I am still wrestling with shock from the news of Huntley’s passing. I was not aware of the seriousness of his cancer, and though I had not seen him in years, the news is still difficult to digest.
Amidst the sadness that we all feel at this time, I just wanted to share a few memories of him that will always put a smile on my face. I hope it can do the same for you.
One year at Christmas he took us to play badminton at the Riverside Badminton Club in Saskatoon. I’m not exactly sure how old we were but I must have been old enough to be a worthy opponent. I’ll never forget him walking onto the court. He was the ultimate sports nerd, decked out in short shorts, safety glasses, headband, … and certainly his A-game. I distinctly remember that he had no plans to lose to a twelve-year-old (or fourteen, not sure how old I might have been). I loved that he didn’t hold back when playing sports with us. He approached every game with the same intensity that he would when playing against someone his age or size. I don’t remember who won the game but I know we had a great time.
I know that all of us Leydon kids were so excited to have him around the house at Christmas. My childhood memories of the holidays will always include Huntley hoisting Leah up on his shoulders and galloping around the house. He would always take time to play with us. You could tell it was his priority and we all loved it. I don’t ever remember him turning down a game of chess, Monopoly, Risk, or whatever the game of choice was on that day.
Needless to say, I don’t have a single bad memory of the man. His booming laugh was contagious and I liked having him around.
Mom said he got out skiing for a day over the Christmas holidays [last December]. It was nice to hear that he was still able to enjoy life in the short time he had left.