(Leslie McKay is a longtime Stittsville resident and shared this story about her family’s connection with The Tragically Hip.)
When my Dad was awaiting his double-lung transplant in Toronto (waited 18 months 1991-93) he lived with Gord Downie’s wife Laura’s parents Nancy and Barry Usher in Toronto. Nancy is a Bradley (daughter of Muriel & Grant Bradley) from here in Stittsville and was a nurse.
Just thought you might like to know that The Tragically Hip wrote two songs in 1993/94 on their Day for Night album for my father. They wrote Inevitability of Death and Greasy Jungle for him. IofD was written for when he received his lungs from Terry and when he passed away from his double-lung transplant, hence the ending of the song. GJ was written after they attended his wake and funeral in 1993 at Tubman’s Funeral Home (my cousins by the way) and coming to our house.
At the time, my sister was on the gymnastics team at Queen’s – lyrics “soulful gymnast above the snow” in our backyard. They also made a really special t-shirt for Dad which I have and the notes they wrote when he received his lungs.
While in hospital, the guys would come to visit Dad, and we could always tell when they were there. The nurses and doctors came from all over the hospital to see them to get pics and autographs. Dad loved these guys so much. He went to Gord and Laura’s wedding and they took him to concerts with them on the tour bus and everything. He had a great time with them all. But Gord was like the son he never had.
Doing this tour just shows the true ‘Courage’ he has and how much he loves Canada and the devoted fans who have followed them all in their adventures in life throughout the years.
We have lots of good memories of how well Dad was treated by all of the band members and it is so sad what is happening to Gord and I can only pray for a peaceful journey for him.
This is a bittersweet time for me, as my Mom passed away in 2009 from the same brain tumour that Gord has and she also had surgery.