A chill in the air, and a cloudy sky.
Spring was beginning in Edmonton, Alberta. In April of 2001, ‘Butterfly’ by Crazy Town and ‘Angel” by Shaggy were at the top of the charts and playing on most radio stations.
The Poole family were excitedly awaiting the arrival of the newest addition to their family. The pregnancy was a surprise to the family, they hadn’t planned on having another baby. But soon to be older sisters Alisha, Brittany and Chantel couldn’t have been more excited to welcome a new baby brother. That day arrived, on April 5, 2001.
Into the world came Denny-Ray Poole. Named after Ray Napoleon, a man who would act as Denny’s grandfather and take a significant roll in Denny’s life. The two would always be very close.
It’s unknown what date exactly, but sometime between 2002 and 2003 Denny and his sisters went to live with their grandmother, Jenny. It wasn’t always easy, but Jenny loved every minute of it. She couldn’t get enough of her grandkids, and made sure to bring them with her everywhere she could.
Without a vehicle to get around Dawson Creek, she had a large stroller she would use to load up the younger kids to run errands. Denny, Brittany and Chantel all rode in the oversized stroller, while the oldest, Alicia, walked along beside her grandmother helping to carry bags.
As Denny grew, so did his love for his family and friends. A normally shy and quiet little boy, he would do his best talking every night at bedtime. He would talk on and on and tell his grandma, or sometimes he called her mommy, everything he heard that day and repeat every word his sisters had told him. Jenny didn’t like to be away from the kids for too long, nor did she like to be too far from them. Including while they were at school.
While Denny and his sisters attended Parkhill Elementary School, Jenny found ways to be close to her grandkids by making bannock for students and storytelling in the classes. Denny didn’t have many problems while attending elementary school. He was well liked, although a bit stubborn and didn’t like to be told what to do.
As Denny grew older you could often find him at the skate park behind his middle school. He loved to skateboard. When not at the skate park you might find him on his bike, swimming, horse back riding, or playing hockey. Quite often he would be off doing things with his cousin, Daniel who Denny called his brother.
One of Denny’s favorite places to be was out at the farm with Allen, a man Denny was very close to and considered to be a father figure in his life. Cindy and Allen were quite close to Denny and helped to take care of him.
On March 12, 2016, Unknown to his family, Denny had spent the night on a journey with a friend that would have devastating consequences. “I’ll be home pretty soon, mommy.” Denny tells Jenny on the phone that morning.
Jenny had no idea that might be the last time she would talk to her grandson, or what he was planning.
To be continued next week….
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Disclaimer: This is a shortened, summarized version of a life story to fit a column format. Most of the information in this story was gathered from Jenny Poole, Denny’s grandmother.