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Date Added: 2006-02-02
Date Modified: 2012-06-19
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Three Years... A Short Eternity
by Patricia (Colder)
Danny taught me so so many things in the rich lifetime we shared together." If he could do it, anybody could, that's a fact".... He would express this time and time again whenever he was trying to reach down deep inside one of the many people whom he was trying to help... there were so many, it boggles my mind to remember them all.
His greatest tribute he left behind lives and grows in the three children he had, Barb, Chris and John... they have his same heart and soul. I don't see them much anymore and so it's time for a little visiting.
Danny believed there were no coincidences.... only GOD moments... His lucky number 13 still means so much to those of us who love him. When he was first struggling with sobriety, someone gave him a dime to call for help when needed... then Lil from Brampton told him one day to ask himself, "is my life worth two cents?" and so he began to think that way (he always put 2 cents in the basket at AA from then on. On a storm filled night in Montreal Dan went into a large cathedral to light a candle for his Mother who he hated... Knowing him, he lit them all... lol There, on the snow covered stairs, with nothing around it, lay a single thin dime and he picked it up as a sign to him.... after he lit the candles, he looked around and saw the last supper... 6 on each side and the guy in the middle... that's when the number 13 was born...
I still do my downtown newspaper route and when I find a penny, I put it in my shoe and smile warmly... he told me they mean, "everything is going to be alright" and when I find a dime, he wants me to talk to him. These simple signs held me together during the first year after he passed, for sure and today, they are one of the many ways that I share his wisdom with his friends who are lost without him.... small and simple!
I didn't move on from Danny, I moved forward.... He gave me the courage to go back to school and take a course to change my occupation. He was there in spirit when I graduated and he remains nearby always. There is a deeper sense of being in me now and I can hear him saying, "It's your turn now, go get it done"
I've had the best life has offered already, the rest is just being me.... Little Danny and Little Patsy will one day play together again. That's our promise to each other. I'm off to live life on life's terms... this following verse sums it up.
we were and
Well its been 3 years since Dad passed away, and I find myself missing the small things like sitting in a Tim Hortons parking lot at 3am talking about nothing, or chasing down one of Dads dogs cause he thought it would be a good idea for it to have a run at 1am in a field with no lights. Or him dancing to someone elses music on the side of the road.
I think alot of people are missing the true message my father was spreading: life is not something you do, its an experience to enjoy. This is not to say that everything was cupcakes and roses. but Dad had a knack for having fun with most things. If you saw him sit in a park for 3 hours because he felt like it or sit down with a whole pie(blueberry usually) and a can of whip cream.Then you started to see the real Dan Murray.
My father that taught me that though you may not like someone everyone is worthwhile,and often its the things you have in common with someone which causes that dislike. I think he taught alot of poeple not to take life so seriously.
You know 3 years later and my kids still tell me at least once a week that they miss Poppa Cool. Today is Keegans birthday and he decided that we should dig out Poppa's car and get it runnin, it took about 3hrs but the look on his face was well worth it. We talk about of you often and laugh at all the great memories you gave us.
So Dad we miss and love you
Love, John Boy
Remembering Dan Murray
on the third anniversary of his death
by Barb Bell, daughter and friend
Well... 3 years later and 2 days of writing and re-writing to try and make this the perfect letter.... here goes nothing!
No words seemed just right! I can't believe that it has been this long, yet it seems like just yesterday that I lost my father and best friend! I'm glad that I am still this close to these feelings. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I am so close with so many people he helped and that wherever I go his wisdom has INFECTED this city! I love watching some of the people grow and thrive on his teachings. Take Gary (for example) a single father with 3 years sobriety struggling with his addictions but still sticks his hand out to whoever needs help!
You know, I always figured I'd be the one to take care of my father in his old age and was actually looking forward to it but we lost him early and I did not get that chance. But in his wisdom he left me a string of 'trucked' up people to help and although I could never take his place I do hope I am passing on the message of HOPE he always tried to spread! I am not sure I always have the tolerance he had (and we all know how high that was, lol) as I watch some of these people bang their heads against the wall when the answer is so clear, (I am banging my head right beside them -- so what a headache, sometimes).
As I have hit so many hardships myself I will always remember something my dad taught me (besides how to change a tire, check my oil and never ever rely on a man to make me happy, lol) he always told us (my sister, brother and me): what does not kill us will only make us stronger... and never ever judge another human as that is GOD's job ... and who wants His job, benefits or not?
The old saying goes something like this.... "time heals all wounds and it gets easier". Well, my friends, this will always be one wound that never heals and I can't imagine it ever getting easier. Actually I'm very sure my dad will not allow that to happen because there are too many people who need the message of HOPE and there are too few of us to spread it!
So many friends (still suffering and in sobriety) tell me they check in here to read the messages over and over again left for my dad and always want to write something but do not know what to say... I have never had answer for them until now....
We Miss You Danny And Thank You!
Dad, Thank You For Being You And Teaching Me I Did Not Need To be Anything Else But Me!
Love, Your Little Runaway,
Dan Murray (The True You) By Steph
After 3 years it is still difficult to think your gone, its hard not to set a place for you at the table, its really hard knowing that any time you will come in and swoop up the kids, Giving John that smile full of pride
The thing I miss the most is watching you swoop the kids up with your big arms and pulling them in to you for a hug, They miss the warmth of your hugs, being able to hang out and go nowhere for entire day and have a blast doing it driving to the Big Apple after being chased by llamas still gives me a good chuckle. Every day the kids grow older, and I fear they will lose the warmth of those memories, but I hate to admit ( and you would love to hear me say this!) IM WRONG!!!!!
The kids know you, they know what you stood for , they remember how you smelled, how you talked and most of all the love you had for them. Every day they think of how much you gave them in such a short period of time, and how much they love and respect you. But most of all they share the memories of being with you amongst themselves.
During your life, everyone referred to you as Dan the Alcoholic, Dan the Missionary. You were so much more then that, You did a lot of wonderful things for people, people whose hands needed holding, who didn't have the strength to stand up and fight their battles, You helped them get that strength, you lent them yours even when yours was low, What they don't realize is that you were a man who had 3 amazing kids 10 amazing grand kids who loved you, admired you and respected you.
During your funeral so much was mentioned about the part of you, the part of you that you allowed the outside world see. They didn't mention the fact when your daughters needed you you were there. When your son needed you you came, you didn't need a phone call, you didn't need a message sent you knew. You know that your kids needed your love support and guidance. They didn't realize how many times your son would call and 5 hours later you were on his doorstep, yelling that you wanted a Timmy's, Just because John needed advice or support during a rough time. Then you would just leave making that hellish drive back home. They didn't know that we held your secret spot, a spot where you could come, relax and just hang out. With out worrying about the houses, the club or what was happening back home.
When you were here, You were not a social worker, a recovering alcoholic, You were just Dad! You were the man who came, yelled, laughed and lived it up as you said being pampered and spoiled. that made us all aware of how remarkable you truly are You were never asked for anything, you never had to give anything. You just came to be with your family.
They never heard you laugh so hard we thought we would have to call 911, because your son was scaring people late one summer night. They never knew that you would hang stuffed animals all over calling them your farm, They never knew about the box. Or your chickens. They never heard you give us advice that we would never share with anyone. They didn't realize the bond you had with your kids a bond that was so apparent and strong your family still feels the pain of losing you every day. But most of all they never heard you tell your family how proud you are, or how much you loved them.
Fatman, you always gave strength, and you once told me the best thing in your life was your family. You told me how hard it was to watch your kids struggle, but you always knew in the end it would be a remarkable journey for them to fulfill. With each of Barbie, Chrissy and John's successes and failures you all gained strength and determination.. This to me is a sentiment of a man who not only loved his children but respected and admired them for becoming everything he knew them to be.
You gave of yourself everyday, and every day your amazing, remarkable family does the exact same thing. I watch and know how hard each of them struggle to be everything you wanted them to be.
You, Dan Murray were a man who could never be forgotten, could never be replaced but most of all will always hold a special place in the hearts of your family. You certainly were a force to reckon with.
Everyday, we are forced to go on, being strong following our lives path. Because that is what we know you would want each of us to do.
Everyone who has ever been touched by the grace of Dan's hand whether it was through the program or through his family. Stay strong a little bit of determination, and will power goes along way. And remember WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES!! The lesson is to learn from them.
Dan I know your watching over us as you fly with the angels, giving us hell when we need it. Laughing with us ( possibly at us), and reminding us quietly that we are loved unconditionally. But I ask one thing WILL YOU PLEASE LEAVE MY KEYS ALONE!!!!
I know you and the spotted dog are out rolling in the fish, sitting by the water with a Timmy's in one hand and a cigar in the other. I know you are safe, happy and able to do what you loved to do best. Watch over your family Guiding them.
We miss you, love you and will see you again some day and until we meet again Fatman
Love your favorite Daughter in Law.
"Danny was the love of my life." by Patricia Mayes
My Dad! My Hero, My Mentor, My Very Best Friend by Barbie
"My Best Friend: My Dad!" by John Murray
"Poppa Cool! a daughter-in-law's tribute by Stephanie (and the kids)
each thing is in its time.
each life is in its place.
each death is in its birth.
from this earth.
in our time
in our place
find our worth.
a reflection on danny
by edward pickersgill
I have just finished reading all the beautiful stories about Dan Murray. I would like to add mine....
He was My Hero, My Mentor, My Very Best Friend... He let very few in... those he did were very fortunate to have befriended possibly the most wonderful human being alive!
He helped more people than we could imagine, however if he shared with you who he really was, count yourself very lucky! Nobody could ever compare to the compassion he had for the suffering alcoholic of drug addict... he was the very best Father anybody could ever ask for.... he showed us as his children how not to live our lives...but to cherish every moment we had and to be grateful for every little thing that God Blessed us with. He gave us many rewards, we have Pat Mayes the most wonderful giving woman next to my Mother I have ever known, he led us to Edward Pickersgill, next to him the most compassionate, giving person you should count yourself privileged to know, wonder why they were best friends? Look closer!
My dad did things his way, we may not have always agreed, but damn it if he wasn't always right! He taught me more than he will ever know, I have spent many hours advocating for low income families with many different agencies, and I have been stressed beyond belief, I have wondered many times why I have found myself in these situations... and always came to the same realization, I am my Fathers Daughter!
This has probably been the most difficult letter I have ever written, only because I could never put into words know matter how hard I try how much my father ment to me, my sister and my brother .... only God knows how much we will miss him. I know that all of you have lost a good friend, and so have we, but we have lost so much more...... the best example of a father, friend and mentor anyone could have ever asked for.
I Love You Daddy, Your Little Runaway,
* Anyone requiring help with addiction please contact Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
* Anyone affected by someone else's drinking or drug abuse please contact Alanon, Alateen or Naranon.
The Greatest Gift you could give back to Dan Murray is to ...... Be Good To Yourself, Pass It On and Most of all Keep Coming Back!
It was December 6 2002 and I was in Stratford attending the funeral of Edward's Mother. After the service, I joined the family at the cemetery and Danny, noticing that I was cold, took off his over-coat and wrapped it around me. I could have fit into that coat four times over! I instantly felt the warmth within that coat but it didn't come from it's material, it came from its owner. A simple gesture but as powerful as the hugs he would always give me.
I remember the day I visited his newly purchased trailer and the excitement I saw in his eyes as he showed me around and shared his future plans of the home he would share with Patricia. I hadn't got a chance to see all the work he had done but every time I dropped into the club he would tell me of those changes and the work he and Pat had done. He was so proud.
I only had a glimpse of his past life, heard stories from time to time and I always felt so honored to be trusted in such a way that he felt comfortable to share them with me. Through his actions and his words he taught me that although life can sometimes be a struggle, there is hope and there are people that love you.
I dropped into the club last Tuesday to just pop in and say hi but he was busy with one of the guys and I didn't want to interrupt. I wish now that I had just so I could have one last hug and to see his smile.
Thanks for bringing the sunshine into my life Danny.
Margaret Van Volkenburg
I will miss my friend Danny, I always remember that I felt better about myself after spending a heart felt one-on-one with Danny. I will always remember also that Danny would go out of his way to help others; he was a great deal of encouragement to a lot of my friends and myself. Thanks Danny!
Rick Moir, Intake Coordinator
Halton Recovery House
by Wayne E.
I didn't see Danny as much as I would have liked to. These last few years have been taken up with the worries and work of a new life, made up mostly of the the principles that Danny and a few others had taught me when I first came to Guelph almost 7 years ago.
If not for Danny's, Patricia's and Ed's care, and sometimes startlingly harsh reality checks that they urged me to confront and grow from, I doubt very much that I would have had the courage to endure. I recall long late-nite talks with Dan, sometimes both of us crying together, over the trials and errors of a choice that Danny made to help people with "Our Disease".
Dan once told me, that once I had some "Quality Sobriety", the very least I had to look forward to was, "A lifetime of service to others". I doubt very much that I would have had the courage to do so if not for Dan's urging.
I also remember a rather large guy who, at the drop of a hat would strip down and dive into a freezing bloody resevoir in the early Spring. I also remember a man, sitting for hours in a courthouse, ready to advocate for one of the less fortunate,who Dan would say was "worth salvaging". I also remember the trips to and from Detox centers sometimes in the middle of the nite, with some guy in the back who said he wasn't worth it, and Danny would turn around and say "Don't ever let me hear you say that again, we're ALL worth it".
Dan was a guy who could, despite his troubled and sometime tragic past rise above it all when it came to helping, and a lot of it was done anonymously, believe me, those of us who needed a couple bucks, a shoulder to lean on, a friend to guide us, and most of all, someone (even if we couldn't) BELIEVED IN US.
See you at the "Big Meetin' In The Sky" Danny.
That is a perfect tribute. Wayne's words captured the way I remember Dan.
He gave a total stranger a welcome that made a new world seem like home. When I met Dan, he had just read an essay I wrote called Not in My Backyard. I was new in town and very unsure of myself. When Dan and I were introduced that day, he took my hand and instead of shaking it, he gathered me into a hug and then led me into the first meeting I attended here. He introduced me to each person there as if I was someone special. At the same time, he made me sense that each one of them was someone special too. Each introduction was a special moment. I left that meeting with new friends and a sense of belonging.
Dan made The Oasis into a haven. When on a late night I needed a place to be that was safe, where I knew I was welcome, I dropped around the Oasis to watch the news while he worked with his team to clean up and close down. His commentary on the programs was a lot more real than the talking heads on screen provided. The night of the Bush Kerry debates, Dan’s voice added spice to it all as he pegged both candidates in a few well chosen words. Bush was an idiot, Kerry was not strong enough to beat him and it was a shame.
A place to be welcome, a place to be safe, a place to be respected – something we all need no matter where we come from or what path we walked to get here. Dan gave us that place – in his heart and in his work. He loaned us his strength – not by providing an easier way but by handing us the simple assumption that we were worth it and that we had what it takes to get off our butts and walk the hard road.
Guelph Mercury Obituary: Jan. 30, 2006
MURRAY, Daniel Robert (Mad Dog) - Suddenly at Sunnybrook Health Centre, Toronto on Saturday, January 28, 2006. Daniel Robert (Mad Dog) Murray, in his 63rd year, was the loving soul mate and best friend of Patricia Mayes of Guelph. He was the loving father of Barbara Bell and Paul Weishar, Christine Murray and Chris Dyck, all of Guelph and John Murray and his wife Stephanie of Belleville. Daniel was the dear grandfather of Joel, Jodie, Brandon, Keegan, Kaci, Megan, Kai, Paula, Katie and Kennedy. He was the dear brother of Bunny Kusey and Bob of Orillia. Daniel was the dear son of Gladys of Milton. Daniel was a lifelong friend of Patricia Keegan. He was a 25 year friend of Dr. Bob and Bill W. Resting at the Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home, Hart Chapel, 1099 Gordon St., Guelph, where the family will receive friends on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. A Funeral Service will be held in the Chapel on Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 1 p.m. Interment Woodlawn Memorial Park, Guelph. As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario would be appreciated by the family (Donations can he made at the funeral home or condolences at www.gilbertmacintyreandson.com)
A few words about Danny Murray
Back in the early 80's, I was at a meeting in the Alano Club on Edinburgh Rd, seeing Dan for the first time. He was so young and so was I. He scared me, with his gruffness and loud voice. After the meeting, some of us stayed to drink coffee and continue talking. Without the structure of the meeting, he scared me even more. His voice became louder and the swear words were flying. He was talking about the Ace of Hearts, as his higher power. In the following weeks and months, Danny was everywhere. The Alano Club became his second home, coffee shops, meetings and on the street, his presence was felt. As time went on, Danny changed and so did I. My fears became less and his voice was less agressive (when he wanted it to be). My realisation that we were just two people trying to make our way in this world and his ability to listen, helped us to develop a friendship and on and on we went. Around 1984, while looking for a house, I came across Danny laying on the couch of a home I had entered. Pat was charming and helpful but Danny didn't look up until my voice spoke directly to him. In the end, Danny and Pat's home became my own. I lived there for close to twenty years, a young and then older single mom. Danny and I spoke frequently at meetings and when we ran into each other on the street. As the years went by, I saw him less but kept in touch enough that I was always aware of his unselfish and caring commitment to those who needed him. He was a wise man and could get to the core of a problem or a solution, as quick as anyone I know. His words were never ignored and his actions were those of a loving, spiritual man. It will be very different in Guelph, without occasional opportunities to run into Danny, on the street, at the Alano Club or at an occasional meeting. Rest in peace dear Danny. - Chris
Dan Murray, November 1997
133 Wyndham St. N. Guelph, Basement
His first desk in the original office from which
the Oasis Alano Social Club would be born.
Well I know that we all miss my grandpa Danny Murray. He was a very good man, a good friend and grandpa.
My grandpa was lots of fun. I remember when we lived with him he would sneak me and my brother to go swmimming and all sorts of things. And I remember when i was little for years my grandma and grandpa would drive me and my brother Joel out into the country and stop on the side of the road. It was christmas time and we would see a lite in the sky and my grandpa would ring bells so we thought it was santa claus and at that time I thought it was. He was always fun and good like that.
Over the years I didn't see my grandpa as much because he had his own club Oasis and was helping a lot of people with addictions and trying to help our community. I would say he has done a fanastic job at it too. He helped my dad a lot and they were best friends since they were little. I know if my dad could say something to him it would be a thank you and a hug and telling him that he loved him.
Well what I am also trying to say if u were in need for help and u went to Danny Murray u made the rite choice. He knew what he was doing and what he needed to do to help u!! I just wish I could have spent a little more time with him before he passed away. I am very sad that he is gone and miss him so very much but I know that he went away happy and peacefuly knowing that everyone will just keeping doing the same thing as if he was here.
I LOVE YOU GRAMPS
LOVE AND MISS U TONS
LOTS OF LOVE JODI :)
April 2, 2006
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