July 11, 2006

back in Vancouver for a while!

Hello all, it's been a few weeks since the last update! As it turns out, while Kate and I were away on vacation, the world forgot to stop turning on us, and we had to play catch-up on return. some of the examples of the things that happened while we were away / in the last few weeks.

-Getting off the plane in Vancouver, I was subjected to a violent attack of food poisoning that lasted a few days.
-Most recently, we spent a few days in Edmonton attending a friend's wedding.
-the weekend before that, Kate was out of town for five days being a camp counsellor.
And while we were away:
-Kate's mum stepped down from her high-profile job with the BC government.
-My sister's boyfriend's grandparents BOTH landed in hospital.
-My sister's Boyfriend's brother and wife had their baby.
-the same baby at age three-weeks landed in hospital with suspected meningitis (she's ok now though!!)
-My sister's broken leg didn't heal at all in 12 weeks--she just had surgery to fix it, hopefully it will be okay now)
-My veggie garden turned into a twisted jungle of weeds and unchecked growth.
-A guy I grew up with in Kamloops died in a car crash.
-And his obituary appeared in the newspaper right next to that of my grandfather's, who also passed away while I was 'out and about'.

and I think it's this last bit that I wanted to talk about today. Grandad, also known as James Frederick Chase--or Fred--was in bad shape for the last decade or so. He suffered a stroke back then, and ever since slowly slipped away from us as the man we knew. We haven't been close simply becuase we really haven't been able to. When he died in the hospital a few weeks ago, it was as much a relief to us as it was a sorrow, and as such, it was hard to know how to feel at the time.

But now that we as a family have had a chance to gather and remember him, I'm a little more clear on how I felt about grandad. I also had a solitary car ride up to Kamloops (where we held the gathering) to think about things. My Brother, Jamie, said a few words at the memorial that defined pretty well what I too thought. These thoughts are along the lines that, even though we weren't too terribly close to Granddad, either in the capacity of grandchild or child, we none the less owe our very lives to the man. If he and Grandma never found each other, we never would have been born, not his own six kids, not any of the eleven grandkids, nor the eight great grandkids. Or, had my grandparents met but not moved from Ontario to BC in 1967--which would not have been and was not an easy thing to do--to start life fresh and new, I could have grown up in some other place than this province that I love and call my home.

Grandad served 17 years in the Canadian Navy, so it was perhaps appropriate that we held his memorial on Canada Day. It's thanks to guys like him that we get such a holiday, and for that, I have to be proud of and thankful for my grandad.

The fireworks that night were for you grandad.