Tremaine Men

They are handsome, of course.  They are fiercely protective and amazingly strong.  But they are also sensitive.  And funny as hell.  That was true of Dave and is definitely true of our son, Grant.  Dave came by it honestly since I believe his dad and brother share the same traits.

I could not have made it through the last week without them, and I couldn’t possibly list all of the ways in which they were helpful so instead I will share the greatest impact they made on me.

After we watched over Dave, and he had been gone from us for a while, I felt the overwhelming need to go home.  It is a conflicted feeling because I didn’t want to leave him, but I also didn’t want to be there anymore.  As we walked slowly to the car, I suddenly felt the extraordinary heaviness of the last days like someone was pushing firmly down on my shoulders with all of their might.  I sat in the car and started to cry.  Jeff reached over and took my hand and it felt like the only thing keeping me afloat.  I think I gripped on with both hands.  Through his heartbreak and devastating grief, he selflessly supported me.  I wish I could say I did the same, but I didn’t.  I was too lost in my own emotions.  I don’t think I will ever forget that journey home from the hospital.

While we watched over Dave during what would be his final hours, each of us talked to him, kissed him, reassured him that we would be okay and that he could rest.  I sat by the bed and held Dave’s hand but when others approached I tried to look down to give them some privacy.  Dave’s dad came up to him numerous times and told him he loved him and rubbed his shoulder and kissed him.  As the day went on, he also seemed to be holding Dave’s hand.  It wasn’t until later that I realized he was actually feeling for his oldest child’s pulse.  So, as the time got near and I remained completely unaware, Myron, was able to get the family back in the room.  When we knew that it was almost time, we cried and said the final things we wanted Dave to hear.  I can’t explain it, but it felt like a gift to know that his time was growing close.  I will never forget the love from a dad to his son in his final hours.

One of the last things Dave said was, “Take care of each other.”  Baby, I don’t want you worry.  We will.






11 thoughts on “Tremaine Men

  1. Robyn, what a loving group of men. I am so moved by this display of love during the most painful moments of (all ) your lives. In a similar situation, I can remember the doctors and nurses telling my family to “talk, say what you need to say, his senses are more acute than ever right now” . Crickets. You know the feeling of head pounding, heart breaking, throat closing , body shaking. not a word coming (and i was on anti-depressants go figure), dad making face he makes when trying not to cry and leaving room. no one speaks. me begging God for him to die and immediately feeling like a wretched human for asking that.

  2. Robyn,
    This was a beautiful piece, and I am sure it will be treasured by the Tremaine men whom you described. What a gift to them to know they stepped in for their son/brother/father and made it possible for you to bear the burden of the last week. Bruce and I both wept when we heard how beautifully Jeff stepped in for Dave at graduation. Those graduates will treasure forever their moment with THAT Mr.T. Dave always talked about Grant’s similarities to him at the same age. Sounds like those traits run deep in Grant’s heritage. Lucky boy! Lucky world!


  3. Mrs. Tremaine, I am a parent of 3 graduates under the time that your husband was principle at Hayfield Secondary and the 3rd being this year. I want to tell you how lucky they feel to have met him and how they will never forget him. The support from your family to the school and the kids on graduation was just heart warming and I am not sure I could have been so strong as your guys have been. I lost my sister 3 weeks prior to graduation and also to cancer so it was a double wammy for my son and on graduation day while being overwhelemed with emotions for the passing of his aunt from cancer and now his principle that he admired so much. But he was actually consoled by Jeff before the ceremony and actually took a picture with Jeff after which will always be a memory for him and wow is all I can say about what a wonderful family you have and all my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  4. Robyn, my heart breaks for you and the children. You have remained strong throughout this journey and continue to be strong. No one faults you for having a good cry and not wanting to console others. We should be consoling you. I know that Dave would want us to all care for you and watch over you and do whatever we could to help you get through these difficult days. I love you Robyn.

  5. Robyn, what an utterly beautiful post…I am touched beyond words….blessed with such a beautiful family…even though u are missing the heart of the family the heart of you…you will take care of each other….keep posting!!!

  6. Thank you for posting the picture with your beautiful words. That is one to treasure for sure. I never got to meet Jeff on his visits to Hayfield, but I met Dave’s dad several times. Two things immediately struck me – they had the same twinkle in their eyes and what a loving relationship they had by the way they interacted with one another. How wonderful that Grant shares their many special traits that will no doubt be passed on for generations.

  7. Robyn, what an amazing family you have! I don’t think Dave need worry, you will all take care of each other, and Dave will be smiling down on you all. Love and hugs. xxx

  8. Hi ms. Robyn,

    The petition to include mr. Tremaine’s name in Hayfield has gotten over 300 signatures!!! A ton of the kids have been sharing their stories about their personal experiences with mr. T and it’s making me cry. I know mr. T touched the lives of all of us students but I never knew the details. He was one of a kind and I really hope the school board agrees with us! Thank you again for signing. It really does mean a lot.

    For those of you reading this blog who want to sign, here is the link:

    Thank you so much again,
    Diana Haemer ❤

  9. The moments that become memories because of words shared, gestures given and photos taken have become such treasures for you and your family. Thank you for including us in a bit of your journey, Robyn.

  10. Pingback: PS | embracingtherollercoaster

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