Dan and I would like to dedicate this page to our younger brother, Chris, who passed away November 29, 2003 after a long fight with small cell lung cancer that spread through his body before being detected. He was 51.
(Addition of July 30, 2011: New hope for cancer patients (see). Dan and I wish we'd heard about this in 2003!)
Christopher John Osborne was an artist. He saw beauty in things most of us take for granted or even ignore. He was amazingly generous, even as a little boy. Our dad would often give the cake to Chris to divide between the five of us knowing that he'd do it fairly. If any piece was smaller, Chris gave it to himself. He was like that all his life, always looking out for the less advantaged, always standing up for the weak and victimized.
Even while deathly ill, his faith and courage were an inspiration to others in similar conditions and to his friends and family. His tremendous generosity survived his own death; he willed his body to science. His son, Wayne, the only Osborne in our immediate family to earn a university degree, said, "Dad is going to the University of BC, not to learn, but to teach."
Chris is survived by his wife, Marilyn; his sister, Lyn; his three brothers Dave, Dan and Mark; his sons, Wayne and David; his daughter, Carolanne; and his three grandchildren, Cassandra, Kyle and Brandon.
Christopher means 'Christ-bearing'. Anyone who knew him knows how well the name suited him and we have no doubt that he is warmly welcomed in Heaven.
Our brother wrote this shortly before he died. It's more a collection of communications to different people close to him than a day by day reporting of events. We were so touched by Chris's spirit that we are including it here in its entirety.
Chris married Marilyn a native of the Hesquiaht tribe of the Nuu-chah-nulth region of central, west coast Vancouver Island. The five Nuu-chah-nulth central region First Nations communities of Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Toquaht, and Ucluelet are located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in both Clayoquot and Barkley Sound. The five communities total a First Nations population of 3,739.
Lori is Marilyn's sister and mother of Ronelle.
Ronelle is Chris's niece, by marriage, who gave birth to Brandon with David, Chris's son with Sandra, his first wife.
Some native words used are: "kleco" means thank you, "Punuks" means Princess, "siwash" means in a bad condition.
Please don't read any sadness in this book. It's all good. To my joy I can only hold my grandson once at a time, and it's not enough. I love you, Brandon! God gave us free will! EXERCISE IT. And see life free of man's willfulness. A big man, is big enough when he tells someone off without anger and posturing. He's bigger when he makes a friend. A man with family is a Giant! Close your eyes and wonder. It is the meaning of life. Open your eyes and you'll see it. Oprah: "From a man with ALS hardly able to move a muscle, he said things in clicks, winks, clucks and love eyes for his wife who interpreted his thoughts." Oprah: "What could you tell us that could encourage well being and how do you cope?" Man and wife: "Pain and suffering is inevitable, but misery is optional." (Thank you, buddy) One More Thing In the words of my beloved sis, Wiinukiinuk, Gramma Lori, "Don't underestimate me" And don't read this sadly. This is a book of triumph, love, encouragement and VICTORY! So what happened to date July 12, 2003 Pleurisy - X rays Dr. Keshmiri, Pulmonary Surgeon Dr. Evans, Thoracic Surgeon Dr. C. Lee, Oncologist, chemo Dr. Kostichuck, Oncologist, radiation Nurses, patients, clean people. It's a great day to have cancer, all fine people, best I met. Back to surgery, a look and a drain. Nothing there, but knowing about small cell cancer - Dr Lee told me. Even so I was somehow panic stricken to tell my loved ones this great news. Nothing there. Then I saw Dr Kostichuck and he got me back on track. I started to loose equilibrium and became real nervous about a time frame to see Dr Kostichuck in a couple of days. (it was quietly mounting for 3 days already) so the day came to see Dr. Kos and I was obviously siwash. Dr Kos said, "What up widat" and put a CT on me in the morning. (Good man my Dr Kostichuck) [Bravo!] He was in the read-out room when I got off the table, (spotted him through the window). Brain tumor in the cerebellum causing loss of equilibrium through swelling. "Can you start first treatment today?" "Heck, ya!" (Good man! Nice catch!) Five treatments later, good stuff radiation! (Viagra be damned!) Waiting for a neurosurgeon. (Hope he don't fiddle around, nuk!) Might wanna split my coconut (we'll see about that!) David, my most beloved and only offspring! I love you! You are a man! I look at you and I see you pointy headed and snotty as you peak out to see the world. I was given to have you. You're very special and I knew it when I met you. You were my little Grampa looking back at me. You've made me proud always. You're willingness to try good ways. I know you had a couple of adventures in law land, but I know you are curious and not mean spirited. You're a great dad and I know you're dealing with some tough times and I know Brandon is worth it all. (4:36 am) My greatest joy will come when my beloved son brings me his pride and joy. He will present me with his offspring. What joy to see your face Grampa!! Solieg suggests to me not to go there and I agree, but right now it has to be said and having it recorded here is right. My beautiful daughter Ronelle. You're a beautiful and sacred person. You gave us love from when I was introduced to you (you remember Maryville). When you and Dave found each other I was shocked and ugly in front of you, to you and David. Please accept my apology and know that that feeling went away in about a week. (That's long) I know that you are, and will always be the beautiful young niecy of mine and you still are. But now and before Brandon, Aunty and Uncle, now it was Dad and Mom. Now Ronelle you are so extra special to us. I love you very much. Sandra phoned to find Dave and Brandon before they went back home. Ya know Aunty said, thank you for her help with Brandon and your Mother-in-law told us in praise and detail all the things you did to raise up your boy. Coloring, reading, counting, joking, hours and hours of fun, teaching, playing and entertaining. She said these things to acknowledge you and give you your full credit. Ronelle you are loved. This is never over. You are our lives now and will always. I love you little girl and together with Dave or not you'll always be with your kids, and please, "remember to be careful out there". Don't ever be afraid. You have family everywhere and please also come and sit at our table and share with us. Love Uncle Dad. Jesus is my life, Marilyn is my sunshine. Both are abundantly created by my Father in Heaven. None is lost, all is abundance. (I'm glad I got it) Marilyn sleeps and beauty glows in the room. The world is out for the night. I gaze in wonder at her. How do I rate? (Jesus loves me) In times of doubt and fear I know you've sometimes felt I put you last on the needs list of others. Please believe me my most dearest beloved, you were never on the list at all, you were beside me! "One day further along, we'll all understand why". As for now, enjoy today. No amount of threat, worry or plans can change what was, is, or will be. Worry is waste! When I was told that with the suggested treatments I had a 13% chance to live five years, I was in the top 5% who make it. No worries, give me da works, I can take it! Love Solieg for presenting us with living with cancer, not dying of cancer. My baby quit crying! Thank you Solieg. A kind word will change a life. Life grows with encouragement! Men are (asses) great ones for "instant gratification". Well tag this, Pal. Never deny anyone their dignity and pay back, you'll find, is immediate. When I was very young, my sister and I hand in hand walking downtown Vancouver (my sister knows we are conjoined in love.) I was always happy to see and greet street people, but my fascination and admiration of native folk was in my soul, thick as molasses. I grew up and found Marilyn and our wonderful, Hes-qui-aht family. Thank you Father for my Reward! Thank you my families. What strength there is in love. (Power) God blessed me with cancer and shone glory on me. Nothing is the same, it's all good. Thank you Father in Heaven. Marilyn Time I met you, you struck me with your pride and presence, straight to the point and I knew right away. You know how much you've given me and my nuuchanulth people are real family, loved, missed and oh so great to see. You're so brave, so fearful yet stepping forward. Your grace and charm wrap you in beauty and a full room knows it when you enter. Eyes light up and love spills all over you as you greet (any) people. You are the one. You are an angel that sits to dinner with us. Don't change Punuks. People need your little light (1350 watt). Let it shine. I know your personal history and I can only love you more, knowing a survivor like you. Still so compassionately caring for others. Testimony One Sunday in church Preacher asked who would help a bum (paraphrased). Lots of people there, my Marilyn, the only one hand high. My Marilyn accepted by God offered to me. (I'm glad I got it) Did we ever have any troubles? They were huge! At the time we were offered them. (Thank you, Father, for chastising me. I need it. I know that and I accept it gratefully with my face pointed high and forward.) Now they are tiny bones in a big fish. (and believe me I love my salmon) When we rock and cuddle are G.G. baby we'll be a little closer to "further along and we'll start to understand why". I love you my clutesma, my Punuks. God blessed you at birth and I'm in your garden. Now God has blessed me with the finest. kleco nass. It's interesting to me what with caring for Mom those years and so loving your family and all that we have to share and give each other, we came to help Lyn with Dad and Mom. To me you were introduced to Dad who fell in love with you. (Sometimes a person just aches to have someone else see why you love your spouse and what you see in them.) How lucky and blessed we are Naht-Nah to have this on both sides of the family. Dad gave you that and it's yours to own. Now with Mom and Dad together watching, here comes along Ronelle and David with baby Brandon and our worlds are DNA linked forevermore. (David, that's a very important event) ask Mom. July 13/03 Sunday and Marilyn and I went to church. Pastor Mitch was the one to get me there and Marilyn also. The pastor at Marilyn's request prayed for me and prayed for me with others. Then a week and a half later he called us up and talked to me. Not remembering exactly who Marilyn was, asking how I was. It impressed me that he actually took the time so I gave him the time so I could say thank you. I sang in church. I actually sang every song in church. Thanks nephew Chris, for telling me about your singing, this morning. Good catch by the way, Cindy, beautiful family. And I stayed later to personally thank Pastor Mitch. We talked and I hugged him and he tried to get me to rededicate myself, which I do every time I say, thank you, Father. Anyways I smiled and nodded and didn't go there. God said bless each other and I hugged him again and said I love you and he said I love you too Chris. And we blessed each other. I offered my testimony on call and told him I have positive, bright and encouraging things to say to ailing people, and he agreed. What a moment! The rest of the day was pure chocolate frost. Let me tell you a delightful day in the life of Marilyn and Chris Osborne. First of all it's Show and Shine in New Westminster, 600 hot rod and classic cars, thousands of people. I would like to say this, Spread your bread and wait for your call. Pray to be blessed and wait your turn. In God's time, it's always perfect. We learned this even as far as apartments are concerned, everything perfect to the realization of each little miracle. Don't read Jesus, do Jesus. So Marilyn and I decide we need our bread (60%) and head downtown, 3:30 at the ending. We see more cars than we can take and have a real good time. We've brought bags with us to collect cans and buy our bread. Dad taught me when you do a job, put yourself into it and do a good job. (Thanks Dad) Well we found about $1.00 in beer cans and about, (haven't counted yet) 100 pop and such cans. Nice $4.00 or so bonus. That was nice and quick. About 1 1/2 hours of looking at great cars, smelling nummy food and seeing happy families and tons of can collectors. It was little to no effort to find our bread and some happy little extra to say kleco for. But, then! We walk up to this big Smithrite (the low 3-4' model) and I saw there was grandson stuff. What I found made this Gramma/Grampa birthday. All this bin was from Education Department for Child Care Facilities and they were moving and tossing out stuff pertaining to children's education. I was going through it like a madman, digging out all these great books. Everything from 'Thomas the Train' pop ups to home safety/first-aid for kids to children stories like the 'Wayne Gretsky Story', with 200 more in a good condition, well bound, hard cover book. Also Native books (4) to show Brandon a taste of his other culture and the culture of other peoples of native descent across Canada. They're excellent big, hard cover story books for a little more educated Brandon to read later and I know dad, who loves reading to Brandon, will enjoy reading these also. I love you David and Brandon. I'm just tickled. Kleco, Father. I found Lego stuff and a working dust buster vacuum, like Dan and Marillyn have. So why is that good you may say, knowing dust busters. Well it's rechargeable and I want to turn it into a pump to blow up my camping mattress, come September. More on this then. I lugged this stuff about three blocks and some great person left a shopping cart for us. We went and bought our bread and pushed our cart up the hill home. An interesting side note of "approval", (I don't need it), but I know that this guy had a shopping cart with a 27" TV in it. I see his TV at the bin, I'm digging around in the bin when an eastern looking fellow asked me if I had pulled the TV out of the bin and I said, no, a guy dropped it off. He said the (curse curse cursen) guy and I said I can toss it in the bin. He totally changed and said thank you very much. I feel I did work, helped him and he was happy to have me diggin' around at that time. A little of God's perfection. And then I got that same Zellers's cart. Amazing every time it just gets better. I pretty much picked books that were for reading or teaching. The native books were so bonus for our little P.N.G. son, (God's work) When I had a good look at them, my birthday went Christmas. What a wonderful day and we had sandwiches. Kleco, kleco, kleco. My son and these books will take Brandon to a higher education and he'll be stronger and well balanced in all cultures, a wonderful, Canadian man. I love you guys, Good Luck. We walk for 3 hours and that's good too. All is good. The best free fun ever. God's perfection. (I'm thankful I got it!) "This day our daily bread." What a concept. To eat the body of Christ (our Saviour) every day. Stronger in faith—blessed with greater challenges. "Letters of Praise" One word changes lives. Be careful. (Given to me from Dad) When a man tells you, you have cancer And you come out feeling blessed, you are glowing in the glory of God and really deserve nothing less. (CJO) Praise first Jesus just for me because God gave him to us. DON'T READ JESUS DO JESUS. (Sounds good for a rock in Lynn Canyon) Mom and Dad You taught me everything when. I love you Mom.
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