Toronto 2009 Homecoming

17 11 2009

On November the 6th at 7:55pm, I landed at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, for a trip that was 9 years overdue. 

My best friend JJ was getting married on November the 7th, and he asked me to be one of his groomsmen.  This particular trip, hit close to home.  I’ve been away for so long, and the moment I walked out of the gate and saw both JJ and Los, I once again felt like I was home. 

As I was walking out the gate, I couldn’t see JJ or Carlos.  What I did see was a big winter jacket covering two full grown men, the jacket shook with laughter and as I got closer and closer I knew exactly who it was.  With a flurry of daps and hugs, I couldn’t help but remember everything that the three of us had gone through throughout our teenage years leading up to when I left Toronto for Northern California. 

To be back in the presence of those you grew up and loved for so many years was both surreal and sad that after a week and a few days, I’d be leaving them once again for my life back in Vancouver. 

The night I arrived we quickly went to JJ’s uncle’s house which quickly filled up with “the boys”.  Everyone that I wanted to see was in that house that night.  Drinking and toasting both JJ’s marriage and Zuriel, Glenn and I’s return to the TDot.  To see the boys I grew up with, shared laughs with, shared moments that would never happen again was one of the best things to happen this year.  Memories came flooding back and we spent the night drinking and reminiscing of the good ol’ days.  The adventures, brothers be one, fits of rage… to laugh, to joke and to remember what we all went through together was exactly what I needed. 

It was a full 9 and a half years since my last trip to Toronto, and things have changed so much.  But the love I have for homies and vice versa is still there.  It was tough to say Hi and re-aquaint myself with everyone, knowing that in a week, I would have to say my goodbyes.  Never again would I let a trip like this get pushed for so long.  We’ve missed so much in each other’s lives that 11 days wasn’t even close to enough to fully catch up.  But we did our best.

JJ and Kim’s wedding was amazing.  JJ’s groomsmen consisted of Christian, Vince, Glenn, Richie, Ed, Zee, Los and myself.  To date, definately the best groomsmen party ever to be put together.  The ceremony was beautiful with ofcourse a few outbursts from the groomsmen, which we knew JJ was trying his hardest to hold back his laughter on such a big even in his life.  Hearing Vince, Los and Zee try to harmonize the hymns I almost completely lost it.  To see my best friend of 19 years at the altar marrying the woman of his dreams was a beautiful thing to see.  Someone finally tamed the Playurr.  The reception was crazy, I gave a quick 2 minute speech about the groom and his family and how much I was happy to be a part of the celebration.  We had dinner, we finished the program and then the drinking started.  And holy shit did we ever drink.  Shots of Southern Comfort all night, we almost cleaned out the bar.  All the groomsmen were completely plastered, but we were all grinning from ear to ear.  I can’t even remember when the last time we all were in the same room together under one roof… I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. 

The biggest thing on this trip was meeting Kim, JJ’s wife.  I was afraid I wouldn’t live up to the hype of “Biggz”.  I’m glad that the first time I met her, was after the wedding ceremony.  She looked amazing, beautiful in her wedding dress with the biggest smile in the world.  First impression of my best friends wife… GORGEOUS!  I was nervous to meet her, hoping that she would like me, and when I finally got the chance to, it was almost like I already knew her.  She greeted me with the biggest smile and hug.  Now when I think JJ, I think Kim… you know how people say “Homesick”, I’m “JJ and Kim sick”.  Definately 2 of the most important people in my life.  Thank you for choosing me as one of your groomsmen JJ, and thank you Kim for not only making my best friend happy… but making me happy as well!!  It would be hard to get through life without the both of you.  You guys are truly amazing, I call JJ “Kapatid” and now I have new “Kapatid”. 🙂

After the wedding, I truly got to hang out with the boys.  These are the guys I grew up with, they know me inside out and they know how to make me smile.  In Vancouver, I’m Jon, but in Toronto… I’m Biggz.  Almost like my alter ego, but stepping in the shoes of Biggz once again, made me realize who I truly am. 

To the boys:

Los:  I’m not sure anyone would really understand our humour, through elementary school and highschool until now, you’ve been like a brother to me.  Always there to make me laugh and smile, and I can live vicariously through you when it comes to the “Fits of Rage”.  Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with me the days I stayed with you.  Thank you for helping me realize that I still have a home in Toronto, regardless of where I am and what i’m doing in life.  Like you said, everytime we see each other, it’s like time never passed us by.  Tell Sora, thank you for her hospitality even though this was her first time meeting me.  You guys are beautiful…Until the next reunion… YEAH  YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Zee: Even though you just stayed for the weekend, and got all emotional with your girl after the wedding reception.. I love you still man.  Not sure anyone has the ability to conjure up witty come backs at the drop of a dime like you do.  You’ve always had a different perspective on life, and I’ve always admired that.  I’m not sure I know anyone that can compare to a character like you.  I hope this road trip in June with your brother pans out and you guys make it over to the west coast… I’ll show you foreal which coast is the best coast!!!!  Remember to check your nose hairs in the morning so you’re not plucking them in a tuxedo in the lobby of a church right before your best friends wedding!!!  Thanks for doing the “Side Kick” that shit brought back memories.

To the Mendoza Clan (Tito Bonnie, Tita Lily, Kelly, Gayle&Johnny and ‘Dette):  I can’t even begin to express how much you guys mean to me.  I trully love you guys like my own and would take a bullet for you guys anyday.  Tito B and Tita L, I’ve always referred to you guys as my 2nd family.  And I truly still feel the same.  Staying at your house was like being home.  I’m blessed to be part of your lives and I’m hoping for more years to come!!!  Kelly, thanks for chillin’ with me and showing me around the ol’ hood.  Gayle and Johnny, you guys have such a beautiful little boy, remember to make sure he knows who I am, show him the good pictures hahaha.  MaDette… I’ve known you since you were 3 or 4 years old.  You’ve grown to be a beautiful woman with some of the most amazing talent I’ve seen in a while.  I hope that we’ll get a chance to work together musically because I truly belive there’s something there!!!

My trip has been an amazing adventure full of good memories.  When my plane landed last night at midnight, I couldn’t help but think about my fam and friends in Toronto.  I’ve learned that I”ll never be able to re-capture the memories we made, but making these new ones with you guys are just as good or better.  You all truly are a part of Kaya and My life.  My daughter is yet to feel the love we gots in the TDot and I’m hoping she’ll be able to exprience it soon.

My trip was not only a vacation, but a realization that throughout my life, I had the honour and oppurtunity to make memories with some of the most amazing people in this world.  Ya’ll truly helped build who I am today.  Although folks don’t call me Biggz anymore… in Toronto… I’ll always be Biggz…

In my life, there was a time where all our cares in the world were for each other, and they still are. 

Bun the next one?  Let’s roll out boys… iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinxmob!!!!





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