EULOGY FOR MY BRO, PHIL GAGNON
After Phil's death, our brother, Tim, conveyed a wise thought given to him by our Sister-in-law, Maria. "Regarding Phil, we are beyond the 'What if's'. We should all get on with now and the future."
This thought is uncomplicated, precise and the truth.
All of us who knew Phil were injected with his energy, enthusiasm, endearment and enchantment.
Through the "miracle" (for our generation) of Skype, we were able to sit down and talk. He was friend and confidant. We kept current on family activities on the other's coast as much as possible.
We shared similar life experiences and saw most things with similar eye, though, he leaned more to the right in many instances.
"My pictures are right here." he would say, pointing to his head. He cherished memories. Sadly, we Three Gagnon Bro's did not get what we knew may be our last time together.
Phil saw the passage of time constructed of events that were closed but not terminated. His entreating :Let's put a bookmark here" proffered cheerful anticipation of the next exchange. It, as we know, was accompanied by his eye-glint intensity and his patented winsome grin with its mustached "accent" above the upper lip.
Our former generation, for the most part, travelled very little distance from home. That kept the ties tightly secure.
Time, distance and money have caused much separation of our Gagnon family in this generation. "What if's..." abound.
Though apart in many ways, we Gagnons can do our best to make this world a little bit better and know that there are others with the same blood in their veins that care, even from afar.
We "olders" can only hope that someday you "youngers" will know that we did the best we could.
Indeed, one of Phil's pearls was insisting that we not take anyone for granted. Hard to do but he called to task.
Phil was fascinated with the thought of what would come after this life. He anticipated being with Mom and Dad. God is a Friend.
In a hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire on 9 July 2013, I anxiously awaited his arrival from San Diego. He was to land at 12:10 on the 10th. It had been six years since he, Tim and I had been together.
I received four phone calls: 1- There was a flight delay. 2- The flight had been diverted to Buffalo, NY. Phil had chest pains. 3- Phil called me from the ambulance. He still had chest pains - was concerned but not frightened. I asked him to call after he got settled in. He said he would and that he was calling Maria. 4- Maria told me that my brother was dead.
I shared the news with Tim around 3 A.M.
Couldn't sleep. Turned on the television.
The first words I heard from that apparatus were "I'll see you on the other side."
It was a commercial for a horror movie coming to theaters. Ironic, given Phil's life's work. For me, Peace-giving.
That brought the last chapter in this life for me, with him, to a close.
I am proud that you, Tim and I are the heritage of Cecilia Cora (Beaulieu) Gagnon and of Leo Philip Gagnon.
Those of us on the East Coast have been blessed with the delights of your visits that flatulated us with your puns.
Nieces and nephews: Erine, Christopher, Allison, Anna, Sara and Gabriel
Wives: Tim/Mary Conrad/Eileen and Susan
We, fortunately, have all shared your intense physical and heart-filling HUGS.
Bro, we've other episodes to share. Skype allowed us to leave nothing unsaid.
Je t'aime, mon frère.
Tu me manques.........Conrad
Chip and Donya, Missy and Kevin, Dan, Jourdan and Lauren and Remy, Jedidiah and Jakob, from afar we spiritually join hands and hurt with you.
Maria, I am comforted that your life was aligned with his.
Our sage brother, Tim, sums it beautifully: "Phil was 3000 miles away.
Now he's 3500 miles."
Joseph "Conrad" Gagnon - Millbrook, NY