One of the great gifts Dad left us with last spring was reuniting us with his family. There’s a great distance between Alberta and Ontario, and even though we now have email and FaceTime and texting, it’s still not the same as the in-person stuff.
A few days before Dad died my aunts and uncles (his sisters) came out to see him. He actually ended up passing away as they were getting on their planes and heading home. Just in case there was any doubt that it was important for him to see them – he hung on just long enough. They pretty much got home and then turned around to come back for the funeral.
But, the benefit of those intense visits was that it bonded us together in a tighter way than we had ever been before. Through all the grief of losing a brother, husband, father, and grandfather, we found our way together into a closer unit. I know Dad would be so happy about that. Family was so incredibly important to him.
This afternoon we had my cousin’s daughter (Dad’s great niece – his sister’s granddaughter) and her boyfriend come out for a visit. I think the last time I saw her she was about 4, and she’s 21 now. It’s been a long time. Yet she called us up because she was out here and wanted to see us. Family – there is that special bond.
It’s so weird because we know all the same people yet we didn’t know each other at all. However, because of that bond it was so easy and comfortable. She is a lovely young lady (good job parents!) and it was such a delight to get to know her a little bit better. A great happiness moment.
We went out for a little drive. I love seeing home through other people’s eyes. One thing I really noticed about her is how excited she is about life. She has so much energy and joy about what she’s doing and was so engaged in what was going on around her. That’s a great way to live.