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Thursday, February 9, 2017

End of an Era

We've lost a lot of icons over the past year and a bit. Icons that we've loved or at least appreciated for their talent; those that we'd have loved to sit down and have a coffee with and those that would reduce us to a babbling mess if we were in their presence. It's sad and strangely life affirming at the same time. It makes you pick yourself up and get to the things you've been putting off.

There's so many more, but losing David hurt.
All that, and yet it doesn't compare to losing a good friend or loved one. We lost a couple of those as well this year. One such a surprise that it left us weepy and breathless.We've now lost a tie to our past. 

Our very dear John
Ron's mother, Ola, passed away from a massive stroke early this month.  She didn't quite reach 92, but she had one heck of a life. She gave birth to eleven (yup double 1) children that all are alive today. (That's pretty impressive, even one of my siblings has passed away.) She experienced the gamut of life's offerings; wealth that was lost, cross country moves, career changes, loss of a parent when she was young. She fought for her reproductive rights and won. Really, after 11 children, she'd thought she done her bit, but at the time doctors were reluctant to do anything without the husband's permission. With Ron's father away on the road a lot, this was almost impossible. She convinced the doctor to help. I'm sure there was, at the very least, some strong words spoken, if not a good shaking meted out by her hand. It might have had something to do with the fact that her oldest daughter was also pregnant at the time and that might have seemed like a line in the sand for Ola.
That's her on her 90th birthday - lookin' good!
She tucked babies into drawers and did what she needed to manage that soccer team of kids. It wasn't easy; she relied heavily on the older kids to help with the younger. She experienced a lot in her nine decades; changes in the world that many of us can only imagine and, for the most part, she embraced it all. She was fond of keeping up with family on her iPad via Facebook and loved talking on the phone sharing her strong opinions with all who would give her the platform. If you were smart, you'd just agree and carry on - there is no arguing with a woman who raised so many children while having a career as well. With over 90 years under her belt, her stories were numerous and not the stuff for this blog.

Gone with her are the collective memories she has of her family and friends, of the life that brought her from the small (then) Anglo town of Gaspe, Quebec, to the busy streets of Toronto, the arid air of Kamloops and on to the wet coast of Vancouver. For that the world is more bereft. I know that the family misses her, but is glad that she went in a manner that was acceptable to her; no long illness and lingering. She was a force of nature that most people don't get to experience. I hope that George (or Sandy, as he was sometimes called), your husband of 50 years plus, joyfully meets you in the great beyond. May you be at peace, Mother/Gram/Gigi/Ola.


  1. Thank You Danica,
    Wonderful words and thoughts so appreciated