Fully, Completely - An Open Letter to Gord Downie

It's Tuesday Morning. I wake up to my wife saying, 

"Oh... Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer.

'Fuck..." That's all I can muster up. Fuck. My heart sank. 

He will likely never know it, but in that moment I felt compelled to tell him...

Gord, you play a pivotal role in one of my most cherished childhood memories.

I was 12 years old when my father took me to my very first live concert. He took me too see you - The Tragically Hip at the Halifax Metro Centre. 

I will never forget sitting in the upper section of a sold out Metro Centre with my old man. Myself along with 11,000 other strangers were transfixed, even though I had to rely on a set of binoculars, scanning the stage to see you do what you do best.  

I'll never forget your spastic yet immensely compelling stage presence, unpredictably moving your body and flailing your arms as if the music had literally taken possession of you.

I will never forget hearing your falsetto screams of epic poetry into the microphone while being backed by your frenetic and relentlessly powerful band.

I will never forget how you stirred up this deeply rooted passion within me. Your performance left me longing to one day become someone as unapologetically committed to one's craft.  

I'll never forget the experience of reveling in that moment with my father. That night was akin to playing catch or fishing with my old man, but 1,000 times more meaningful because together we were both enthralled and moved by your presence. You contributed to some of the most memorable quality time that I've ever spent with my old man. That memory is something that I will hold in my heart until the day I die. 

"Oh... Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer."

That news rocked me to the core. It was a stark reminder that there are countless people in my life who have contributed to making my time here on earth as enjoyable and as memorable as it's been. I see these people every single day. Yet I rarely take the time to acknowledge how big of a role they play in contributing to my everyday joy. Gord Downie reminded me to stop taking for granted the wonderful, gifted, loving and empowering people in my life. To tell people that I love them while I have the chance. To tell people that I appreciate their contribution to my life while I have the chance. To tell people they have inspired me, or moved me, or enriched me in some way while I still have the chance. 

Thank you Gord Downie. For everything you've done for me, and for the thousands of fans that love you. Can't fucking wait to see you one last time on your final tour. Fully, Completely.