Congrats to Peterborough's Ashley Doherty, winner of our VIP Blue Rodeo contest, who will be attending their special concert August 8th at the Memorial Centre as part of Trent University's 50th anniversary celebrations.
When we informed her she won, she told us this in an email: "Wow, thank you so much! My Dad brought me up listening to Blue Rodeo.... I can still hear him singing along. He is no longer with us, so this is extra special for me :)"
We asked Ashley to elaborate in a subsequent email. And she did. Keep some Kleenex handy. OK, here we go...
"My Dad, Mark, meant a lot to me. I was definitely his girl! Always laughing, singing and joking around. He was SUCH a happy person despite the fatal disease—scleroderma—that attacked his lungs. He lived with it for the last 15 years of his life. You would have never known he was ill if it wasn't for the oxygen tank he had to rely on for the last few years of his life. Besides not looking 'sick', he always had a smile ear to ear. He loved his family and friends so much.
He also loved music! He always sang with a smile. He wasn't a musician.... But whenever he played a record, CD, or heard a good song on the radio, you could count on him belting out the lyrics! I can remember him singing Blue Rodeo songs way back. The first song I remembered him singing along to was "Try". And the album Five days In July was definitely a favourite. I can still hear him singing along to "5 Days In May" like it was yesterday. I think I can speak for my entire family when I say that when a Blue Rodeo song comes on... My Dad enters my mind. His smile. His laugh. His voice. His true love of life.
Unfortunately, we lost him Christmas 1999. It's been a long time, but it still feels like he was here yesterday. He lives on in his family. You can see my Dad in me and my brother Trevor, and now in my daughter Ellie. I can see my Dad in his mother, sister, brother, and 4 nephews. He will never be truly gone.
Instead of dwelling on the fact that he had this fatal disease, he LIVED. He was so happy, he loved life. He went to work, stayed fit by going to the gym, provided for his family, and made mine and my brother's childhood so much fun!"
So yeah, Ashley, enjoy your tickets. Somehow, you were meant to win these. This one's for you and your Dad...