I lost a member of the Oldfield family this week. My cousin David passed away unexpectedly. I regret not taking the time out of my busy schedule to stop by his home this past summer as he had invited me to see their new puppy. I was waiting for the right moment and I see now that we can’t wait. We need to take the time because tomorrow is so uncertain.

David was kind enough to attend my book signing in Rigaud and he kept saying how proud he was to have a ‘writer’ in the family. I was not as close to my cousin as my siblings because I was the baby of the family…born ten years after my brother but I remember him visiting my parents regularly. His dry sense of humor would breathe fresh air into the household and make everyone laugh.

What I loved most about David was how much he reminded me of my father. He had a warm smile and he would sway side to side during standing conversations with his arms crossed over his belly, just like my Dad used to do. He liked short visits, another Oldfield trait, and though he did not say a lot, he filled the room with his tall 6 foot something stature and made succinct, to the point remarks on everything from politics to sports.

David and his wife had a gift shop in Hudson for years called, Heidi’s and some of you may have known David’s Mom, Nelly. She used to cut hair out of her home in Pointe Claire. I have had students come up to ask me if I knew of Nelly. She was my mother’s best friend and when she died unexpectedly, a little bit of light left my Mom’s eyes.

Death impacts all of us differently. I have lost both of my parents and it is tough. I know what David’s son is feeling and what he is facing. I was in a fog for over a year after losing my Mom suddenly. I thought that I would never smile ‘for real’ again. I knew how to paint on a smile but I remember asking my minister if I would ever feel happiness again.

I am happy to say that in time we learn to hold onto our memories and move forward. We never forget our loved ones. There are constant reminders. I still shed a tear if I hear a special song or see something that reminds me of my parents but I am able to shift my focus to the happier times that we spent together and before long, I am laughing and crying at the same time.

I am so happy that I saw David in June. I am grateful that he took the time to see me and I recommend that everyone reading this blog today, call a cousin or send a quick text to make them smile. Life is too short.

See you soon,

Beth