My cousin Kevin Dusick died on January 30, 2010. He was 46 years old.
Kevin, his younger brother Rodney and I were always really close. My mom and their father were brother and sister and were very close -- our families always did so many things together. I've often thought of them like brothers, and in many ways, the way our families spent so much time together, they were very much like brothers to me.
It's been a tough week, sorting through 4 decades of memories about Kevin and all the things that he meant to me. So many memories, so many stories.
I kept, however, focusing back on when I was younger and how "big brother" Kevin was an influence in so many areas.
Kevin, being the oldest of the three of us, was often the first one to do all those things that we all would end up doing. He was the first to drive, the first to go to school, the first to move away, the first to get married, the first to buy a house. So Rodney and I often learned vicariously through his experiences -- the huge benefit was that we were able to appreciate the experience and watch Kevin go through them while learning from those paths he forged for us.
I remember, when Kevin was 16 and driving, and just the two of us were in the car together, he used to let me lean over and steer the car from the right hand side of the seat. (I always thought that was pretty cool and of course, wonderfully terrifying). I also thought back to when I was in grade 7 and getting ready to attend my very first dance, how Kevin taught me to dance. (Yes ladies, when you see THIS white boy cutting the rug in my "white guy" way, you can thank my cousin Kevin for that one) Kevin was often ready to offer his expertise or advice in whatever new experience I was about to face, and I always appreciated that about him.
Definitely going to miss him.
For HNT this week, I'm posting a picture of Kevin as a young boy holding me when I was just a baby -- symbolic, in many ways for the protective and nurturing "big brother" that he was to me.
Rest in peace, big brother.