I have been wanting to write this blog post for a very long time. Actually, I started writing this in January, the moment I started my on-line business, but I never finished it. It was just too difficult at that time. But today is the day. This is something I really needed to do.
I want to share with you a few stories about a very special friend of mine, Warren Malinoski. Warren passed away unexpectedly one year ago today, October 27th, 2013, and I sure miss him.
Warren was so excited about me starting up my own business and he was my number one supporter. You know how people dedicate books to someone? Well, I am dedicating my website to Warren. I know if Warren was here, he would be proud of me.
Let me tell you a little bit about Warren. Warren was my neighbour and one of my best friends. When I met him, my life changed. I smiled more, I laughed more and I appreciated life more. We saw each other almost daily and Warren and his little dog, Annie, became such a very big part of my life. I sure miss the sound of Warren and Annie coming up the stairs for a cup of coffee and a doggie treat. Sadly, Annie has also since passed away.
I called Warren "dude" and he called me "city girl". Some days when I was working 12 hour shifts I did not see Warren and we missed each other. Quite often we would leave each other ridiculous messages on our answering machines. I would say things like "Hey Dude, I miss you. You've grown on me like mold. Where are you?" The next day he would leave me a message "Hey city girl, you hibernating in there? I haven't seen you in a couple days".
Warren and I spent endless hours talking about life - our children, our goals, our travel adventures and our hopes for the future. I always believed we would grow old together and that one day when I retired we would spend endless hours just visiting in my garden and taking walks to the local ice cream stand.
Warren had an amazing sense of humour. I remember one day he came over and was showing me how bad his psoriasis was on his neck and arms. I asked him if it was all over his legs and other parts of his body as well. Without missing a beat, Warren stood up, dropped his drawers and said "sure is". My response was "dude, I never asked to see your junk". And we howled.
Warren was accomplished in many things, but using a camera was not one. After a road trip to Saskatchewan, Warren was anxious to show me his photos that he had taken with a disposable digital camera. Warren and I shared a love of old homesteads and the prairies. Although he made a good effort, 90% of the photos he had taken from inside his truck and almost every picture had his rear view mirror in it. Again, we howled and I told him I was going to buy him a small digital camera for Christmas and give him a few lessons. Unfortunately that did not happen. We also talked about taking a road trip together this past summer. I wish you were here my friend, I wish you were here.
I need to share just one more story about the photo above. Early one morning I could hear someone honking their horn outside. I looked out the window and it was Warren waving at me to come downstairs. I opened the window and said "dude, I am in my pajamas". He said "I have to show you something, city girl, so just come downstairs". I quickly got dressed and ran outside to see what Warren had for show and tell today. In the back of his truck was a huge snapping turtle! Warren was driving along the highway and saw the turtle trying to cross the road. Fearing that it would be run over, he stopped and picked it up. His intention was to take it down to the river and release it. I ran back upstairs to get my camera. After I complained that I could not get a good shot with the turtle in the back of the truck, Warren bravely offered to hold the turtle for me. In the first few shots Warren had a horrified look on his face, but when I said "dude, cop me a smile", he did and I got this one good shot.
I could tell you story after story about Warren. He was one of the kindest people I have ever had the honor to call my friend. I know most of you didn't know Warren, but you would have loved him too. That I am sure of.
I just want you to know that I think about you every single day and I miss you. Some days I still cry and some days I smile because I have so many wonderful memories of you.
Do you remember the time you gave me some pennies and told me to throw them in the wishing well in your front yard and make a wish? Well, I don't really remember what I wished for that day, but if I could make just one more wish, I would wish to have you here with me and your family. We all miss you. I promise I will never forget you.
I love you my friend. xo