As many of you know, the past month or so has been quite a rollercoaster for my family.
My dad was admitted to the hospital on January 8, 2012 for minor surgery, which took place on January 10, 2012. The plan was to remove a small section of his bowel, where a small cancerous growth had been found. However, once the surgeon was in there, he discovered it was much, much worse. Due to complications from that initial surgery, my dad had to have two subsequent surgeries, and spent the last four weeks of his life in ICU.
My dad passed away last Wednesday, February 8, 2012 – three days before my brother’s wedding.
I’m still not sure how we have made it through all of this, but together, as a family, we have managed to celebrate – first, my brother’s marriage, and then, my dad’s life.
I’m not sure what more to say…words are failing me as I try to explain how I’m feeling about it all. So instead of trying any further, I thought I would share with you the Eulogy my mom wrote (with help from us kids), which my Uncle Paul delivered at Dad’s funeral on Tuesday.
My dad was a very private person, and I know I didn’t talk much about him here on the blog – but I thought this might give you all some insight into the man we’re all going to miss so much… my Dad.
Brent was born in North Onslow, Quebec on December 10, 1940 – the youngest son (and eighth child) of Bay and Velva Young. He was presented to older brother Garry as his second birthday present! They have always been the best of friends and Garry has always taken wonderful care of his little brother.
The Young family left the farm and moved to Quyon when Brent was four years old. Here he spent his “growing up” years – in a place that was always very dear to his heart.
Brent and Elizabeth were married on July 22, 1972 and once again Brent chose to return to Quyon after living in Ottawa for several years. He bought the Stanton Rd. home and it was there the three children – Kara, Jillian and Luke - were raised.
Brent took great pride in all their achievements. In fact, one of his last comments as they left his room in ICU recently was … “good kids”.
Brent loved sports – playing softball and hockey in younger days, bowling and badminton in later years. Brent coached minor ball – and Jillian never let him forget that he had cut her from one of those teams! He was an avid fan of the Quyon Flyers and one of Luke’s biggest fans throughout his years in minor hockey – a dedicated father who loved to offer advice to Luke and coach him from the sidelines.
Brent and Garry made wonderful music together. “The Youngsters” were regulars at the Quyon Legion for several years in the ‘60’s & ‘70’s. He loved to entertain at parties with music and recitation – “Rindercella” was always a favourite with the young fry, and he encouraged Jillian and Luke when they showed an interest in playing guitar.
He was the proud “grandpa” to Caden and Danica - Kara’s children - and looked forward to their weekly visits.
He was always amused when he asked Caden about scoring goals at hockey – and of course he always scored at least one or two goals!
Brent loved to tinker in his garage. He was meticulous about where everything should be placed, and annoyed if anyone messed things up. He definitely wanted the cleanest car in town. Elizabeth is already finding this task difficult to maintain!
It has been a contest in the neighbourhood in recent years to see whose grass would get cut first – Bart’s, Randy’s or Brent’s. When one started the other two were quick to follow – don’t worry guys – Elizabeth is not sure she can keep that up, either!
Brent was a lifetime employee of the National Research Council. His career there as a supply officer in the chemistry department ended in 1995. He filled his early years of retirement working at Young’s Appliance Services, Ellard Kennedy’s & Mountainview, and for several years as Garry’s plumber assistant.
Brent disliked being the center of attention – not fond of birthdays, gifts, and definitely would not want a big fuss made over him today.
For a guy who liked to go fast in his “Mustang cars”, in later years the trucks – Jimmy, Maurice and Neil – (all named after former owners) – regularly toured the streets of Quyon at a snail’s pace. If you ended up behind him you were in for a scenic tour through town, as Brent puttered along, assessing community activities along his way.
When Brent made up his mind to do something nothing would stop him. It was that stubborn determination that definitely helped in his final battle. In one month he survived three surgeries and successfully came off a ventilator twice – no easy feat for someone who had battled COPD these past four years. He was not able to win this final struggle with cancer but the effort was amazing.
We pray that Brent is now at peace. Brent --- we will all miss you greatly!
I’d like to take a moment to thank those of you who knew the struggles my family faced this past month, and who sent messages and emails checking in; who sent food to the house; who came to the wake and/or funeral. Your love and support during this difficult time will never be forgotten. xoxo