“I had been having a lot of terrible headaches. On November 6, 2006, they got so bad that I didn’t go to work. My neighbour, Josh, who I had only had very little relationship with (only said “Hi” now and then), became interested in the fact that I had not left for work. He came along and noticed that my truck was still in the backyard, got concerned and phoned up to Edmonton to see if they had heard from me. They hadn’t, so Josh and his wife started looking through the windows and thought they saw something. They called 911, came into my house and found me passed out on the floor. I was taken to Red Deer hospital, and an hour later, to Foothills in Calgary, which is where I woke up. I’d had a brain aneurism and it burst. All I remember is having such bad, bad headaches, and then, ‘bang’, I woke up in Calgary. My neighbour then became my best friend because he saved my life. If it weren’t for Josh, I would not be here today.
Josh and his wife were just my neighbours – I didn’t really know them. But after they helped me out, we became good friends. He went through a divorce and got custody of his son, who called me Grandpa. I used to babysit Jacob quite a bit when I got out of the hospital. There is much to be thankful for when neighbours take an interest in each others lives.
Before the aneurism, we only knew each other as people living next to each other, that’s it. But after my aneurism, Josh visited me in the hospital. He also did lots of other things with me: took me out for dinners, went to Westerner Days in Red Deer, the Ponoka Stampede, rafting on the Red Deer River, BBQs at his house, went to church with him, to Smitty’s Buffet, etc. Josh bought guest passes for the Collicutt Centre, which is also when I taught his son how to swim when he was about 8 or 9. It has been refreshing to see how our relationship has grown.
It took a brain aneurism on my part for my neighbour to invest, literally, in my life. We are now the best of friends; in fact his son, now 13, says I’m his best friend – his dad just gets to come along!