Thursday, October 25, 2012

Michael Burdi

Last year, we visited downtown Toronto with the kids. It was the first time my husband really got to see the Toronto I LOVE. We always went downtown in the bitter cold months. Not sure why, really.

At any rate, I took J and the kids past where I worked, lived, loved for my formative years. I showed them where I had been a computer consultant at the Scotiabank head office and the former Sears Canada head office. Where I shopped. Where I went to see movies and the chi-chi salon where I had my hair done. We drove up Yonge Street. They saw street cars and subway stops I frequented. It was a beautiful spring day. Perfect really.

I showed my family where my first apartment was. And my next home in Toronto. It was the third home that saddened me. This is where I lived along with Michael Burdi. Michael owned a cute, brick bungalow. He lived on the main floor and rented the newly renovated lower floor to me for a few years.

Michael owned a hair salon for years. Salon on the Avenue. He drove a Mercedes in the winter and a corvette in the summer. He smoked like a chimney and had a heart of gold. He was an amazing stylist. Michael cut my hair once. I've had some amazing hair cuts. But that one, I still remember. My hair fell perfectly ALL. THE. TIME. For months!!! It was a GREAT cut.

As we drove along Brooke Avenue last spring, I saw that many of the older homes had been demolished and new homes built. Sadly, 290 Brooke Ave was one of those such casualties. It was really sad for me. I had lived there longer than anywhere else I had lived in Toronto. It was (and still is) a great neighborhood. I remember running to the bus stop in my heels. LOL.

I had searched for Michael Burdi before my visit. I found an obituary. Sadly, Michael passed away at his home in 2008. What was really sad was how life seemed to just go on as if he never lived. People shopped and ate on Avenue Road. They went to the grocery store. To the hair salon. His house was replaced. His salon no longer there.

It made me sad. This person I loved was gone and life just went on without him. Michael did not have children. He loved his nieces and nephews like his own. He talked about them often. My hope is that Michael lives in on the hearts of memories of his nieces and nephews. That they remember how special their uncle was and share that with their children. I don't have a photo of Michael. But I remember his face clearly. And his laugh. And his kind heart.

I know that dying is the way of life. That death is a part of the life cycle. And that people die every day and life has to move on. I think I just wasn't ready to move on yet. This blog post is my way of finally saying "Good bye" to Michael Burdi.

"Good Night, Sweet Prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." - Hamlet 

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