Growing up I did not have a close relationship with my father but the times I remember most were those years that we belonged to Great Lakes Yacht Club. My father took me sailing my first time when I was seven. By the time I was thirteen I was an avid racer and sailed thousand of miles to wonderful places.
Matthew Emmanuel Greene
Michael Anthony Greene
During the summer of 1971 – I was Eighteen – just graduated from High School and was looking forward to going to college and the rest of my life. That summer it all changed. We got a call. We had to drive up to Sarnia, Ontario right away. I knew something was wrong – dad was on a boat in the middle of Lake Huron helping his friend when he collapsed from a Cerebral Hemorrhage and was taken to the nearest hospital, which happened to be in Canada. Matthew Emmanuel Greene died before we arrived. His death and my difficulty in dealing with the grief lasted for a long time. It was many years before I was able to finally let go.
Exactly Eighteen years after my father’s death we were blessed with Michael. Michael was my best friend. We did everything together. I took him golfing the first time when he was seven, he loved it. He would challenge the adults we would play with and usually beat them. We would go up north to ski at SchussMountain, but the sport that Michael loved the most was Roller Hockey. Michael started to play at a very young age. Whenever I could, I would be his coach. He would always bitch about it but you knew he was proud. This last year he started an adult hockey team with all his best buddies and really enjoyed it.
This was Michael’s Eighteenth year. He had just graduated from high school and was so looking forward to the next phase in his life. He was registered at WesternMichiganUniversity. He had attended the orientation, had selected all his classes for the fall semester. He was going to spend this last summer doing what he enjoyed most – which was being at camp. On Wednesday June 20th I got a call. It was the one call a parent would never want to have. It was the owner of the Camp informing me that Michael had an incident. Michael was flown by Helicopter to Toronto, Ontario. You could tell Michael really tried – he fought for 30 hours and at 10:46 PM Michael passed.
What irony! The only thought I had before Michael left for the summer was, would I be alive at the end of the summer. Not the other way around. The other oddity is 18 + 18 + 18 = 54 my age!
What I know to be true and what I will take comfort in, is that both my father and my son were doing the things they loved most when they passed.
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