When Andrew was about 4 years old, I was his regular babysitter for quite a while. Many weekends I spent at their home. Andrew was a really rambunctious little guy. My lil buddy! Always running in for some mayonnaise sandwiches, then back outside playing again. So many memories of those days. His mom got married and I was at the wedding to watch the kids as usual. Some time after the wedding, my babysitting services weren’t needed as much and although living in the same small town, we lost touch for several years.
Around about when Andy was late teens, I went to Copperside gas station to fill up my vehicle. The attendant that came out looked awfully familiar. He was watching me and I was watching him in my mirrors. Then he smiled. ANDY!!!!!! I knew that smile anywhere! From then on, any time Andy ran into me I would get a hug and he introduced me to his girlfriends. A few times he saw me out in the local nightclub and asked for a dance with his “favorite babysitter”.
When Andy was 20, he was in a horrible accident that claimed the life of his friend. Andy was pinned under a the vehicle, had a collapsed lung and other injuries. He was in a coma for a few weeks and had his mouth wired shut for a few months. I remember bringing him liquid food drinks and still seeing him around town now and then.

We both moved away from our home town. Although we didn’t see each other often, we had such a strong connection between us. Oddly enough, any time I wondered about him, I would run into him within a week later. One such time, I had gone to the mall just to pick up something. When I was going through the outside doors, there was Andy coming in!! He was in town to meet up with his girlfriend and to bring her flowers. He had some time though before his girlfriend was off work, so we went for lunch. He was excited to catch up and tell me all his latest wonderful adventures. He also mentioned that he had the same uncanny connection with me in that any time he thought of me, he knew he would see me soon afterwards.
Andrew got online and we would chat on MSN messenger. I always saved our conversations. He told me more about his accident and hospital stay, and that his sister Kerry was singing off key and he wanted to kick her. That is how he woke up from the coma he was in. He told me that when he was little, there was one time when they were at my house, I was standing at the top of the stairs and the light was shining in such a way that he thought of me as his guardian angel. Funny, because I always thought of him as a guardian angel in being so inspirational to me and to others.
Then he got on Facebook. He was always so encouraging to everyone. He was living in Vancouver and managed to get himself on a Canucks promotional video with his face painted at one of the games.
In 2011, I was visiting family in Vancouver area and managed to catch up with Andy. We would meet at a Waves coffee shop. Once we took a long drive to another suburb to visit his friends and get some famous donairs. Another time we spent a whole evening together. We went for dinner, went to the market, walked the wharf and watched the sunset. It was that night when we parted that he gave me a hug and I asked for a second hug. Little did I know that would be the last time I saw Andy in person. Thankfully we had Facebook and phone calls.
December 14 2014, a Sunday morning, I saw his sister Kerry’s Facebook post as a tribute to her baby brother. He had passed the night before. I was confused and didn’t even believe it at first. Then I was a wreck. I screamed, I puked, I cried. I could not accept this news. I could not stop crying for weeks afterwards. I managed to get through work barely and almost cancelled our family Christmas because I could hardly function. There was a memorial with some of his friends in Vancouver on December 23 2014. I couldn’t take time off work for that as we had black out during Christmas. Then was a funeral planned for December 29 2014 in our home town Terrace. With only an hour’s notice, I was on the highway to get there. A six hour drive just to be there for my lil buddy, my guardian angel. No, I did not hold it together at the funeral. At all.

A few months later, I was in Vancouver again. I always wanted to see a live Canucks hockey game. Somehow we scored last minute tickets to a live game, with seats right behind the goalie. I figured Andy was pulling some strings on that one. Over the years I have had several visual intuitives “see” Andy behind me. I have been asked many times “who is that dark haired man behind you?”. One time I referred to him as my guardian angel and I was promptly corrected that he is now a spirit guide. I find some comfort in knowing that his spirit is always around and he is quite happy now in his new soul mission.
Sometimes crying is the only way your eyes speak when your mouth can’t explain how broken your heart is.

March 8 2015: Almost 3 months you’ve been gone. The torrential tears have somewhat subsided finally, only now and then they leak out… It’s true that you never really understand how much someone means to you until they are gone. I am so thankful for the times we had heart to hearts and that you knew beyond a doubt how special you were to me, and vice versa. Even though the tears have subsided, I still feel like my soul has had a piece of it torn away by a merciless chain saw. The only thing now that keeps haunting me is that the last time we spent time together, when we said our goodbyes, I asked for a second hug. Now I realize that on a subconscious level I must have known that would be the last time I saw you in person. A dear friend explained to me that sometimes on a physical level we don’t understand spiritual things and ‘joke’ about those things. Maybe that is why you and I were always each others ‘guardian angels’. I doubt I will ever quite understand that uncanny connection you and I had of just ‘appearing’ when we thought of each other. I am so thankful for every moment you were in my life and all those ‘coincidences’ that wove a beautiful tapestry of our friendship over so many years.

I’m Free – Unknown

This poem is attributed to various authors and is also known by several different titles

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard his call,
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I’ve found that peace at the close of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My Life’s been full, I savoured much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch,

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.

My Facebook picture album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155352871530526&type=1&l=8f92786ae0