About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Family Forever

Back in September, I wrote a post for ABC Wednesday entitled G is for Geneology and focused mostly on my mother Gretchen. If you didn't get a chance to see it, by all means do click on the link and check it out. As I mentioned there, my sister has traced our family back to the 1400s and, with written verification, all the way back to England in 1555. This surely is indicative of our feelings about the importance of family.

This time I'll focus on my immediate family (my husband's side is another story for another time). First up is a photo of the entire family including my parents, my two sisters, my mother's parents, and her brother and his wife and their son John. (my uncle took the photo so that's why he's not in it.) It wasn't often that we all got together at Christmas because my aunt and uncle lived in Osoyoos (the Okanagan region of BC). Can you tell which one I am?

Then it was time for me to start my own family and I married Brian when I was 25 years old. We had a lovely wedding and reception at my parents' home, complete with an arbour covered in orange blossoms that my Dad had shipped in from California.
Three and a half years later, we had our first child Jamie Elizabeth and her sister Jaclyn Brianne arrived when Jamie was 3 1/2. We had the perfect little family. Athough we discussed having more children, it was not to be and maybe in the long run it was just as well.

The girls adored their grandparents, especially their Grampa Jones because he would cuddle them and play with them and tell them jokes and stories. Their gramma would knit them sweaters up until her rheumatoid arthritis finally forced her to stop.Jaclyn was our little tomboy and she loved helping her Daddy whenever he was doing outside chores. Here she is at age 3 helping to gather the autumn leaves in our front yard.
Jamie also adored her Daddy and here you can see the bond they had as we celebrated Jamie's 12th birthday. The girls had a wonderful relationship with their grandparents (my parents) and always loved to visit. They got to stay over sometimes and once when Brian and I had to fly to Ottawa on a house-hunting trip, my parents came and stayed with the girls at our home so that they could continue to go to school and live life as normally as possible while we were gone.
Then, sadly and tragically, Brian got very sick and died when the girls were only 12 and not quite 16. What an awful time we had and it took years to recover from the loss. This is the last photo I have of all of them together, taken Christmas 1991. You can't really tell, but he was very sick then and the girls knew it - I think their smiles are a tiny bit forced.

However, life had to go on and my Dad pitched in to help us by doing outside chores for me and the girls. When we moved up to the wilderness of BC in 1994 for me to teach French, my parents drove two days to visit over the Thanksgiving weekend. Dad replaced lighting fixtures for me and hung draperies and blinds in the windows. He made sure the furnace was working and the plumbing was in good shape. And when they left, I missed them so much. Here's Jaclyn with her Grampa during her red-hair phase a few years ago. And now, Jamie has her own family with husband Jason, son Noah and daughter Eden. They will continue the family line and maybe one day either Noah or Eden might carry on the tradition of tracking our family history through geneology.

Even though we may not spend a lot of time together or agree on every aspect of life, all of us know that if we need each other we're there in a flash. It's the same with my two sisters as we live very different and separate lives. But we're always there in an emergency or for a celebration of some kind. Family is forever and I'll always be thankful for the love we have for each other.

45 comments:

napaboaniya said...

Leslie, you've got a beautiful family :) A very close one too!
Wishing your family happiness all the time!

nancygrayce said...

I love that your sister traced your family back to the 1500's! That's amazing.

I think you were either the little girl with the pearl necklace standing by probably your mother with the crown on.....or the baby. I guess it isn't right to guess twice! Anyway, my family is a lot like yours. We may not agree on everything, but when one of needs the others, we're there.

Carver said...

This was a very touching post for the family theme. Meaningful stories and photographs that you shared.

leslie said...

Nancy, you're right that I'm wearing the pearl necklace, but that's my aunt I'm standing beside. My mom is at the head of the table.

Leslie said...

Great family photos for this week namesake. :) Hope your week went well. Mine was a SHOCKER! But I'm sure it will improve. :) One son blew an engine and sprained an ankle and the other one totalled two cars and a garage belonging to my neighbour. :)

Annie said...

This is such a wonderful and poignant post. I can relate because I lost my father at age 12 too. Love your photos and the stories.

About my red-haired nephew - he's got a red haired grandparent on both sides, so he got it honestly!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

YTSL said...

Wow, Leslie, so many photos and so much love emanating from them and your accompanying words. :)

heartbeats said...

hello, happy hunting... mine is up!

Yen said...

What a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing those lovely photos! Mine is posted HERE. Happy PH!~

Heart of Rachel said...

Having a beautiful and loving family is a great blessing in life. Thanks for sharing.

FickleMinded said...

a very lovely family indeed!!!
belated happy thanks giving!!!

jmb said...

Lovely photos for the theme Leslie, with stories to go along. Big or small families are important. Have a good weekend.

Bonggamom said...

What a wonderful photo essay on your family. I really enjoyed seeing how your family's generations have gotten together through the years.

marcia@joyismygoal said...

I love seeing the families and the love they represent and the fun old styles too:)

Aileni said...

Good post again, Leslie. I am not taking part today.

jams o donnell said...

What wonderful family shots. THanks for sharing. Have a great weekend

ian said...

what a great entry! thank you for sharing a part of your life with all of us! God bless you and yours =]

Shinade said...

I am adopted so I have not had the privilege of tracing too far back.

I have gone back as far the early 1800's. But my husband's family has two volumes out(self published) on their family heritage.

They too go all the way back to England and were among some of the earliest settlers here in America.

Oh the pictures are wonderful and the share about heritage was fabulous also!!

Mine is up here.

http://shinade.blogspot.com/2008/10/photohunt-family.html

Happy week end:-)

gen/entry here said...

What a cute family Genealogy....TC....

Snap2Days said...

Wonderful sequence of family photographs and also great memories.

CherryPie said...

What a lovely selection of family photos :-) Thank you for sharing them with us.

Bengbeng said...

Leslie, thank u for sharing. i can feel how it was when brian was sick. i am so glad everything turned out well in the end. In the end it is how the children n their children fare that makes it all worthwhile. very touching post.

Bengbeng said...

Leslie, thank u for sharing. i can feel how it was when brian was sick. i am so glad everything turned out well in the end. In the end it is how the children n their children fare that makes it all worthwhile. very touching post.

jenny said...

That was a great trip through the family photos. I enjoyed it!

Have a great weekend!

Randi said...

This is a very touching and wonderful post. I love all your family photos.
Have a great weekend!

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing your family. Great post for the theme.

pat said...

Oh, what a great family post!

Happy Weekend.

Rambling Woods said...

I really enjoyed this seeing and reading about your family. Nice that you were able to scan in those older photos. I need a new scanner..I did read your other post also..Thank you for visiting my family..

Mrs. Mecomber said...

A bittersweet tribute to your wonderful family. God bless. :)

Thanks for visiting my Photo Hunt today. I'm sorry the comment feature wasn't working-- it took me all day to fix it! :S It's finally fixed now!

peppylady said...

I love reading and sharing stories about family history.
So we learn so much about each other.

I have done some genealogy mainly on my dad side.
I have picture of my great great grandfather.

Coffee is on.

Dianne said...

Thanks for sharing your photos. With happiness there is indeed sadness. Seems you have all endured a lot. That's neat about your genealogy.
I appreciate you stopping by my blog too.

mama meji said...

What a sweet sweet post. I'm sorry that everyone lost Brian early. I can just imagine how terrible it must be for everyone, especially for you. But yes life has to go on and I'm sure things turned out great for everyone -despite the loss. Thanks for sharing this story of your family.

laura said...

Totally cute! The second one is my favorite :)

I'm having so much fun looking at people's family themed posts this week.

Claudia said...

Leslie, great to see so many of your family members. And again, I am sorry for the loss of your husband. (P.S. He was a handsome man.)

Daryl said...

Lovely family .. happy and sad .. but always family, thanks for sharing

:-Daryl

Ellee Seymour said...

Yes, I agree, you have a beautiful and stunning family. You have every reason to be very proud.

holly said...

what a great set of photos! beautiful people galore! lovely to hear about them!

Pear tree cottage! said...

Leslie this is a beautiful post....with such warm memories of your geneology. I am sure the grand children will continue along the path you all walk and keep those who have walked before them alive in memories.

Lee-ann

antigoni said...

I'm so sorry that you lost your husband so early. And for the girls, too. Yes, family and the people we love most, are everything that count in life.You worked so hard for your family. You deserve all the love and happiness in the world. I think i can recognise someone's kindness from the look in his face. I didn't make a mistake with you. You're a lovely person with kind face and warm heart.

Ruth D~ said...

Is this all fodder for the book, Leslie? so much to ponder isn't there?

meggie said...

Lovely seeing all your family. We have always had a close family, & are lucky we had a lot of contact with them when we were young, & it continued into our adulthood.

Sue said...

Beautiful family pics :)

Casdok said...

Beautiful family photos. Family can be so important.

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