Don Elliott, 1935-2006

When I was 18 years old, I left home for the first time to spend a semester studying at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. I needed a place to live, and my mother’s friend Heather Elliott, with children of her own just off to university, opened the home she shared with her husband Don to me, and I lived on the top floor of their place near Mount Pleasant and Eglington for five months.

Don and Heather — our family quickly applied the collective noun HeatherDon to them — were extremely nice to me, giving me free reign of their home, and letting me unfurl my adult wings for the first time.

Don died late last year, and in yesterday’s Globe and Mail my Mom spotted a tribute to him by Heather in the Lives Lived section.

As I wrote Heather when Don died, my late-night conversations with him over tomato soup in their dining room were among my first conversations with a real live adult who wasn’t one of parents or teachers. He was a good man, and Heather’s words reveal much about him that I never knew.