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.
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.
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.
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.