About Me

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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.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Memories

I'm feeling a bit under the weather today with a wicked headache and a bit of a sore throat. So as I was lying down waiting for the extra-strength Tylenol to kick in, I realized that today would have been my late husband's birthday.

I quickly calculated that he'd have been 63 years old today. I wonder what he would have been like now. My memories of him are of a tall, handsome man with brilliant blue eyes and a sense of humour that totally cracked me up. He was highly intelligent; loved hockey, golf, and tennis (in his younger years); and was a real family man.

When we were expecting our first child, my older sister loaned me the crib she'd used for her two sons. Since we didn't have a garage, Brian lugged it over to his parents' house to paint it. I recall sitting on a lawn chair the summer before Jamie arrived, facing the open garage, and watching him paint the crib white with yellow trim. He worked so hard on that crib, making sure that everything was perfect. And when she arrived late in October, he was so thrilled that she had "chubby cheeks" just like me. (Well, I could have done without that comparison!) Three and a half years later, Jaclyn arrived and she used the same crib, freshly washed and made up just for her.

Brian would do anything for his girls. He took them horseback riding both here and in the interior where we'd spend our summers at the cabin. He taught them to swim and water-ski and took them fishing. He built bonfires every evening and serenaded us all with songs as he played his guitar. Jaclyn now has that guitar and treasures it and the memories it invokes. I think two of the songs she remembers the most are "Puff the Magic Dragon" and The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun." He gave them opportunities to do figure skating, ballet, soccer, skiing, and other sports. He gave us all the opportunity to live in Ottawa, our capital city, for almost three years leaving us with a wealth of memories about that part of our country.

Brian made sure we all had the best Christmases we could afford, and even sometimes more so, to my chagrin. Every Christmas Eve, after they'd had their bath, he'd read "The Night Before Christmas" to the girls. He also made sure the girls had fantastic birthdays, sometimes with their friends and sometimes just with family. And he made sure they knew all about caring for their pets - the cat Velvet, the two dogs Cassie and Star, and even goldfish.

Yes, we had many adventures together, both before and after our daughters were born. Unfortunately, illness took its toll on him and the good life vanished before our eyes. It took me a long, long time to get over his loss and my daughters still, to this day, mourn him. But we must move forward with our lives.


Left: Jamie age 6 1/2 and Jaclyn age 3 at the Vancouver Animal Park in Aldergrove, BC
Right: last photo I have of the girls with their Dad at Christmas 1991. Jaclyn was 11 1/2 and Jamie was 15.

I'll never forget his telling me that he wanted me to find someone else - someone to love and be loved by. It's taken almost two decades for that to happen, but even though I'm happily moving forward in the direction he wanted for me, Brian will always be a part of my life.

14 comments:

On a limb with Claudia said...

What a wonderful tribute to clearly a fabulous man - thanks for sharing his beauty with us!

I hope you feel better very soon!

nancygrayce said...

What a sweet tribute! I know it means so much to your daughters to have those memories of their dad. I'm glad you found Lorne to share life with....

I hope you feel better too!

belizegial said...

Leslie, I'm glad I stopped by today to say hello.

Your two daughters are lucky to have had such two wonderful parents in their growing up years. They are two lovely girls that are wonderful reminders of your life with your husband.

Get well soon and good luck with your sweetie's plans for the olympics.

Enid

Trubes said...

I can so emphasise with you Leslie.
Life can be so cruel, but often, even when thing seem bleak and sad, something or, better still, someone come along and turns your life around.
I still mourn the death of my former husband, even though, I have been very happily married to DT for 22 years.
Although we divorced after 13 years of marriage, I still have a place in my heart for him, particularly, in the happier times.
My three girls were devastated when he died and DT was a tower of strength to us all.
I'm so happy for you, now that you've rekindled your love with Lorne.

Hope you will soon be feeling better.x

RIP Brian.

Di.xx

jinksy said...

Hope the strain of blogging didn't make the headache worse...lovely post, despite one degree under composer.

Jo said...

This is one of the best posts you have written.

Brian sounds like he was a very fine, decent man and a wonderful husband and father. I think he would approve of your being happy again, and of how your life has -- in a way -- come full circle.

Real life can sometimes have a rhythm to it that is more interesting than fiction.

sally in norfolk said...

life moves on but you never forget ..... what a lovely post , sounds to me like you have had and now got 2 great men in your life :-) x

Powell River Books said...

Nice memories. We just never know where life is taking us it seems. Hope you feel better soon. - Margy

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

A lovely post, Leslie. Those we have loved are always a part of our lives. He truly loved you, for he wanted you to love and be loved again. Be happy - He'd want it.

Shrinky said...

Such a touching, moving post Leslie. He lived his life well and left behind a wonderful legacy for your daughters and you to cherish. It is overdue for you to move on, sweet lady (I am sure you can feel him smiling down in approval, yes?)

Your daughters are beautiful, just like you!

Ellee Seymour said...

I hope you feel better soon. What a lovely way to remember your late husband's birthday. I am sure he is with you still in spirit.

Smalltown RN said...

What a lovel tribute to your late husband.

As far as you not feeling well...I hope you feel better soon....I hate to tell you this but my bug started with heahace and sore throat...I am into day 11 with my headache and it's not getting any better....rest...lots of fluids...and keep the tylenol at hand....cheers...

Liz said...

Of course he will. What a cruel illness to take such a wonderful dad and husband.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

A very moving tribute to a wonderful man. I am sure that you and your daughters have lovely memories to hold on to.!!