OBITUARY

Andrew "Dru" Abraham Freeson

May 3, 1982December 20, 2018
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Andrew "Dru" Abraham Freeson, age 36, of Chilliwack, British Columbia went to be with Jesus on Thursday December 20, 2018.

Andrew was born May 3, 1982 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and passed away in Surrey, BC. after a courageous battle with cancer.

Andrew is survived by his wife, Brenda; daughter, Scarlet; son, Skyler; mother, Charlene and father, Wade; brother, Mike & Stephanie, niece, Charlotte; and brother-in-law, Rob & Tara.

Andrew was preceded in death by grandma, Glada Freeson, father-in-law Bob Jones and mother-in-law Colleen Jones.

A Celebration of Life service for Andrew will be held Friday, December 28, 2018 at 1:30 PM at Woodlawn Mt. Cheam Funeral Home, 45865 Hocking Ave, Chilliwack, BC V2P1B5. Following the memorial service will be a reception.

Memorial donations may be made in Andrew's name to: BC Cancer Foundation www.bccancerfoundation.com/ways-donate/gift-memory

  • FAMILY

  • Brenda Freeson, Wife
  • Charlene Freeson, Mother
  • Wade Freeson, Father
  • Mike(Stephanie) Freeson, Brother
  • Scarlet Freeson, Daughter
  • Skyler Freeson, Son
  • Charlotte Freeson, Niece
  • Rob(Tara) Jones, Brother-in-law

Services

  • Memorial Service Friday, December 28, 2018
  • Reception Friday, December 28, 2018
REMEMBERING

Andrew "Dru" Abraham Freeson

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Brenda Freeson

January 20, 2019

Orange pop moustache.

Our fur family (before kids)
Hank & Charlie

Brenda Freeson

January 12, 2019

Scarlet and daddy napping

Brenda Freeson

January 12, 2019

We couldn’t believe how small scarlet was when she came home from the hospital!

Rob Jones

January 12, 2019

Vancouver aquarium 2009

Brenda Freeson

January 12, 2019

Such a sweet memory of when Skyler was tiny

Brenda Freeson

January 9, 2019

One day Drew just climbed out the living room window onto the roof. He stood there contemplating about walking over and knocking on the neighbours window to scare them. He said he always wanted to climb out there.

Brenda Freeson

January 9, 2019

Drew was so nervous about being a dad. He was afraid he’d break the baby. He never wanted to hold other people’s babies before our kids came along. But he was a natural. He was so good with the kids. He was very proud of them both and was always horsing around and making them laugh.

Scarlet and Skyler Freeson

January 9, 2019

We remember when daddy used to say him and Poochie were twins

Betty Giesbrecht

January 8, 2019

We met Dru in the 90’s through Dru’s parents. He was in his mid teens when Charlene & Wade moved from Breton to Edmonton. My understanding was that the move was largely for Dru’s sake. We mostly knew Dru through his parents. In his early 20’s he spent a significant period of time working at Beulah Alliance Church as a custodian. Our son in law Nathan, also worked there and would often tell us about the interesting books and Bibles that Drew read and the thought provoking discussions they had. After hearing many similar stories at his Celebration of Life, I realize that Drew truly was a complex individual. It is comforting to know that while we can’t always figure out the complexities of life, God understands and takes us as we are when we give ourselves to Him. Rest In Peace Dru. Your family is in our prayers.
Ed & Betty Giesbrecht

Flowers from Baba Cooper

January 7, 2019

Biography

"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something…"

The Princess Bride...a favorite movie of our family that our Uncle Clayton introduced us too. Well, it was a favorite of Andrew, me and dad. Mom thinks her favorite actor is Hank Cruise so we’ll leave her out of the movie talk.

There are two Andrew’s that I knew.

My earliest memories of my brother are the typical early childhood memories. Leaving Manitoba and moving to Alberta with our single mom, I already had the notion that I was a big brother and it was my duty to help my mom and look after my little brother. We were both adopted and we both always knew (there aren’t going to be any surprise reveals in this story). He was an Indian. (I’m not sure what we’re supposed to be calling them these days but he called himself an Indian so that’s what I’m going with!) Mom and I were white but in my eyes, our situation was completely normal. None of that mattered. He was my little brother and I would do whatever it took to be whatever a big brother was supposed to be. Most of my early memories are the same as many of yours are of your siblings, wrestling in our bedrooms, building pillow forts or climbing trees...pretty normal.

Soon after our move to Alberta we met a friend of mom’s who had been coming around and hanging around a little longer each time we saw him. Before you know it, we had a new dad. We’re still not sure what exactly lured him in, but an Indian son with full treaty rights for hunting and fishing surely didn't hurt!

Unfortunately for dad, Andrew didn’t share those passions. After discussing with dad, we decided that we think he got one beaver and there was some sporadic fishing during our family camping trips. While he never became the hunter Dad was hoping for the fishing did end up taking a little bit of a hold. During later family trips to Kitimat, you could find him barefoot, pulling salmon out of the river with no thought to the cold.

He always seemed to be drawn to the cold and he never seemed to realize how cold it actually was. Family Christmas tree hunts often ended with rushing home as someone finally realized Andrew’s fingers and toes could very well fall off. The cold air didn’t seem to bother him during those high school bush parties where his clothes went missing either. Dad loves one story about a family road trip to Manitoba and a slurpee. Yes, we all agree that giving a large cup of frozen sugar to a child to keep them quiet is great parenting. In this case it gave the family a nice long silent stretch across those barren prairies. That ended quickly for us though when Andrew let out a scream that shook the car. It turns out he had left his slurpee between his legs for too long and froze his...well you know...and we all got to experience the “thawing”.

Andrew loved to laugh. He loved a good joke, especially if it made things awkward. He loved telling Indian jokes because he knew people weren’t sure if it was ok to laugh. He had no problem listening to Norm MacDonald’s most offensive jokes in the car with our dear mother present...I’m not sure if it bothered her but it sure made the rest of us uncomfortable...he loved her but also loved making things weird.

Andrew was by far the most complicated person I know. I remember him spending many years finding his “thing”. He started as most little brothers do, imitating his big brother. Hockey in the yard, in the basement, in the hallway, on the outdoor rinks and playing at the arena. A good Canadian boy. While he never stopped liking hockey, he actually decided quite early that playing wasn’t for him. He decided he was going to do his own thing no matter how long it took to find what that was. It started with a small step. His brother was going to be a hockey player so he was going to be a football player. It didn’t matter to him that growing up on a farm outside a tiny village in northern Alberta meant that if you wanted to play football you would do most of your training by running around in the snow, dodging tackles from your dog.

When he realized that wasn’t going to pan out he made the next logical step that most little Indian boys do. He decided he was going to be a cowboy. Mom and dad got an old cowboy (Jim Bend) from our country church to take him on, and gave him riding lessons. He had his own hat and lasso and everything. Looking back, I wish we had smartphones back then. The image of this little Indian boy galloping across the foothills with an old Johnny Cash wannabe is something that was actually worth preserving.

After that phase passed, he made the predictable transition to rapper and an obsession with DC Talk and Kriss Kross (which meant wearing his clothes backwards for a while). For some reason this wasn’t very alarming at the time. Maybe it was because things started to take a little more predictable path after that as he navigated his way through the dreary existence of the teenager years with the uplifting music of Radiohead, Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins. He was now going to be a rockstar. It became apparent here that music and especially the guitar were going to be a guiding force for the rest of his life.

The second Andrew I knew appeared after I left for school. I only got to see him occasionally, a few times a year. It still seemed like each time I saw him he was into something a little different but there were definitely some common threads that had appeared.

Music and songwriting remained a passion. Reading took a hold of him as well as he started to study the bible and other classic literature. As he found himself in this introversion he was also able to open up to new ideas and new people. During one school break, I came back home and found him hanging out with a lovely lady named Brenda. It wasn’t long before I found out she would be sharing in his crazy adventures as she joined the Freeson family as his wife...bless her. Mom remembers him decorating the basement with candles, flowers, and a poem he’d written for her the day he proposed to her. He instructed Mom and Dad to go out and not come back for a while. He was so excited.

Their marriage gave us Scarlet and Skyler whom we all love very much. Their dad loved them immensely. Scarlet was a miracle baby that wasn’t supposed to happen and Skyler was so excited to join the family that he jumped out into his dad’s arms on the bathroom floor. “Local Dad Makes Great Catch” was the headline in the Chilliwack newspaper if I recall correctly….it could only happen to him.

While blessed with a wonderful family, Andrew did not have an easy life. He'd be the first to tell you. He struggled through school. He struggled with a brain that while brilliant worked a little differently than the rest of us. He wasn't sure where he fit in. He struggled with addiction and in the end, he struggled with disease. His crosses to bear were many. As you get older you learn how true that Princess Bride quote is. Life is pain. We all experience it and none of us are quite sure how to deal with it. Andrew had more than his fair share. I often asked myself through the years, as I’m sure everyone who knew him well has done, “How can I help? What can I do? And more recently with his cancer, “Why? Why him? What is the meaning of it all?” Unfortunately we will probably never know...at least not in this lifetime.

But today I don’t look to answer those questions. Today I remember my brother as a champion, as an example whom we all can learn from. Someone who carried his cross and lived honourably. I’m so thankful for the help he had along the way...family and friends, fantastic employers and organizations like Teen Challenge...but in the end it was him and him alone who had to carry the burdens given to him...and he did so without complaint.

He has shown me that no matter what load you’ve been given the right way to live is to pick that load up and move forward. That is what he did. He didn’t look back, he moved forward. We all have our own way of moving forward. His was to seek knowledge and wisdom by studying history, art and literature. He found meaning in this. He found meaning playing music and writing poems. He found his path.

Through his years on this earth, there were many opportunities to give in, to admit that the burdens were too great and to let them consume him. That wasn’t an option for him. He took them on. Each new challenge was another opportunity to prove his strength.

It took some time but after many years of many different endeavours he found where he belonged, with his family by his side, reading books, playing music and writing poems. And maybe finding some time here and there for some internet trolling and watching the occasional episode of Teen Titans Go with his kids.

While I think Andrew would be happy that I snuck in a Princess Bride quote here today I think it would really impress him if I was able to leave you with a quote from a great Russian writer. So in remembrance of Andrew here's Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn discussing whether a man is born to be happy: “Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot be unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most out of them. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one's life journey may become an experience of moral growth, so that one may leave life a better human being than one started it.”

As I said before, Andrew carried his cross, moved forward and lived with purpose. I hope he is as much of an inspiration to all of you as he is to me…

Thank you Andrew. You will always be with us.

Love your big brother,
Mike