Last Saturday, Joanie picked me up to go to Rick's house (her fiance) around noonish. After spending about 20 minutes waiting to cross the border, we were on our way. Even though it had been so long since I'd been in Canada, it didn't really feel too different. I thought maybe it would feel like a challenge overcome considering I had to get an enhanced license and stuff. But, not so much! We got to Rick's house, had a little something to eat, and then left to head to Toronto. The drive there was pretty good, and we only had one area where the traffic was pretty slow. We ended up on the street where the theater was located around 3pm. After going allllllll the way down the street, Rick finally found a place to turn so we could go allllll the way back up the street to park. We ended up a half a block from the theater, but it was a beautiful day, and there were shops to browse, so it wasn't too bad. We went to a bead shop (yay!!), a record (yes, tons of records were available) shop, a candy shop, before we crossed the street and got in front of the theater. Joanie took a picture of me next to one of the large movie poster images with Euan's smiling face. He was the feature film at this theater for this special day.
I went inside, knowing there were already family and friend's of Euan's milling about. There was a table to the left after I went through the inner doors that held a toy replica of Diggedy Dozer, the main character of a series of children's books Euan had written. They were taking orders for advanced copies of the final 2 books and the DVD. I felt guilty not being able to purchase them at that time. Sometimes I really hate when money issues get in the way, but, Euan would have understood. I supported him alot when he showed me the first book and little movie that went with him, and I know that meant so much to him. I looked around and saw Euan's mom, Maureen. She gave me a huge hug. She pointed out Euan's niece, who I recognized from the pictures I'd seen, and then his dad, Brian, came over. He also gave me a hug, and I think they were both really pleased I could make it. I was introduced to many people, and a group of ladies who used to work with Maureen. They ended up being so sweet and kind, and made space for me to join them to watch the movie and, later on, to eat at their table at the pub.
As we sat in the theater, music played continuously, music to soundtracks of movies Euan loved most. Some I could guess right away (Star Wars, Toy Story), others were a mystery to me. Eventually things began. One of Euan's good friends went to a mic, and said that what we were about to see were approximately 50 minutes of clips of videos and animations Euan had done throughout his life. His love of everything movies and animation began when he was a boy, so he tried capturing so much on film. He had school projects, college projects, silly videos, and then his Diggedy Dozer video clip. It was a beautiful tribute to a man who had such a passion for the film world and creativity. A standing ovation was given at the end, and so many of us didn't have a dry eye.
A pub up the street from the theater was where many of us headed after the movie. The back patio was reserved for us, and it was such a gorgeous evening that it was very comfortable sitting back there. As everyone gathered and ordered food, I just watched. Euan brought together so many people, for so many different reasons, but one thing obviously stood out: we all loved him so dearly. He touched our lives in a variety of ways, and not one of us could ever forget him and what he meant to us personally.
I was doing pretty good dealing with Euan being gone, but the last few weeks have been a bit hard, and this weekend was even more difficult for me. Maybe it was because it was so focused on Euan, and me seeing his parents again and meeting his siblings. While I enjoyed myself, and hope to be able to visit them again soon, the sense of loss came right back at me and slapped me in the face. I miss Euan so much. I miss our conversations, I miss how we finished each other's sentences. I think what I miss most is what could have been. I am trying my hardest to get my heart to let go of that. I will never know what the future might have been for us, and there is no point in trying to guess or picture it. The only thing I'm holding on to are the wonderful memories of the times Euan and I got to chat, or write, or talk on the phone. Those times meant so much to me, especially since we could relate on so many levels. I could never forget the kindness he showed me and the love we had for each other. There will surely never be another Euan in my lifetime.
I said my goodbyes to Brian and Maureen, and they both told me to come visit any time. A bench is planned to be bought in Euan's memory in Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines, and so whenever they are able to get it, they'd like me to come see it and sit on the bench. I would like to do that very much. Joanie and Rick picked me up, and we were off back to Rick's house. The travel seemed to go by much faster than going to Toronto, and before I knew it, we were leaving Rick's house to go back home. It was a wonderful day spent with Euan's loved ones, and I am beyond grateful to Joanie and Rick for bringing me so I could be with all of them. I know that Euan was with all of us, and that he was probably blushing from all the praise and compliments in his honor. It really was an enchanted day, spent remembering a truly enchanted life.