I’ve never met Tytus Hardy, or Tess or Lymond Hardy. But I know for a fact that they are good people … smart, caring and adventurous.

I know this, unequivocally, because I knew their Dad.

I do know their sister, Janelle. She is an artist, dancer, writer and runs her own business. She has a wonderful mother, but this kind of confidence is something Dads give to the

ir daughters.

Along with their mother, Louise, they have suffered a loss more profound than the rest of us; but we are still all the poorer after losing Todd Hardy.

Todd was a tough and gentle man, one of our best. He fought his leukemia with the ferocity of a warrior, but confronted its devastating return with the placid acceptance of a monk.

In one of his last e-mails to me, he just said, “My time is coming to an end. How many articles do you have of mine?”

Dedicated. From our very first conversation about his column, Silent Strength, Todd had a laser-like focus on serving his readers.

But, really, he lived his entire adult life like that: as a guardian to all. (Perhaps not so much in his youth — he was a hockey player after all.)

Just as martial arts is a study in contrast – strength from serenity, serenity from strength – Todd’s life continued to be a walking, talking contrast.

Todd was a carpenter, yet he repaired delicate guitars; he was the leader of a political party, yet he frequently began caucus meetings by reading poetry; he was a union business agent, but scrapping with management was for the social good of his brothers and sisters; he was scathing in attacking hypocrisy or misplaced values, but he wouldn’t kick a man when he was down.

When we measure a life, we ask, “Is this world now a better place because of this person?”

Yes it is.

Alas, the most important measure of a man is the family he helps create. I am certain that the Yukon and the world shall continue to be well-served by Janelle, Tess, Lymond and Tytus, and granddaughter Ellazora.

If I knew nothing more of the man, this would be enough.

Louise, of course, is her own woman. But nobody becomes a member of parliament without having a supportive spouse … and that is another side of this complicated, yet simple man.

For me, Todd’s legacy will be his demonstration that gentleness is the only true sign of strength, because only strength allows us to be gentle.

To the Hardy family and to all of the Yukon, I sincerely wish that your memories of Todd will soon bring you more smiles than tears.