Remembering Don Murphy

Remembering Don.

It seems like just yesterday I was giving Don a hard time at Strawberry Hill. We were stood outside the resort, our hands full of equipment, and he couldn’t get the hatch to open on the CNA van. He fiddled with the back – poking and prodding at the door and scratching his head trying to figure out how to open it.

I looked at him, put my fingers beneath the hidden latch and hauled open the door. He just looked at me and grinned.

Later that night I teased him in front of the other students, and in his embarrassment he said “Yeah, but you’re a fucking mechanic!”

There’s a few people who will get the hilarity of that statement and what happened after. You know who you are.

Don was a happy fellow, though I’m sure like most of us, he had burdens that he carried with him that few people were told about. But he always had a smile for us, and a laugh not easily forgotten.

It wasn’t long after I started the program that Don learned I was from Labrador. From then on, when he’d catch me in the hall alone somewhere he’d start singing, “Labrador Rose, you’re the rarest of flowers…” to me as he walked by. It always put a smile on my face, and from the first time I heard him sing it, he’s the only voice I hear singing it since.

On my last night in Stephenville a crowd of us met at Clancy’s. Don was in the doorway as I was leaving. I didn’t know how to say goodbye to Don, as he was the type of person that you don’t like to say goodbye to. You always hope you’ll find a little bit of Don in everyone, but he’s one of a kind.

I told him I was leaving in the morning, and his happy face suddenly grew sad. I can’t be sure, because my own eyes were blurred with tears, but I think he shed a tear too. I leaned in for a hug and he wrapped his arms around me like it would be the last time he would ever see me. I didn’t know it then, but that had been the case.

I’ll always hear Labrador Rose sung in your unique tune, Don. You were an amazing person to get to know, one that won’t easily be forgotten.

Love,
M.

May 3: Rain

I’m back! Yes, I’m at home in St. Lewis for a little while. Or at least I hope it’s a little while (no offense, family, but I need a job!) I just graduated from the Journalism program at CNA’s Stephenville campus. It was a challenging couple of years but I’m pretty sure I came back a better person because of it. Through personal and professional drama, I am still here, kicking like an old Chev.

It’s raining here today. The hills are painted with fog and the rain looks cold enough to tear the skin off your bones. But I’m home, and nothing can wipe the smile off my heart. It would be nice for a little sun though, my brown car needs to be washed back to white and I’m not going out in this weather to do it.

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It’s been an odd couple of days since I got back. I have been thinking a lot about my grandfather, he passed away the 25th of this month, last year. I will never forget that day. I won’t go into detail.

I just wrote up his in Memoriam and sent it along to the Northern Pen at the request of my Aunt. I think it really reflects who he was. I miss him so much.

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My Dad painted my room in the last week before he came to Stephenville Crossing to help me pack to move back home. It’s a beautiful light blue and it’s truly a peaceful space. I think I needed that, ha ha. But the paint fumes are very strong in here and it’s giving me a sore throat = not so pleasant. Any advice about how to get rid of paint odor? Please note that my mother is allergic to strong scents so air freshener is a no go.

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Well as you can see not much has changed with me, I’m still a jumble of thoughts and sentences. I’m going to be blogging more frequently now that I’m back in a stable mindframe (don’t time me, it might go away soon lol).  Here’s some pictures!

Just around the bend

One week.

We have just one week of regular classes before exams start on April 18. Graduation is April 26. Labrador home-coming is April 27. I can hardly believe it.

All those times I cursed at stories and research papers are coming to an end. People will go back to their towns and cities and gradually we’ll forget about each other. I know this because of experience, this is my third go-around in college. The thing about friends though, is that even if you lose touch there’s always a little part of them that goes with you wherever you are.

I’m going to miss my chats with Carol the most probably. And laughing at Steph and Jess and their “Hmmm..yes..yes” chin-whisker grabs and jokes. I’ll miss James’ sneezes that give you a mini-stroke. I’ll miss Mitch’s PHANTASMAGORIUM! rants. Melanie’s seal laugh. Gage’s know it all attitude. Megan’s what-is-she-wearing-today cool outfits. Don’s “FUCKING ADOBE” and “Hello?” computer conversations. And of course, Lynn’s “not being attached” philosophies. But I won’t miss the smelly newsroom.

Yes, it’s all coming to an end soon. These past two years have brought me some highs and lows but I guess everything has turned out as it should, and the future will unfold as it should as well. My positivity is on the climb.

Good luck to everyone, wherever you end up. Just know you’ve left a small mark on me, and I’ll keep it close forever. Cheers!

M.

I also will not miss people’s shitty parking skills. Thanks red car.