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Hyperventilation - A Deadly Game

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In Memorium

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dangerous behaviour anne phillips

22 January 1975 to 3 November 1993

Michael Paul Orchard was born at K-W Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario late in the afternoon of January 22, 1975. He was ten days' overdue and weighed a whopping 8lbs 13oz.

He was the middle child of five, adored by his older sister, Catharine, and brother Jeff — just as he, in turn, lovingly welcomed his younger sisters, Amanda and Angela into our family circle.

Mike was eager to start school, and as one of the oldest in the class, he excelled. Arithmetic was his strongest subject and at an early age he demonstrated a surprising ability to do sums in his head. He was athletic and highly competitive, winning prizes in bowling and track-and-field. He skied and played t-ball and tennis. He was in Beavers and then in Cubs and worked hard to earn many badges.

He was an excellent salesman. Few could resist those compelling deep brown eyes as he sold chocolate bars on our block, determinedly calling on repeat customers to raise funds for his school and bowling league.

Once we became a single-parent family and his older siblings had left home, Mike became my special little buddy. He made my meals when I was ill and kept his little sisters busy while I studied. On Mother's Day he delighted in surprising me with a special meal, which he kept secret until it was prepared and served. Then he basked in my praise.

At 14 he informally changed his name to Mike Phillips. He offered no explanation; neither did I ask for one.  I simply took his decision as affirmation of the close loving relationship we shared.

Mike had a great sense of humour and often caught me out on April Fool's day. He loved to laugh - sometimes so hard that he made no sound at all. When he managed to catch his breath, he laughed loud and long.

He was an extremely handsome young chap and, according to his orthodontist, his features were perfectly symmetrical. He wore braces for two years, and only under threat of having to wear them even longer did he regularly use the elastics. In short order his teeth were perfectly in position, and the braces came off.

From a young age, Mike was his own person. He refused to wear a bib at feeding time; in like fashion he learned how to unbuckle his car seatbelt. He sat on the stairs an entire morning rather than go to school in the sweater I'd chosen for him. It was a battle of wits; I lost, and Mike happily went off to school wearing an outfit of his own choosing.

Mike's personality was such that he had a large circle of friends and was a leader among them. His nature was kind, generous and loving. He is sorely missed by all who had the privilege to know and love him.

The memories with which Mike left us are precious and many; however, life cannot possibly ever be the same without him. Thank you, my son, for the memories.