The Three Ronnie’s

Posted: March 15, 2014 in Community, Family

ronnies

In the last twenty-five years, I have been quite fortunate to have awesome neighbours. They have been at times mentors, good listeners, steady hands, dependable, great friends, and most certainly memorable.

I am a great believer in serendipity, so it should come as no surprise that the three best neighbours I have had and currently have are named Ron. I call them ‘The Three Ronnies’.

Ron # 1 is named Ron Beaudette. This man was my first neighbour who lived beside the first house I ever bought. At first he was wary of me: he was great friends with the people who were vacating the house, and so looked at me as somewhat of an interloper. But I wore him down. I’m like that. He talked me into playing old-timer hockey, not because I was old, but because the league was looking for players who could fill the ranks, and if you were younger than the ‘limit’, you just had to be a terrible player. And so I was. But what great fun we had.

Ron Beaudette was my best man at my wedding. What an awesome individual he is, and truth be told, one of the best neighbours I ever had. In the last few years Ron has battled cancer, and as near as I can tell, has beaten it even though he was told it would beat him. He is a man who has suffered many things, but a more resilient man I do not know. It has been a privilege to know him.

My second Ron is named Ron Smith. A gregarious man, you would never know he was in his late 70’s. As friendly as they come, he loves to talk to everybody, and there is nobody below him. This man has been a great neighbour, has been fantastic to my children. Has even gone and brought food (and strength) to my ailing parents. For no reason other than love and compassion. He bought the old run-down house next door, and on a shoe-string budget rescued the place from sure decay and destruction. Always positive, he is a man I am truly going to miss when we move from this home.

Which brings me to my third Ronnie, Ron Demers, who resides in the house beside where we are moving to. This house is the one my father built, one which I have been pining to live in since we left it 40 years ago. This Ron is in very different from the first two, yet in many ways the same. Many know him as a gruff person, because he is all business in his public dealings. I have come to know him through the years as someone other than that persona, a man with a heart the size of Texas, a man who is one who takes for the underdog. He has ploughed our driveway (now driveways) without being asked, has cheered us on through many fundraisers and events, and has been a stoic shoulder for us to lean on. This Ron is a keeper.

As is fitting in such a serendipitous life, my Three Ronnie’s have been father-like figures, brother-like as well, and most definitely friends. I cannot believe how fortunate I have been to know these men, as has my family been honoured in such a way. It is a humbling feeling indeed that I experience in acknowledging their presence in my life.

Well played, universe….well played.

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