Canada is a happy place today but not for all of us.
A dear friend of mine, Doug Prest, passed away at 10:10 this morning and the world just ain’t the same without him in it. Doug was one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. He warmed my heart over the past 6 months with his gigantic smile, a laugh that could ease anyone’s pain and his passion for enjoying every moment of life. While I was waitressing at Bon Rouge Bistro in Victoria, Doug and his wife Jo-ann quickly became close friends of mine. They would often visit me once or twice a week, always sitting in my section and they always made my day brighter. They claimed that I was the best waitress in town. We had the most amazing conversations. They knew more about me than even my boyfriend knew about me at the time. I could tell them anything and they were always accepting. I adored Doug and Jo-Ann. Two of the most beautiful and fun people that I ever had the privilege of serving. Their love for one another often gave me hope that the love I was searching for would eventually come my way. It was inspiring to witness and so heartwarming.
Every Sunday, they would come in and Doug would get a pint of amber, Jo-Ann a dry apple cider. They were so cute, always sharing their meals together. I always tried to sneak some extra fresh baguette in their bag as they loved it so much. I got to make Doug’s birthday extra special, singing to him and bringing him a special treat from the bakery. And every Sunday, I looked forward to when they would come for their late lunch. Just weeks before I left, Doug forgot his credit card at Bon Rouge and it was so cute how he came back for it, minutes later and all because Jo-Ann had remembered. She always looked out for him and I’ve always admired her strength and striking beauty. Doug was such a gentleman. He treated Jo-Ann like she was the most precious thing on earth and for good reason. It always warmed my heart to watch the two of them eat their meals together. They made the most of every moment and never took anything for granted. They knew that life was too precious to waste.
On my last day of work, Jo-Ann and Doug came to have one final lunch together with me in my section. They gave me the most beautiful card, wishing me good luck for my journey. They were the only ones who gave me a card to wish me good luck before I left and I held their good wishes close to my heart. They always gave me hope. I have missed them so much while I’ve been on the road.
This is a photo of us on my last day of work at Bon Rouge, our last visit together. I look exhausted and tired but seeing the two of them warms my heart. I cried when I had to say goodbye that day. They meant so much to me and still do.
Jo-Ann, I am sending you all of my love. I can’t imagine how you must feel right now. Doug was a truly beautiful man. And Doug, if you can read this, know that you have touched so many of us. My life will never be the same because of you and I will always miss you and our special lunches we shared at Bon Rouge. May you rest in peace. Remember, I’ll be seeing you soon…