Snow and Family

A little over a month ago it happened.  It feels like yesterday and yet it still feels like it happened a life time ago.  My Aunt died.

Here it is another blog post without food.  I’m sorry guys and I promise not to dwell on it but I need to get this one out before I can carry on any further.  And it’s going to be long.

I have so much in my head but I don’t know where to start.  The problem is I have lots of things to say but I still have people like my Mom and other family members who read my blog.  Not that I would say anything that would offend them but some in our family are very private, and this past month has been an intensely hard month for our family.  Yes I need to share but I also need to respect them.

Here’s what I can say, February has been difficult for me.  My Aunt died and we had the funeral in Newmarket and we grieved together as a family with my Aunt’s friends and colleagues.  There is so much around that but I’ll get back to that in a minute.

But there have been so many other things going on, little things that aren’t necessarily happening to me personally but because of the rawness of my emotions they hit closer to home.  Like Michael Green dying in a car accident the week following my Aunt’s funeral or my Mother-in-Law having to put down one of her dogs last week, or even yesterday, finding out that Leonard Nimoy passed away.  All very sad things, plus a multitude of others that I haven’t mentioned, that make me feel heavy.

However, I am trying to find the bright spots.  I need to thank my friends in the food community for being so very good to me.  Wanda at Bakerbeans and Bernice at Dish “N” the Kitchen have been supporting me with positive notes when I need them.  And my dear friend Patricia over at Miss Foodie’s Gourmet Adventures keeps sending me invites to food events.  I finally caved and we had the most amazing Brazilian Steakhouse experience at Pampa last week.  I was a mess that day but I really needed that.  Ok, I guess there is a little about food.

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

Of course my family has also been incredibly supportive but my husband is the best.  He can’t even fathom what I am going through but still, he is there.  Letting me go through what I need to.

And that leads me back to my Aunt’s funeral. There are two things that stick with me.

The first of these is snow.  I love my cousin Kristine; she is an artist with words.  On her blog, she has captured in this one post entitled The Hardest Part exactly how I feel.  Once you read this you may understand why I had such a hard time with snow when I first came back from Toronto and why I was longing for sunshine.

The second of these is how we all stick together as a family.  Yes that has changed a lot over the years and what that looks like today is very different from when we were children.  But the foundation for where we are now started back in the day and a lot of that came from my Aunt.

When we were sitting around reminiscing after the funeral we shared so many stories from this one trip my Aunt and cousins made out “West” when we were kids.  We did SO many things even though we didn’t have any money, but it didn’t matter.  My Aunt always convinced my Mom to throw all eight of us in the back of the car and away we went.  Everything was an adventure, EVERYTHING!  Ask me, and I’ll tell you because there are too many things to mention here.

And this doesn’t even take into account the trips we made out “East” when we were all at my Grandparent’s house.  If you thought eight kids in the back of a car is a lot, you should see what it is like when there are eleven!  Yes, that’s how many of us there are.

Because we did all that we are closer now somehow.  And even though on the day of my Aunt’s funeral it wasn’t possible for us all to be physically together we knew, we all were there for each other, as family.  My final memories of the funeral, well, of the place we said goodbye to my Aunt, were us as family.  We were there by ourselves, gathering everything up, taking care of the practical things.  And then when there was nothing left, we took great care with each other as we hugged and said goodbye and went our separate ways.  Going apart but leaving together as family.  I am so lucky to have this family.

So that’s all I have to say.  Mom, I know you are reading so I hope what I said is ok.  I wish I had a picture of all eleven of us to show but in its place I would like to share this great picture of the eight of us during one of our adventures that one summer when we were kids.

Jasper Tramway Throwback

If I could have one last goodbye I would say, thank you Auntie for filling our hearts and lives with happiness, wonderment and curiosity about life.  I am so thankful the last time you were out “West” we were able to make a trip together out to the mountains.  It was a special day and it is one I now will hold forever in my heart.  For the rest of my life, when I sit on the banks of Lake Minnewanka I will think of you.

Love Heather

Aunt Isabel at Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

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