Thirty-six Years Old Is Too Young

It’s news like this that makes me sit back and think about life.

I just got a call from my dad to say that Robert Mask, one of my brother’s best friends and a kid we grew up with, passed away. He was playing hockey, and then he was gone. He was 36, and has a young family. I’m trying to find out all the details about services, but Thompson Collins Funeral Home’s website needs some serious accessibility work. None of the links appear to go where they should. I’m trying to get Robert Mask’s obituary, but I keep getting Robert Howard’s book of memories! I would also love to subscribe to email updates if they’re just for when the service will be for Robert Mask, but I can’t. Maybe that’s for the best, because they could be updates on anyone who has passed away, and I don’t need that. It appears the culprit is ill-formed Javascript. The whole menu is not keyboard-navigable. At least I found the funeral home’s phone number.

He and my brother used to play together all the time. I remember the year they, along with another friend or two, made a Ghost Busters costume and home-made replicas of the ghost-busting gear. They put a lot of work into that project. He was over at our house so much that when mom would get us to stand against the kitchen wall to see how much we’d grown and make those little marks in the wall for each of us, he would do it too. Man, his marks were always way higher than ours. It must have looked funny to people who didn’t know who was who.

And there was that one time when my brother really wanted him to stay for supper. He stayed a lot, so I guess my brother was sure that he’d have no problem getting mom to say yes. So, he thought he could just invite him over after school and get him to hide behind the couch when mom got home while my brother asked if he could come over. Keep in mind that Rob is a tall kid, so that’s pretty hard to do. But that night, she said she wasn’t sure about having him over, it was a busy night or something, at which point my brother said “Ok Rob, I guess you’ll have to go home, and out Rob came.” We all had a good laugh at big Rob hiding behind the couch. I’m sure he stayed for dinner, because mom couldn’t really tell him to scram after that. But she explained to my brother that that wasn’t cool…after she stopped laughing.

I ran into him once while I was here in Guelph. He lived in a little town near here, and he happened to run into Steve and I and some friends when we were heading to a restaurant downtown. He gave me a hand and then told me who he was. It was pretty cool to see him after so long.

What a shock for his wife and kids. Neither of the kids will have many memories if any of their dad. It just goes to show you never know when your time will come. Everybody, live life to the fullest!

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