Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten - Blair Michael Tapper

It has been a pretty rough year and in particular few days for those of us who have been involved in Blair Tappers life, especially his family. Over the past two days it has been humbling to see how many lives Blair touched and the respect being shown to him and his family while we mourn him.

Today at the funeral home we were having a service for Blair and there was an opportunity for people to speak and tell some stories about Blair and I really wanted to, but I didn't know how to put it into words at the time. I am a pretty emotional person and the numerous tears I have shed thinking about this and the ones that will surely flow before I am done writing will attest to that fact. I decided that it would be best to wait and express myself in a way that I feel more comfortable and in a manner that would give it the proper respect he deserves.

Over the past year while Blair had been getting his cancer treatments I never once saw him let cancer get the better of him. I used to go visit him at the hospital when he was getting treatments and he was always positive and upbeat, despite the fact that he knew he was in for a tough fight. He refused to give up and I think that anyone who has seen him with his children will know why. Giving up was not an option for him, he was determined to fight to the end so that he could be there for his family.

This was especially evident in the fact that he continued to work when he could to look after his family even when he should have possibly been taking it easy. However taking it easy is something Blair didn't know how to do so I worked with Blair when I could to try and help him out. Being new to the roofing business I was grateful for the patience he showed me and the time he took to teach me about that particular craft. I wanted to do what I could for him and his family which is my family too.

I didn't have the pleasure to know Blair since his youth like many of his friends but I think through our common family I got to know the best of him. We have been friends for the last 5 or 6 years and over that time I have come to have tremendous respect for him as a hard worker, a true friend who would give you the shirt off his back and most of all a father who I would be proud to emulate.

People have asked me a lot over the past few weeks why Blair would go all the way to Denmark for treatment that was for all intensive purposes a leap of faith. I have thought about that myself over the past few weeks but the answer was so clear it was staring me right in the face. Literally, they were staring me in the face and that would be his children who were staying at my house on the weekends while they were gone.

I can honestly say right now that when I look at his babies I understand why Blair would fight as hard as he did, to him there was no other choice. They were his life and last Monday night, when we got the call telling us that Blair had passed away, my first thought went to those children. I was devastated when I heard but I was overcome with the thoughts of those little babies and how they would manage.

As a father myself I understand what lengths a man would go to for his children and I can honestly say that Blair could not have done more. This is the picture at the funeral home of Blair with something between a smile and a satisfied smirk on his face. When they put Blair in the coffin to take him from the hospital room he had that exact same expression on his face. I can only imagine that in his final moments that the last thought that came to his mind would have been his babies and to me that is fitting for a man who was consumed by his children.

I pray that in the years to come that those of us who are still here make an effort to at least try and provide a fraction of the love towards Blair's family that he would have. We can never replace him but I think we also own him for all the great moments he provided us with through his life. I know that I am going to try as an uncle to his children to keep his memory alive. It is the least I can do to hopefully be able to give his youngest children a sense of who their dad was and what they meant to him.

Until we meet again, Rest in Peace Blair, your friend Craig.

12 comments:

  1. I knew Blair from working at his cousins store, Charlies Convenience these past 9-10 months.

    I didn't know Blair as anything but a man with an odd, knowing, "cat that got the canary" smirk, coming in to get a case of beer.

    After I found out what he was going through, I was amazed, as he seemed so...determined to live.

    Hearing his friends and family espouse his dedication to his family, it all makes sense to me. Blair Tapper *had* caught the Canary. He had his family, and he lived every day to its fullest. I hope to be more like Blair.

    My condolences to Michael, Marcus, Bill, Shannon, Eric, Chad, and all of the extended Tapper cllan.

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  2. AnonymousJune 04, 2012

    Very touching, Craig...well said. A true friend/brother-in-law you are....
    Take care,
    Paulette

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  3. AnonymousJune 04, 2012

    It has been many years since I went to school with Blair. I'm so very sad to hear that he has been taken so early in life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family especially his children.
    Kim oake

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  4. Nice post Craig. Well said!

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  5. AnonymousJune 05, 2012

    Beautiful...glad to read these posts for i know Blairs family but not himself too much. But his smirky smile and sense of humour was memberable and contagious!! God rezt your soul and give peace to your family especially your six children!

    Raylene

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  6. It has been many years since i've been around Torbay , but my heart sank when i heard the news about Blairs Passing.We were not the best of friends but he was in most of my classes through out junior high and high school. He always had a smirk that made you wonder what he was up to, and always had something to say to make you laugh. Torbay has lost a good man and loving Father and Husband. May God be with his Family through this hard time, and bless his Wife and Children with the strength to get through the loss of a wonderful Father and Husband. My Prayers and Thoughts are with you all.

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  7. Very touching Craig , you had me crying before you were finished . I don't think anyone could have written better and I'm sure his family takes much comfort from your words . I never had the pleasure of meeting Blair , only knew him to see him . I only wish the best for his family as they struggle through one of the tough times in life . R.I.P Blair and God Bless and be with your family .

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  8. I never had the privledge to know Blair, however, I have been touched by his journey. Craig, you have done a wonderful job in your posting. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with Blairs family.

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  9. Jamie Webber and familyJune 05, 2012

    Well said Craig, I was not close with Blair except working a few shifts at the gas bar with him. I do know what Blair's family is going through as we are fighting the same fight for Geoffery Connors and he to is one of the bravest men I ever met,he is my hero and inspiration and it sounds like Blair has a lot of the same characteristics. Sounds like they will get along great when they soon meet.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the all of Blair's family and friends.

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  10. I've known Blair since he was a small little boy, when his family built their house across the street from my parents home. Since there was only ( at the time) 3 houses on our street, Blair and I would play together as children, I was 4 years older than he was, but never the less we were buddies. Of course as we grew and more people moved into the area, we didn't hang out as much, and lost contact over the years. But whenever I came back to visit, and he ever saw me, he'd always make a point of stopping me and saying hi. The last time I saw Blair was last august at the wake for my mother. He looked like hell from the treatments, and was sick as a dog, but still he came to pay his respects. That's something I've never forgotten. Great tribute to him, Craig..he will for sure be missed and never forgotten. It might be a good idea to post some info for ppl to make a donation to his family?? I know donations can be made, but no idea how.. thanks

    Nancy (Bradbury) Hawkins

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  11. Angie Bradbury & FamJune 05, 2012

    Forever missed and NEVER forgotten!! BEAUTIFUL tribute....R.I.P Blair bud

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  12. Wanda Tobin HammondJune 05, 2012

    This is a touching and moving memorial to a man who had so much to give. I saw alot of Blair in recent months, and while I didn't know him from school much (I'm three years older) I remembered who he was when he came into the clinics at the hospital for another round of treatment. My heart sank a thousand feet to hear that he had passed, and I know that you, Craig will keep his spirit for his children, help them evolve and grow with the passion for life, and love of family that Blair had. For his Children, he was an amazing man who loved you with all of his heart, and his spirit will be with you forever. Peace and hugs to the entire family. Blair, keep an eye on us...

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