Today, Ailish would have turned 30. This would have been a weekend of celebration, beer, and smiles.

It has been a long time since I last wrote a blog post here. There are a million stories I could tell, but I plan to stop writing before the end of this month.

I want to say thank you. This article would probably be most appropriate if left as the final blog post, but it’s going here instead, with one or two more to follow. I have decided to leave out people’s last names. If you see your first name mentioned here, I’m almost certainly talking about you. In no particular order…

Thank you to my family. My mom and my dad (and Sylvia), my brothers David and Matt, and my sister, Helen. And brother-in-law, Travor, and future sister-in-law, Mel! Only family truly understands how crazy you are, and I am deeply grateful for your support despite that craziness.

Thanks to Michael and Dominica and Siobhan and Brian. This has been harder on you than anyone can ever understand, and I am proud to have you as part of my family. I owe you a debt that can never be repaid.

To Sarah and Chad and Tina and Shane and Sandy and Nick and Nicole. I cannot find words to express how wonderful you have all been. Your acceptance and friendship has kept me sane.

Jake, Dane and Erika, Sophie, Janna, I am a poor friend. I am sorry I have done a poor job keeping in contact with you, and I thank you for all the times you have included me. You were all so much more than a ‘friend’ to Ailish, and I wish that words could take away your hurt.

Chris and Leighann, John, Christa, Val, Lonna, Clinton, Greg. You guys. :) So awesome.

My coworkers, including but definitely in no way limited to Fraser and Tys and Remi and Geoff and Dennis, and my boss, Jack. Some days, some weeks, some months sucked, and you guys helped more than you can imagine. You are also are incredibly smart and very wonderful. Also, Krissin; a friendship based entirely on hippo pictures!

To Lorna, thank you for all you have done, and all you have helped me with. I am proud to know how much Ailish meant to you and to her coworkers. She so deeply loved being a part of the City of Edmonton.

Roma (and Graham) and Melina and Heather and my very many twitter buddies. Sexy, smart, funny, wonderful, the lot of you.

To the ten people I will remember as soon as I hit publish, your omission from this list shames me. And some people I deliberately did not mention because you don’t know me and won’t ever read this, but you helped me nonetheless.

And, of course, to Ailish Ruth O’Connor. What could I write that could ever be enough?

April 19th, 2013 12:48 PM

Chris, being so far away from you as you have lived through the last two years has been so difficult so I too want to thank all those you’ve mentioned here because they have also helped me. Knowing that you are so well loved, supported and understood has comforted me here too. We all know how crazy you are and we love you anyway!

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