Steve Hamre wanted to play a song on guitar, but the notes were not clear and he had to dial his friend Rob Hyami for help.
“I called him and said ‘Hey Rob, listen to this song, what are the bands?” The 50-year-old recalled. “He had an ear for music. He could play anything.”
He laughed when he said that, but for the past few days, Hamre had been listening to songs on the radio, a bitter reminder that his good friend was gone.
Friends of the 49-year-old Ottawa man say he was the victim of a devastating typhoon Terego on May 21 in Ontario and Quebec.
At least 10 people died as a result of injuries sustained that day, while another died in a tree fall.
According to Hamrey, Hyami loved hockey, music and golf. He said his friend was at the Cedarhill Golf and Country Club with his eight-year-old son Owen when the storm hit.
They saw dark clouds coming and headed back to the clubhouse as the roaring wind knocked down a tree on their cart.
Hamre said he was told Hayami was fitted. A condolence message on the Tubman Funeral Homes website states that he died Wednesday at the Civic campus of Ottawa Hospital, surrounded by loved ones.
He is survived by his son, his wife Christine McLeve, his two brothers Jeff and Steven and his parents Hiroshi and Jane.
“It feels like a dream, it doesn’t feel real,” Hamre said. “But unfortunately, we’ll never see the rap again.”
No more lead songs
Jack Pelletier shared an emotional message of grief on Facebook on Thursday, describing himself as a “best friend” to Hyami, who soon said he was “far from his only ‘best’ friend”.
Some of the words he used to describe him were humility, kindness and humor, saying that he and others had spent the last three days “in a constant flood of memories and tears”.
A group of friends went to the hospital a few days before Hyami died, and Belletier said he should have been nearby.
“Some of us sat in the parking lot with our guitars,” his post read. “I could feel Rob being there, but he’s not physically there to lead the songs.”
Hamre music is also missing.
“He’s a wonderful friend,” he said of Hyami. “One of the best men you’ve ever known.”
He grew up with Hyami in Orleans and his phone is overflowing with people sharing stories and photos – bringing back unforgettable moments.
In each, they stand side by side.
“He’s the kind of guy you used to walk around the room with. He’s always smiling and opening his arms to everyone,” Hamre said.
“He left a lot of people.”
Hamre said there will always be a great group of friends for Hyami’s family, and he honors the many relationships he has built by ensuring that the ones he loves the most are maintained.
Owen is already carrying on some of his father’s traditions by playing the piano, he added.
“I hope he gets the ear he had for rap music.”