"When they used to ship manure on ships, out of concern that it would release explosive methane gas inside the boat it would be carried on the deck. So it would be labelled 'Ship High in Transit',"

My mother told me.

"or SHIT."

She waited for a moment to listen to the gears in my head cranking over, then added,

"But that's not actually true, it's called an 'etymological fallacy'"

I listened to her quiet glee and thought to myself, 'I can't wait to tell Buddy about this one.'

Because Buddy was our visitor.

And during my days out and about I would collect curiosities like a little chest full of misfit toys to share with our visitor.

Three nights a week Buddy would arrive as quietly as he could come through a door at precisely 7:30 p.m. With a toddler and an infant, Suzy and I don't get out much.

So Buddy's visits became our connection to the world.

He'd bring a Molson Canadian for me and one for himself and settle into the couch beside the constant mountain of unfolded laundry.

Often there'd also be a gift of Addy's baking.

Over an hour we'd all open our little chests and unveil what we'd gathered through the day to mull over as the dark world swirled outside.

On Thursday morning Ronald Lionel 'Buddy' Doucette didn't wake up.

He never saw the text Suzy sent him saying that our oven was broken and asking if he could come pick up a frozen pizza from our house and cook it for Jamie and Cori's kids who she was keeping an eye on for the day.

Buddy would have loved to have gotten that text.

Because he would have immediately adopted the pizza and our oven as issues of great significance.

That's something Buddy did - make things significant.

That is an unusual capacity in humans. We grow so accustomed to the world around us that we don't look at.

Only Buddy noticed the three small stands of pale green along the Harbour Road signifying black locust.

"They're a member of the legume family - related to beans," he explained.

Things that grew were of great significance to buddy.

Language too held endless curiosities for him to wrap his mind around.

And of course there was theatre.

But most of all he took an interest in us.

In the young people of his community.

Cherishing our victories and offering counsel to our struggles.

He cared a lot about everything.

And for what it's worth, we hope he knew we all cared about him too.

Last night I thought I heard the front door opening and said to myself 'what have I found today to share with Buddy?'

Our little community, like every other, is a collection of fragile humans rarely stopping to ponder the miracle that one breath follows another.

Amongst the breaths we are alotted we entwine ourselves in each other's lives.

Buddy has taken his last.

And we are lonelier already.

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Aaron Beswick