13 years ago, I was sworn in as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I received my badge and swore my oaths before being stationed here in Saskatchewan to protect the people of Canada. It was a gruelling 26 weeks of intense training, including being up before dawn, training and studying until midnight or later and doing it all over again. I walked onto the academy grounds at about 185 pounds and graduated at 165 pounds. It was intense and I acknowledge that not everyone makes it through. I have to admit that there were times where even I thought I wouldn’t make it, and we all know how stubborn and tenacious I am. But I digress…
One of the things that helped make it bearable, is my pit-partner. I remember arriving at Depot late on a Sunday evening. beds within the dorm were already assigned to us by name and I found my pit right away. Some scrawny, shy-looking dude was sitting in the pit next to mine. I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t remember his name. Long story short, he mustered out within the first week. I’m, not sure why he left, I just know that he wasn’t terminated. Light knows we were too early in the program for anyone to get terminated. The following week, I was greeted by my new pit partner who would go on to have a significant impact on the next six months and my success in the program: Blair “Mambo” Mombourquette.
Blair was the right combination of pit partner; equal parts sarcasm, comedy and strength of will. We quickly became friends and started enjoying every weekend hanging out together off base, as well. I even got to meet some of his family who lived in the Regina area, which would come to impact my life in a significant way as well. All in all, Blair made the basic training experience enjoyable and I often feel I may not have made it through, had I been paired up with anyone else. As is the RCMP way, we parted ways once we graduated. I got posted to Saskatchewan and he went on to be posted in Manitoba and subsequently, Nova Scotia.
Although I managed to visit him once at his initial posting as I travelled from New Brunswick to Saskatchewan, all these years have passed without us ever seeing each other. That is, until last Sunday. Blair flew out to British Columbia so that he and his son could drive across the country, back to Nova Scotia. They stopped in Regina with intentions to stay the night, last Sunday. I picked them up and we grabbed dinner at a local restaurant, shared a few drinks and reminisced about the “good ol’ days.” There are few precious opportunities for such things in life, so it was good to remember some of the good times, the training and the fond memories.
It was nice to look back and share some time with someone who was there. Out of all of my troop, there are really only a few that I got close to and that I believe would understand everything I’ve been through. Blair is one of those people. I have some photos of us, buried somewhere in my old barrack boxes. A good blogger would probably dig them up and include them here. Honestly, I think I’m just going to enjoy the new memories, mixing with the old. Sometimes, the good memories are all we truly have that makes us rich in this life. Food for thought… ☯️