Saturday, September 17, 2016

Celebrating LIFE!

Our extended family gathered in Chilliwack to celebrate our Uncle Paul's 80th birthday on September 10th.  

As many of you know, our mom passed away at the end of August.

If you didn't know, our mom loved parties.  LOVED them.  She hated to miss any kind of event.  I just know it must have irked Margaret to no end that she didn't live long enough to attend her own 80th birthday party last weekend.
Our amazing Manitoba cousins flew all the way from Winnipeg to celebrate our Uncle Paul's birthday.

Our incredible Chilliwack cousins hosted a weekend to remember.

It was a very special celebration.  We partied with Paul and we remembered Margaret.  

It was a happy reunion of our family.

My cousin Bonnie is a chef and provided all the delicious charcuterie boards.

See what I mean?  Amazing.

Kula loved being a part of it all.

Heartfelt greetings between sisters and cousins.

Family is family is family.  It doesn't matter if we saw each other yesterday or years ago.  The bond is there.  The loving connections remain.

"Love you."

Brothers from different mothers.

Cousin Leslie and her pup Kula.

Cousins Bonnie, Carla and Dawson.

To celebrate their 65th birthday, Margaret made her twin brother Paul a beautiful book of photographs documenting their life together.  It was the hit of the party.  It brought back so many beautiful memories for everyone!

Uncle and nephew.

We had so many laughs that weekend.

Noogies for all.

Homemade quilts as birthday gifts.  Carla finished these quilts for Paul and our mom.

Cousin Gord pouring shots of scotch for a toast.


Uncle Paul and his kids.


My brother-in-law Kevin taking a quiet moment to look at Margaret's book of memories.

Can you tell they're related?

Me and my favourite Frenchman.


Me and Ken.  One of the funniest men I know.

Cousins under wraps.

Olive and Chrissy.

Uncle Paul and a few of his nieces.

Carving up the pork.

Evening sky.

Thirty people around the table for dinner.


What a gorgeous night.

Our mom was there in spirit.

80 candles for 80 years.

Reminiscing around the fire.

It got cold during the evening!  One has to keep one's head warm somehow.

Everyone bunked in overnight sleeping in campers and trailers, guest rooms and hotel rooms.


Birds in paradise.

Having my morning coffee with my new friend Jesse.

After breakfast, everyone drove out to the cemetery on Little Mountain where our grandparents are buried.  We spread some of Margaret's ashes at her parents' grave.

Our mother would have balked at us spending $900.00 for an urn to transport her ashes from Squamish to Chilliwack.  So we opted for the 'super-classy-plastic-bag-inside-a-cardboard-box' urn.   


One final good-bye.

The mourners paying their last respects.

Sweet dreams, Margaret.  You were well loved by so many.  We will miss you like crazy.

I cannot thank my immediate and extended family enough for everything they've done for me.  It is their unwavering love and support that sustains me.  Love is love is love is love.  You people mean the world to me.  

Thank you to all of my friends and relations for the phone calls, bouquets of flowers, sympathy cards, meals and e-mail messages.  I promise to respond to each and every one of you.

My sisters and I will host a 'Celebration of Life' for Margaret next spring when my daughter Molly can travel from Boston with her new baby.  We will keep you posted on the time and place.

My love to you all.

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