ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Dear Wolf

Hey, what's up, Wolf? I'm doing alright, you know. Just taking life one day at a time. Obviously, it's been a long time since we've talked. I've been busy, and as everyone can attest to, I'm terrible at reaching out, but given the time of the yea...

1992: Wolf Bernadeau and Patrick Bernadeau. Courtesy of Patrick Bernadeau
1992: Wolf Bernadeau and Patrick Bernadeau. Courtesy of Patrick Bernadeau

Hey, what's up, Wolf?

I'm doing alright, you know. Just taking life one day at a time.

Obviously, it's been a long time since we've talked. I've been busy, and as everyone can attest to, I'm terrible at reaching out, but given the time of the year, I figure now is as good a time as any to reach out to you.

Before I start my ramblings, I just want to say one thing: I miss you big bro.

I still remember everything about the day that you left us on March 21, 1999.

ADVERTISEMENT

I remember being awoken by painful screams. I remember looking at my alarm clock, seeing that it read 7 a.m. before someone barged into my room and shouted, "Wolf is dead." I remember walking out of my room in a daze to see a police officer standing solemnly at the front door as he watched all of our hearts tear into pieces.

As the news started to trickle to close ones, friends and, frankly, to people throughout the city, the waves of condolences felt endless, but I remember being almost numb to it all. I didn't know how to take it, it just didn't seem real. With every outburst of agony from every member of the house, I kept it all in.

However, as soon as I woke up the next morning, reality hit like a ton of bricks, and I was inconsolable. You were gone, and I would live the rest of my days without the funniest big brother a person can ask for.

That morning was the only time I shed any tears during the week of your passing and one of the few times I've cried in the 20 years since. Looking back over those 20 years, it feels odd to tell you this, but I miss you so much more now than ever. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but there aren't many days when I don't think about you; more specifically, I think about how our relationship would've been.

We were always different. you were always the cool and funny one while I was always the quiet and awkward one, but I can't help but think that we would've clicked. I'd like to think we'd go on all these cool trips and adventures, but I know the jokes would be endless.

I know you would've rubbed off on me as I became a teenager - you were already teaching me how to dress and have a modicum of style. Looking back, you probably would've helped me in the ladies department, an area I still haven't figured out.

As I transitioned from adolescence to adulthood, there were so many other areas where I would've benefitted from your guidance, or just to have someone like you to talk to. But I'm not alone here. I speak for mom, dad, Lunie, Shirley, your two boys and everyone else when I say your absence will never be filled.

With that said, the gang has done alright since you left us.

ADVERTISEMENT

Both Lunie and Shirley have grown into beautiful ladies, wives, mothers, career women and people that I've grown to look up to. As the baby in the bunch, I'm proud to call them my sisters.

Mom isn't doing too bad, either. Obviously, she took your passing the hardest, as any mother would, so things through the years have been difficult for her, but she's the strongest person I know and shows it every day. Also, she's turned into the most photogenic person in the world, given the number of photos she sends through text.

(Oh, by the way, you send texts through your personal cell phone. Everyone has one. The days of your Motorola beeper are long gone.)

As for Dad, not a lot has changed. He's still bald; I'll soon be joining that club. He still has his famous belly, which I'm apparently trying to replicate. Lastly, he's still chugging away and working at his advanced age. I've never seen since someone work so hard. I could only hope to be half the man he is.

As for your two boys, they are growing into fine young men. Dimitri has his head on straight and has been maturing in front of my own eyes. I've been pleased to see his progression. With that maturity, he's getting set to welcome a child of his own.

Hello, Grandpa.

It's really unfortunate that you didn't get a chance to meet Darrius. He's dealt with a lot of adversity, as he lost his mom to cancer last November. But like his older brother, he's got a good head on his shoulders. Plus, he's playing college ball in Massachusetts and had a heck of a freshman season. I had the pleasure of catching one of his games last month and he's easily the best athlete in the family. (I'm thinking those athletic genes came from me rather than you.)

Most of the family left Massachusetts and now live in Florida. I was there for a little bit, but now I live in North Dakota.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yes, North Dakota.

In 2017, I was offered a reporter position for a newspaper in Dickinson, North Dakota, and I'm currently a sports writer. That's right, all those years being planted in front of the television watching ESPN and all that money spent on basketball almanacs actually came to good use.

Well, I'll let you go, Wolf. I'm sure you are busy up there having a blast.

One last thing: You were on this earth for 20 years and left such an indelible impact on everyone you were in contact with and even some you didn't meet. That's how great your legacy is, and while I feel like there's a void that will never be filled, your memory is forever cherished.

See ya later, Wolf. Love, Patrick.

P.S.: Tell Junior, Uncle Claude and Grandma I said hello.

Opinion by Patrick Bernadeau
What To Read Next
The Dickinson Press Editorial Board stands with the wild horses and calls on the National Park Service to extend public commentary period
“From the Hawks’ Nest” is a monthly column by Dickinson State University President Steve Easton
"Life is a team effort no matter what, and greed puts you out on a lonely limb," writes Kevin Holten.
"Our life of faith is a life with God. And that makes all the difference," writes Boniface Muggli