by Geordie Farrell
It has been two long years since Earl died, and I can’t even begin to express how much I, and our family, still miss him. I have been so fortunate to have been surrounded and supported by family and friends. Someone has always been near (albeit virtually for the past year) to give me a leg up and help me along, and for that I will always be so grateful. It is also so important that I thank all of you who were there to support Earl and our family during his illness. There were phone calls, visits, dinners, help in the garden and with Violet, emails, cards and letters…and hats! Earl loved the hats that people sent. Every caring gesture meant so much to us.
My current resolve is to focus on the good memories and, at the same time, do something positive to remember and celebrate Earl, especially on special days and anniversaries.
In 2019, the incredibly generous donations made by so many folks to the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation in memory of Earl totalled $10,594. This amount was set aside with plans to form an Endowment Fund in Earl’s name. Jump ahead to 2021 and the endowment has now been established. The interest accrued from it will be used annually to support patient comfort and care at the Saugeen Memorial Hospital. When Earl was in the Southampton Hospital as a patient, although the medical care he received was exceptional, it was apparent that many of the patients in the hospital had nothing to do but stare at the four bare walls of their rooms. The televisions had been removed with plans to update them to digital (and although plans are in the making, there are still no TVs), the internet was expensive, and many patients had no access to tablets or other devices. The rooms and halls were devoid of art of any kind. An ER doctor drew our attention to this one night when he was helping Earl. Recognizing that mental and emotional health are critical elements of the healing process, we decided to do something to help out. Setting up the Endowment in Earl’s name has given me a chance to put our intentions into action.
On March 20, 2021 I will be celebrating my 70 years by cycling 70km on my indoor trainer. I plan to ride in memory of Earl and honour the passion we both shared for healthy, active living. My ride will be organized as a virtual Meetup on ZWIFT. If you are interested in joining me, please email email@example.com so I can invite you to ride along. Otherwise, I challenge you, on or before March 20, to crank up the country tunes and do something active (walk, ride, run, ski, snowshoe — or whatever!) for as far, or as long, as you choose.
Do it for you… and, to help me honour Earl’s memory, please consider celebrating your achievement by donating to the Earl Farrell Endowment Fund. The ultimate goal over the next few years is to raise the endowment to $15,000, thereby increasing the annual disbursement. Charitable donations can be made securely online at any time of the year by visiting www.smhfoundation.ca/earlfarrell. Tax receipts will be issued.
And, consider this: you are all lucky that I’m not asking you to participate in a track and field meet, as that would be entirely something that Earl would love. Next time!
For now, and until March 20, I will be spending lots of time in my basement on my bike, toughening up my resolve, my endurance and my butt!