Memories of a Friend
Ian “Moose” McGuire
January 4th of 2017 will be a day I will remember forever. It was the day that I was told that my childhood friend Ian passed away from cancer. It was a total shock and surprise. Not because at age 58 it is us unheard of to have someone make their transition but because it was Ian.
Ian who seemed so much larger than life to me, who was slightly younger, robust, played football in high school and could launch home runs like nobody’s business. Ian who was one of the bookends of a class picture because he was taller and I was in the middle virtually the smallest.
Ian who was popular and played hockey and though not the greatest skater could fire the puck and score goals. In short growing up he was everything I was not.
Yet here we were at the baseball field by the old one room school house pretending to be baseball stars, taking turns being batter and pitcher, him launching rockets and me dribbling hits over second base. There were countless hours of road hockey in the winter and other interludes like fishing.
And then there was that great canoeing trip where we discovered that you don’t take canned food on multiple portages because they are heavy and that when you head in the wrong direction to the trail markers it makes the trip more adventurous.
It was also the trip where we learned that Lake Opeongo can indeed be fierce as we watched in amazement my brother and his friend’s canoe disappear in front of us in the huge swales as we rode the crests of the waves. Though neither one of us said it but we both knew that was one wild and scary ride.
When we became teens and of driving age I remember the multiple trips to town to get the newest invention “the subway sandwich” and then there had to be dessert which looked like Dairy Queen ice cream. Of course there would be conversations around girls. And in true fashion Ian had a girlfriend before I did.
When I graduated high school a year earlier than Ian and most of the class to go to college our worlds parted. We saw each other during the summers and here and there but those special childhood moments had passed. We were now adults, however, ironically we both started our working lives in accounting and later enjoyed trading him options me stocks. In between I had moved away to British Columbia which created distance in miles.
When my parents became ill and I returned to Ontario to take care of them we would hook up occasionally over a tea and crumpet. He had lived in the same local area all that time and as I would drive by his home there was always comfort in knowing Ian and his partner were there. That he was happy living an incredible life. Somehow knowing that gave me a sense of wholeness that is now gone. But not gone are all those memories and that is what I will hold onto now.
Thank you Ian for being a friend!