Norman ("Norm") Epps as I have known him is a person who has an incredible zest for life. A very physically active person who rarely sits still. His sense of humour was infectious and a testament to his keen intellect. Rarely have I met someone who can remember the volume of off-coloured jokes that Norm can tell with great comic timing and with a joke for every occasion.
I feel honoured to have known you Norm, first as a neighbour that magical winter of December 1990 when I met your wife Aileen and then you. We built a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime friendship and I frequented your place many times to share meals. =) Conversations were either about off-coloured jokes and/or food we introduced to each other! Many would have allowed so called differences like age, race, religion, or whatever etc. to explain why we shouldn't be . We bonded with the one powerful universal language - Food!. So we joked, we cooked, we traded recipes, we talked about great dishes and we ate and ate AND ate. And repeated this cycle many, many times over. It was a tough life. =)
I always said there was nothing 'norm' about him just in name. I have even jokingly referred to him as "AbNorm" saying that normal is really much overrated anyway. Truly an extraordinary being that I had the privilege to know and share life with.
Both you and Aileen, cared for me as dear friends, as loving surrogate parents and as kindred spirits. It was not just the good times I remember your love but it's especially heartfelt during the tough times when you were there for me. And I, you. I always felt welcomed at your home and felt like I was part of the family. Even your three wonderful daughters have extended this same warmth.
I miss you dearly Norm like I missed Aileen even after all these years. Your departure was even more difficult given the suddenness of it and that you still had so much life to live. You looked good physically and in good spirits when I brought over Tomomi and Erica to visit you this past fall. I have attached the picture taken that day at Elora Gorge. We had even spoken recently last month about another visit from me with my brother John so we can all go fishing near Guelph. You liked that and was looking forward to it. I did not realize that last month would be the last time I would speak to you again. It saddens me that I have not had more time to spend with you but I will always treasure the times that we did have together.
If we can all only live life to its fullest like you Norm and always with a touch of humour then we can be open to embrace all of life's glory and challenges with confidence even if it wasn't so at the start.
I will miss you dearly Norm and may you rest in peace.
With great love and admiration,
*** If you have some wonderful experiences, photos, thoughts, etc. to share about your relationship with this great man, please feel free and do so. It's easy just click and away you go...