Casey Cosgrove: An example of what will never be forgotten celebrated Sunday afternoon.

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 18th, 2017



It was to be a Celebration – and it was certainly that.

And it was also an occasion when a lot of people , mostly from the eastern side of the city, most at or past the age of 50 who gathered to remember a man who made a difference to everyone he met.

He was their neighbour, he was the guy they all liked and admired. He was the guy who came within 500 votes of being the Mayor of the city. He was the guy who loved his wife so publicly it was a little embarrassing at times. He was the guy who saw his daughter as the most precious person on the face of the earth and he was the guy with one of the most unattractive dogs on the face of the earth.

Cosgrove celebration

It was close to a Standing Room Only crows at the Convention Centre Sunday afternoon where the city celebrated the life of Casey Cosgrove.

His brother Marty served as the MC.

Marty was there to help us remember Casey Cosgrove – a citizen we lost earlier in the month when he succumbed to cancer at the Carpenter Hospice.

Casey told his friends of his cancer more than seven years ago – at that time he was told he had 18, maybe 24 months left. Casey stretched that to seven years and in the process let us see what courage is all about.

At the same time we watched his children grow and we began to believe that he was going to beat the cancer.

Casey baseball cardHe was always involved in something. He always had time for whoever called him – he spent untold hours talking to people who were going through a crisis of their own.

He was exceedingly forthright about his disease. It wasn’t until the very end that we all felt that gulp of fear for the man as the realization that we were going to lose him set in

It was then that we saw the strength his wife had in keeping things together and seeing everyone though a crises that is unimaginable.

These Celebrations bring some surprising stories about the person being celebrated. Peter Pang attended university with Casey and then lost touch. He didn’t know a Casey who was battling cancer – the man he knew was a born leader and a practical joker who was inspiring people long before he became a husband and then a father.

Pang had to read through seven years of material on the Caring Bridge to learn about what his friend had gone through.

Everyone who spoke used words and phrases like “authentic”; “the world is a better place for his having been here”; “an example of what will never be forgotten”,

The 11 first cousins were mentioned – many of them in the room.

Fox run - Team Casey

Part of the crowd that took part in the 36th Annual Terry Fox Run.

The 36th Annual Terry Fox Run had taken place earlier in the day; brother Marty asked how many people had taken part in that Run – more than 85% of the hands in the room were raised.

There was a couple standing in front of me. At first they were just standing beside each other; then thy held hands; then they put their arms around each other’s waists and seemed to get closer to each other. They had lost someone dear to them, a peer who was taken by a disease that we don’t understand and the fear that is part of not knowing where it is going to strike next.

We were all holding on tightly at the Convention centre Sunday afternoon.

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