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Friday, November 01, 2013

Rick's Last Gift

Today wasn't an easy day, as Sylvia and I joined hundreds of other mourners to mark the passing of our friend and colleague Rick Miller. But there were a couple of silver linings:  Kevin Taft delivered a stirring and heartfelt eulogy with grace and strength, reminding us of many of the good times we shared with Rick and his contributions to his community. And Rick's passing brought together friends I haven't seen for months, or in some cases, years. While my time at the Official Opposition wrapped up with perhaps more stress than I've ever experienced, it remains one of the singular experiences of my life. Seeing all those people again - David Kincade, Mildred Richardson, Jackie Foord, Tyler Mudrey, Avril McCalla, Kieran LeBlanc, Bruce Miller, Maurice Tougas, John Santos, Susie Sykes, Carmen Remenda, Laurie Blakeman, Glen Rollans, Brian Leadbetter, Kim Dewar, Tanara McLean, Jeanette Boman, Andrew Fisher, Jonathan Huckabee, Raj Sherman, Jack Flaherty and others I probably missed in the huge crowd - well, it reminded me of all the exciting times that kept me in that place for so long.

It reminds me of the closing lines of one of my favourite films, Big Trouble in Little China:

"We really shook the pillars of heaven, didn't we, Wang?"
"No horseshit, Jack."
"No horseshit."

It was an honour to help Rick and my other friends at the Alberta Liberal Caucus shake a few earthly pillars back in the day. I hope Rick has slung a hammock between a couple of heaven's pillars, and is even now enjoying a cigar, a drink and the company of his departed loved ones. Thanks for being an important part of one of the most fulfilling times of my life, Rick.

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