Tribute to Ailish from Christopher

There are so many things I want to tell you about Ailish. I want to tell you the story of our first date, and how I almost screwed it up. I want to tell you about playing You Don’t Know Jack. I want to tell you about Swedish Berries, about Settlers of Catan, about West Wing or Boston Legal. I want to tell you how she was the most patient person I knew, and the least patient person I knew. How angry she was that McDonalds didn’t deliver. How much she enjoyed bacon. The nose beeping game, the squishy nose game (which she always won). Hippos. NAPS! She loved naps.

If I had a lifetime, I couldn’t tell you enough about Ailish.

So instead, I’m going to tell you about Friday night dates.

About six months into our relationship, Ailish decreed we needed to spend more time together. I hated going out during the week, because then I’d be all tired and grumpy for work the next day. And on the weekends, we used to watch t.v. or just generally be boring.

So Ailish established Friday night date night. Date nights had these rules:

  • They could only involve Ailish and me;
  • They had to be in a pub;
  • They had to be at least two hours long;
  • They had to result in beer as soon as humanly possible after work.

So, every week, we went on a date. We talked about work. We talked about friends and family. I explained binary search trees to Ailish, she tried to teach me about accounting. We discussed politics, vacations, beer, hockey, naps, “our relationship”, or what constitutes a complete meal. We talked about everything. And date night was always longer than two hours.

It did not matter how many hours Ailish worked. It did not matter when she started her CMA (accounting) classes. It didn’t matter if my mother had flown in from England to visit. Friday night was sacred.

I don’t know how Ailish could juggle her life. But she always, always kept time for me. Friday nights were everything. Sure, every other day was wonderful. But Friday nights were everything.

In my wedding vows, I told Ailish that every day was better with her in it. Ailish O’Connor, you are my partner and the love of my life. Every minute I spent with you was special and I miss you so much.

Christopher Thompson
May 8th, 2011 2:53 PM

This is the tribute I gave at the funeral in Edmonton and the memorial service in Medicine Hat.

May 18th, 2011 7:42 PM

Nolan has told several people how impressed he was by your tribute to Ailish – as have I. With your words, Ailish became a clear image in my mind: an inspiration to make more of *my* life, to remember to make time for the ones I love, to make having fun as important as everything else, and to live fully, all the time.
I am glad you are writing the stories. I’ll be here, reading every one.

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