If you know me at all you probably know that my life changed pretty drastically on August 9th, 2014 when I lost a close brother. I felt it was time to revisit the tribute I had written and maybe share a few additional thoughts.
So how do I describe in words, how much Calvin meant to me. It seems like words can never be enough, but this is my best shot.
He was a great brother, as well as a great friend. Being a more reserved guy, I have never had a large group of close friends. This is a role that Cal filled for the 19 years he was with us. He was a guy that was always available. Whether that would be going to the movies, playing catch in the front yard, or playing tennis.
Of course an obvious place to start would be to talk about his first love. No it’s not a girlfriend – it’s a sport called baseball. He caught the baseball fever early on when he got picked up for provincials with Morden.
He setup his office behind the plate, often peering down at the ground to think of the next pitch to throw. He prided himself with that part of the game; that and keeping the game fun. He was often seen sharing a laugh with an opposing player, or ump, because well he knew almost everyone. Another part of Cal’s game was his strong and accurate arm. We always joked that he had a “hose” of an arm from third. In the later stages of his career, he became more of a utility player. He did not always feel, like he had the skill set for what was being asked of him, but was still willing to do whatever the coaches needed. Bunting was an example of this. He always thought he was terrible at it, but yet when the sign came from the coach, he gave it his best effort.
Cal often came up big when things counted the most. Whether that be getting a big hit, making a strong defensive play, or coming in to close a game. We often asked him if he felt the pressure, but he always shrugged it off with his quiet confidence. I think it is very evident he was just having fun playing the game, and making friends which is evidenced by everyone here.
Baseball wasn’t Cal’s only sport. He also enjoyed playing hockey in the winter. I’ll always remember the year Lance and him played together. They were a tandem. Lance being a smaller guy could go in and cause a disruption, knowing that his big brother would not be far behind.
Cal also supported all his brothers in sports. I remember when my hockey playoffs came around he was always in the stands cheering me on. It always felt that we shared in each others successes, as well as failures.
Another one of Cal’s pastimes was going to the gym. There were many weekends where we would text back and forth, to arrange things. When I arrived he was usually downing his pre-workout shake, while lounging on the couch watching an MLB game. He also would have a new MLB meme ready to show me, so we could have a good laugh before we left.
Once at the gym, I knew things were all business. Headphones would go on, and talking was kept to a minimum. Even though we didn’t always do the same exercises, we were each others training partners. Giving each other tips, and spotting for each other. I hope you’ll still keep motivating me even though you’re not around.
Often times during a weekend we would make a popeyes run. One time we even stopped at value village to buy some cheap work clothes, since his old ones were covered in glue. I remember you commenting as we left, “Isn't it crazy that I just spent 70 bucks in there?”. Definitely a moment I will never forget.
On the day that you left us, I was so privileged to go to the festival and have breakfast with you. We weren’t sure it was going to work, but I guess it was meant to be. The last thing I said to you was - are we going to the gym? You had other plans, but I know you’re now in a better place.