Julie Comeau Meets Anna Silk (Bo)
By Jim Lavoie
By the number of times I have written about Anna Silk it is more than obvious that I am in awe of her talent and personality. What you might not know is another side of Anna Silk. The side which is filled with humility, caring and compassion for others.
Aside from our professional contact, personally, Anna helped lift me up during a very trying time when my girlfriend was dealing with major health issues. Now, it would be impossible for her to comfort everyone in their times of stress, the volume would be staggering. When she is able, she takes the time to encourage or commiserate with others. To write this insight on her personality is only possible after I assured Anna that the person she reached out to, was in full agreement to share this special time they had with readers.
I would like to introduce you to a truly courageous and remarkable woman, Julie Comeau. She is special to me in many ways but so like many of you (some of you may have read about Julie in an earlier blog posted on this site) who have suffered through illness and physical and emotional trauma in life. Her story is by no means unique but is on many levels so powerful due to what she endured and survived from a very young age. What makes her unique is that she chose to tell her story in hopes of inspiring and motivating others to never surrender…to Never Give Up!
On top of all that she has gone through…..since 2012, she has been coping with her husband Vince, who was in the throes of cancer with a severe prognosis. Vince faced this with courage and preservation, a determination to fight for recovery with Julie and their two sons at her side. When the situation turned dire some very close and caring people arranged a family trip to Toronto for the Comeau family. They were going to see some baseball games and have some much-needed time together. They set out determined to make this time special and find some internal strength for what lay ahead.
I was glad to see them get the chance to do this and wished I could make their trip somehow more special! Then it hit me what I could do, so I contacted Anna, explained the situation (Julie and Vince loved “Lost Girl”) and asked her if she had the time to have them on set or something. Her immediate reply was “let me see what I can do.” I called Julie to tell her that I had contacted Anna and that Anna would call Julie in Toronto while she was there. Julie was really excited about them being called by Anna but also knew how busy Anna was. Just the fact that Anna would be taking the time to call her was more than enough for the Comeau family. Anna, though, had ideas of her own which were totally unknown to me. Off to Toronto the Comeau’s flew, upon their return, Julie was bursting at the seams to tell me all about the trip.
Jim: So how was your flight to Toronto? Knowing Vince was in a fragile state but determined to be with his family must have been a mixture of joy and trepidation for you and your two teenage sons.
Julie Comeau: Our flight to Toronto was okay, it was different from any other trip we have taken as this time Vince’s health was not good. There was a lot of care needed during our flight just trying to keep him as comfortable as we possibly could. He was in quite a bit of pain but also was determined to make this trip. During the flight he was a real trooper as he has always been through this whole experience of fighting cancer.
Yes as far as emotions go, it was truly a roller coaster ride.We were really excited to be given the opportunity to be able to be flown into Toronto, but also knowing in our hearts, that it would be our last family trip together. On top of all that, I had been forwarned by his doctors that there were risks due to Vince’s condition that he might pass while we were away. They helped prepare me for that possibility and his care during the trip and beyond. I had asked him, “Vince are you sure you want to go? And he would say to me, “You’re taking me,” so we went!
It was made possible by getting his doctor’s blessing, along with a medical letter. I also had hands on training from the extramural nurses that came into our home to assist. They help with Vince’s care and showed me how to drain his tubes and how to give him his needles etc. Along with me making sure he was as comfortable as possible, by making sure that he was equipped with the most comfortable wheel chair, seat cushions and all the medical supplies that we needed to make this trip. With that I filled two suitcases with medical supplies along with all our luggage and off we went.. It was the DREAM of a LIFETIME and a real WISH come true.
Jim: You stayed in the Marriott downtown, and stayed in a pretty classy suite(s) tell us about the cool features of the room, the privacy, a pool table?
Julie Comeau: Yes we stayed at the Marriott downtown. It was a fabulous hotel, very classy, the room was so beautiful, It was out of this world. A big thanks to the Douglas Family, Vince’s boss and his wife, that made this all possible. Thank you to the Marriott itself for their generosity. Upon hearing of Vince’s condition we were put in their Presidential Suite! The room was 1800 square feet and our balcony was 300 square feet and we had a view of the CN Tower right outside our hotel window! Our suite even had a pool table and once again as sick as Vince was he wanted to play pool. The boys pushed him around in his wheel chair as they played game after game until Vince could play no more. His love of our sons gave him the motivation and strength to spend this special time with them.The meals and the attention paid to us was amazing and helped make this time even more special. It was a memory, a moment that will be forever frozen in time.
Jim: You went to the Skydome (Rogers Place) home of the Toronto Blue Jays to take in a couple of baseball games against the Oakland A’s. First time for all of you ? How was it and did Vince enjoy himself?
Julie Comeau: The Toronto Blue Jays who were made aware of our story, had a team representative provide tickets for 2 Blue Jays Ball games during our stay in Toronto. This in itself was a dream come true. Just for the boys to have had that chance to go to a professional ball game with their Dad for the first and last time. As sick as Vince was he stuck it out. Even during the game I would ask him about his pain level. Although he was hurting enough to leave the ball game early, he wanted to stay. He would say to me, “Just a few more innings,” then say, “look at how happy the boys are.” Once again, this happened because of the Douglas family who made this dream and wish possible for us. It was the best gift that we EVER received which gave us memories to last a life time!
Jim: So, while at the hotel you received a phone call from Anna Silk. Were you surprised she called and what was the call about?
Julie Comeau: The day just continued to get better and the call from Anna just topped it all off.I was absolutely surprised and very excited to be speaking with Anna. Anna called our hotel room and invited us to come on the set of “LOST GIRL” and told me that she would have her driver pick us up the very next day.
Jim: Unfortunately Vince was too tired and weak from travelling and going to the ball games to go with you. He insisted you go and meet Anna while the boys wanted to take care of their dad. So leaving Vince’s side for the first time in months you went to where? Who did you get to meet? What was it like?
Julie Comeau: The plan was for us all to go but, yes unfortunately, Vince was too tired to go and just wanted to rest. I had a very hard time leaving him for as you mentioned I haven’t left his side ever since the very beginning of his journey. He insisted that I go and said it was okay, and with that I knew it would be okay. I gave our sons instruction and they never left his side, they were so good with him.
Anna’s driver picked me up at the hotel. Dusan was his name and he was incredible, so nice, a kind man, I felt right at home. He drove me to the set of “LOST GIRL” where I got to meet the cast along with Anna’s husband Seth, the directors, writers, editors etc. I also got to meet Anna’s hairdresser and she took me into the trailer that was on set where all the hair and make up were done. Anna also took me inside her personal trailer “BO” where she gave me a special package for our family, signed photo of the cast and t-shirts etc.. She was and is absolutely amazing, she has such an amazing heart. I was truly honoured to meet her and was thrilled to get to hang out on set with her and her castmates just one big group of beautiful people, heart and soul.
One special moment, somewhat surreal, was sitting down with the headset on and watching Bo (Anna) and Dyson (Kristopher Holden-Reid) do a scene right in front of me. I was so close I could have reached out and touched them. Going from watching “Lost Girl” in my living room to actually being on the set with them was magical!
Jim: First of all Anna, thank you for taking the time to meet with Julie on her very special Comeau family trip. I had no idea you were going to do what you did. Not surprised though knowing the class act person you are. This was a last-minute request from me and you sprung right into it. How did you make it happen and what were you able to arrange?
Anna: It really wasn’t that difficult actually. You had told me a bit about their story and I wanted to meet Julie. I called the producers and they were more than happy to accommodate. We have a very supportive cast and crew and my driver on the show is one of the nicest people you could meet–so he was happy to do any pick ups and drop offs as needed.
Jim: When Julie got back she kept saying, “wow is Anna ever a great person, so cool and Seth was great as well, everybody just treated me so great.! I think she is even a greater fan than before of Lost Girl and is in awe of your friendship that has taken off ! What were your thoughts upon meeting her, given the circumstances she was under.
Anna: it was really great to meet Julie. She seems very strong, and is beautiful inside and out. Seth was on set that day too so she wouldn’t be standing around alone–although everyone was pretty happy to meet her that day. I would love to read her book!
Jim: I am sure that you are contacted by so many fans for some sort of personal favor who are undergoing so many different things. I know it is impossible to help them all, but I am also sure it is one of your priorities to acknowledge, in whatever way possible, that you feel your fan’s joy and pain equally. How do you balance that, if time permits?
Anna: well, honestly time doesn’t always permit. I get some wonderful letters and always respond–although sometimes it takes a while. I love reading what people love about the show and I love that Bo is a source of strength for people. We have some great, supportive, and loyal fans and I love to connect with them as much as possible.
A little over three weeks after their family trip to Toronto in the pre-dawn of Saturday, August 11th, 2012 Vince passed away in the arms of his beloved wife of twenty-six years (Julie). He was at home, as was his wish, with his family tending to his every need.
Upon hearing of Vince’s passing I was moved to write the following:
My heart and soul go out to you Julie on learning of Vince passing away on Saturday. This photo says what no words could ever convey about a special couple’s time together. There is a hole in the universe tonight with the loss of a good man, father of Aaron & Justin, husband to Julie and good friend to many myself included.