A big thanks to all our supporters!
A big thanks to all our supporters!
Jean-Pierre, JP, Papa, Pa, Dad, Papi, a man with a lot of names, and a lot of roles in all of our lives.
Raised on Clairmont in Norwood Flats, he went to Ecole precieux sang, he had a good average 70’s childhood, typical brother and son, arguing and fighting with his siblings, trying his ‘new’ wrestling moves on Gil, once almost breaking his shoulder, all while saying “dont tell mom and dad, dont tell mom and dad”. Brigitte being 10 years younger always looked up to him, sneaking in his room to play his drums, and wanting to be just like her cool oldest brother. He was always there to comfort her, even when she would sneak into his bed in the middle of the night after a nightmare.
He always loved music, he started playing the drums very early, and even when Mamie and Pepere wanted him to play piano, so far as bringing in a piano teacher, he said drums or nothing. And he finally got his drums, and any chance he had when his parents were gone, he was quick to have buddies over to jam. Sometimes only starting the party at 1 or 2 am. Dad was a typical 70s/80s cool guy, long hair, into rock and roll, played the drums but had a heart of gold.
Dad and mom’s love story started shortly around the same time, many years ago. They first met when they were 15, mom was smitten and i’m sure dad was also, but he was too cool to say anything. But at this point their roads were not meant to cross, and they went their own ways. A couple years later they both went to a social, at 17, and re-connected but again went their own ways. Fate brought them together again, when my mom was pregnant with me at 18, she was at the bank with another guy (her cousin), dad clearly thought it was a sign, that Carmelle was taken and she had started a life for herself, how wrong he was, little did he know fate had other plans for them but not for a couple more years.
After that, Mom would park on Clairmont to catch the bus to go to school downtown and at the end of the day she would drive the whole length of Clairmont hoping to cross paths with Dad. Finally, fate was on their side, Mom and Dad went to Collette and Real’s social separately, when mom saw dad he was surrounded by girls (cause he was on crutches so he had their attention), later in evening when he was finally alone, dad invited her to the after party. It must of been quite the party as mom didn’t get home until 6 am, even knowing I (her 1 year old) was going to be up at 7. And when I woke up at 7, mom was still full of cupid arrows and rushed to tell grandma that she had found who she was going to marry. Although I don’t know what dad was thinking on his end, I’m sure it was much the same because 4 days later Mom made her famous lasagna for him. And I think his stomach told his heart not to let this one go. The next Sunday mom and I picked him up and dad won me over with a chocolate easter bunny. From then on we were all inseparable. My parent’s love story has always been an example to us kids, they have always been so deeply in love with each other that it often made us kids sick, they were never afraid of PDA no matter who was over.
They were Married a year later and it was during his speech that dad announced that he had started the official adoption papers. My Dad never saw me to be anything but his own child and wanted to officially make it that way.
We grew up fairly normal kids, mom and dad loved us and always worked hard to give us everything we needed. Dad delivered pizza at night for serval years to ensure we had everything we needed, Julien and I were rough on clothes and one of us grew very quickly out of said clothes. Even when working late he was always ready in the morning to bring us to our sports practices, tournaments, school, whatever we needed. The down side of those late nights would be that dad would have very little patience in the winter when the windows would fog up. We would hear him tell us all, well mostly Julien, to breath into our coats because the car couldn’t defrost the windows fast enough .
We had many trips to the soccer field for me to put in some extra practice time. Dad would shoot on net and I would try to stop the ball. At that time I felt like he was kicking with all his might, each time that I would stop a ball, tho my hands were burning, I would see him smirk. I now think he was having too much fun toughening up my hands. Dad was always supportive of what we wanted to try and accomplish, he spent many nights driving and waiting for Janique outside the Spanish dance club during her lessons. That was tough enough as the club was on Selkirk ave. And he always wanted to make sure she was safe. Like many of us, our childhood had a lot of ups and downs, a lot of hard times and some easy ones. But no matter what, he would always put anyone of us above himself. Dad was the most selfless person I know, always willing to drive us kids growing up, even always willing to drive back home or to the store for whatever someone had forgotten. Just like a couple winters ago for a late night snow storm drive an hour away for a random kijiji find snowblower I purchased. Dad never ceased to surprise me with his willingness to love other through his actions. No matter how crazy my ideas were, he was there, And if you ask a few people in this room today I have had a lot of crazy ideas.
In my teens I was told about me and dad being different and it caused me to spiral for a few years. I felt different, I resented my siblings, I resented my parents, I made some bad choices and eventually became dependent on some bad stuff . The day that I finally told everyone about my addiction I expected dad to come home and disown me, instead he slowly came up to me hugged me with all his might and said we will get through this and told me how much he loved me. That was such a pivotal point for me, from that point on I truly knew how much I meant to Dad, I should never have doubted but from there on out I strived to make him proud each and every day. It was after this, that my dad changed from being just my care-giver, my dad, to also being my best friend, the one I wanted to call for advice, or just to chat on a long drive home.
Dad also made me proud several times in my life, the first time I can remember being so proud of dad was when he worked so hard to get his GED. He went to school evenings and weekends at the UFCW training centre all while working and raising 3 kids. His perseverance was such a testimony to who he truly was.
Then came the marathon and ultra marathon running, Altho I always said he was crazy, deep down I was so blown away every time he finished and had barely any need of recovery time.
Another pivotal change in dads life and probably the time I was most proud, was when he decided to apply to be a union rep. I still remember when he asked if Candice could help him write a resume. Altho he had been involved for many years with the union at this point , dad still felt like he was under qualified to apply as he was just a warehouse worker. He had always worked so hard to provide for his family, and that carried on as a union rep. I never knew the impact dad would have in this role at UFCW until recently. His love for people, his dedication to those he represented and his alway positive attitude made a clear impact at UFCW both with his co workers and those he represented. The changes in my dad over the years were nothing but spectacular, like most of us he grew and changed but everything he accomplished in his life amazes me and I am so proud of who he was.
Dad fit so perfectly into every role he had, as a son, honouring and serving his parents as they aged, as a brother, uncle, friend. As a co-worker, or a rep fighting for the little guy, always bringing positivity into ever atmosphere, as a husband loving mom with all his heart, always putting her first, as a dad, raising 3 great kids who have taken his example and made great lives from what he did for them, as a father-in-law, making everyone welcome, and often sympathizing with having to ‘live with his kids’, by the way dad we knew you guys had that secret club (haha), and as a Papi, dad never hesitated to grab the baby, get down on the floor to play, kick the ball around, play wrestle (just like he did with us), or listen to the same story for the umpteenth time. He just was all around the greatest, most loving guy and he was so unbelievably proud of his family. There is so many more stories, memories, things that I could and want to share, but they will never leave me, and we will never stop sharing them, laughing, thinking, remembering dad and all that he brought to our lives.
These last few weeks have been very hard on all of us, some days feeling surreal. Some days feeling like dad is just away on another trip with mom, enjoying Hawaii or anywhere there was a cool looking marathon to run. But then remembering our new reality. Going forward without dad will be hard but I know dad would not want any of us to hold ourselves back from our full potential because of what has happened. Instead let’s do things remembering who he was, honouring his legacy, and following his example he’s leaving behind, a hard working, self sacrificing and selfless love.
The Petit family wishes to inform everyone who has been following along with the Cycle4Eveline journey that our wonderful JP - husband, father, grandfather, hero - has succumbed to his injuries.
He leaves behind an amazing legacy of self-sacrificing love for others.
JPs wife Carmelle and their three children Marquis, Julien, Janique, and their spouses, and many grandchildren are all deeply proud of JP and so grateful for his presence in their lives.
“God provided us a miracle of a man who is leaving a legacy of love, selflessness, and heroism.” ~ Marquis