earth is healed tonight. A new life for Paul is about to happen!

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