Daniel Keane was the firstborn child of Patrick and Lynn Keane. The loving bond formed in those early years remains a lasting gift.
Family was important to Daniel. He was protective of his two sisters, Aimee and Emily. There would always be mischief and laughter emanating from some corner of the house when they were together.
Some of Daniel's happiest moments were spent playing golf with his dad. A few years ago, Daniel shot a rare hole in one.
He excelled at basketball and was on several winning teams during high school. He remained a skateboarder throughout his life. In recent times he took to longboarding.
Daniel blazed a path early on in life. Born with anaphylaxis, his challenges would be in part responsible for peanut products being banned from elementary schools in Halton Region, Ont.
Daniel attended both the University of Ottawa and Wilfrid Laurier University before finding his niche in international business at Conestoga College in Waterloo, Ont. But it was in his beloved Muskoka that Daniel found purpose and meaning.
As a little boy he learned to chop wood, build a fire and open and close the cottage. He had a remarkable work ethic, beginning with a paper route. In 2007, he started a summer business, Cottage Concierge. His cottage maintenance company allowed him to spend summers working outdoors on a variety of projects. After work he would race down to the dock, heading for his wakeboard.
Daniel loved watching cooking shows. As his skills evolved he would prepare delicious meals, infusing laughter and good conversation into the mix.
Music played a major role in Daniel's life, from classic rock to reggae. Humour was his stock in trade. He could be irreverent and tender at the same time, a complex blend of energy, talent and impatience. Daniel was imbued with the fragility of being human, as we all are.
Our family's tragedy is Daniel's absence from our lives. His rich life unravelling. The vicious cycle of sleeplessness and anxiety left smouldering. His mind betraying him in his prime. That he was suffering came as a resounding shock to all who knew and loved him. As Daniel was slipping into depression, he would have been unable to see what the world saw: An intelligent young man with a future full of possibilities. A wonderful son and brother. We were uneducated in the ways of mental illness.
Daniel never suffered self-pity and he embraced the everyday, content in the love he received. Only now, one year later, do we truly understand the urgency of his message.
Lynn Keane is Daniel's mother.