December 1, 2013

Here comes the silly season!

“I wish Nana was still safe and comfortable and alive”
--My three year-old, crying at bed time

I have been caught in a cycle lately of ‘what was I doing this time last year?’, as mum’s time was growing shorter, and we were living our lives revolving around that event. Indeed, I think I have spent some minutes recently living in 2012 instead of 2013.  

Last year on the first weekend of December, I accompanied mum to Ontario, where she was making her last-ever trip to her brother’s house. Her other siblings were gathering there, too.

That weekend, I missed the kids’ Christmas party that is put on annually by my company; I missed the first time my kids got to meet Santa and sit upon his knee. But what I lost in that opportunity I gained in being able to sit around my Uncle’s table, watching as he and my mum and my other aunt and uncle looked through old photos, chatted about their upbringing in England and reminiscing about some of their youthful shenanigans. By the time I returned home, though I was sad to have missed the party, I felt a sense of privilege, to have been able to witness a piece of that last visit, to see my mum come alive again for a few days as she recalled old memories and family histories with her sister and her brothers, and to know I had helped get her there. My kids will encounter Santa again. This was a one-shot deal. 

Lives are often in a state of crisis, large and small.  A snapshot of just a sampling of our friends at this very moment has one baby passing his 90th day in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, having been born three months ahead of schedule this Fall. We recently had a friend rush back to the UK, hoping to catch his father’s last hours. He did not make it. There are also three more cancer cases in my midst to speak of recently, one brain, one blood and one breast.  A close family friend’s is watching her aged mother’s dementia rule her life. Closer to home and last but CERTAINLY not least, my grandma has just passed away (I will have more to say on this, but I need to collect some thoughts first). And the list goes on.

Everyone lives this way, I guess, with their personal struggles and back stories hiding behind their eyes. It’s not always health, of course. Sometimes it’s money, or relationships, or work. In some you can see it, in others not. Year over year, though, these things feel like they are on the increase. 

The closer I get to Christmas this year, I know that I will probably think about all those things even more. I hope that all our friends and family facing a different sort of Christmas coming their way this year, for all sorts of reasons, can find some time and some calm as the holiday season whirls around them, to reflect on some of the better things happening in their world.

I am ever thankful for the here-and-now: my happy, usually-healthy kids, my own health and that of my wife’s, our cozy house, the great work I get to do, and the list can go on.

This morning, just hours after my grandma passed away, I went  to my company’s 2013 kids Christmas party, the one I missed last year. I watched a ballroom full of kids in party dresses and holiday outfits eat ice cream and gingerbread, make crafts and meet Santa. 

And I was present. Really present. It's all I could have asked for today, I think.

October 21, 2013

Fall has fallen!

Ah, Autumn, that most beautiful of all disappointments, that twist ending in a love story that ends in death and misery. You know what I'm talking about.
A sunset glow lights a brilliant fire of light on the already colourful
Fall leaves,with storm clouds gathering in the background.

It is hard to deny that the coppers, golds, yellows, oranges and reds make the Fall among the most stunning of the seasons. But the crisp air belies the truth in it's beauty. Like a lover scorned, the attraction of the season always ends the same way: in angry cold, in rain, in snow... in Winter. In Fall, as my breath hangs in the air, the late afternoon sun filtering through tree-lined streets on my way home... I'm almost willing to say my 'I do's', so capitvated I am with the splendor of a Japanese maple or cherry tree in full Fall brillance. In the end, though, I get cold feet and run out of the church.

If Fall fell, say, after spring and before summer somehow, hands down this would be my favourite season. But thoughts of Winter ruin it for me every time.
Kicking at the (unusually) crisp fallen leaves.

For the past few weeks, we've been in the phase of new romance. The Vancouver area has enjoyed an unusal spate of sunny weather, where normally we're treated to seemingly endless days of rain by now. Not so in 2013. Crisp leaves are falling gently to the ground of their own accord, rather than being ripped and beaten from the branches by a cruel wind or sudden downpour. It was sweet for a few weeks. You'll note in the attached video, which chronicles a recent Canadian Thanksgiving spent with family--partly on my brother's boat and partly on Bowen Island--that Vitamin D has been in plentiful supply:

How awesome would it be to have this fog on Halloween night, though? 
But this past week, the fog has socked in around us, barely allowing the sun a moment's appearance on most days, especially down by the water's edge. The chill is in the air. It's as though the sun can't be bothered to get out of bed in the morning, even though the rest of us have to get up in the dim grey. The trees all of a sudden appear around me as skeletons, and with exception of our own cherry tree which refuses to change colour and drop leaves until December, there is nothing but raking left to look forward to in the yard. Damn you, Fall. Damn you, you did it again. Every year, the same! Just get it over with already! Rip off the bandaid! Bring the rain! See if I care!
Enjoying the playground while the sun still shines,
before rainpants and coats become mandatory

OK, it's not all so bad. Seems an unthankful attittude to have so close on the heels of thanksgiving itself, and  especially as amazing a thanksgiving as it was!  So by no means should this little rant be considered as representative of my view on life these days. Really, this is Winter's fault. I like to ski and all, but really. Snow is useless. Okay, this is turning into another blog post...

Now... where is my rake...

September 4, 2013

Taking "paws" to remember our fur baby, Nellie.

We knew the deal when we got into it. Dogs just don’t last as long as humans do.

Nellie came to Kate and I seven years ago. I listened to my dad’s advice as we went to the SPCA to choose our new family member.”Don’t go for the dog hurling itself at the cage door, begging for your attention, no matter how cute it seems.”

We heeded that advice, presuming it would mean we might end up with a calmer, more even-tempered pooch. 

Instead, we ended up with Nellie. 

I have yet to encounter a dog with stronger separation anxiety than Nellie, and I pray I never do again. A year and a half of peed on, ripped up carpets. 
She loved it when we were home, hated it when we were gone. 
Chewed door frames and scratched up window sills. Destroyed radios, CD’s, VHS tapes (those weren’t so long ago, after all), DVD’s. Upended chairs, bookshelves. Torn curtains, mangled window blinds and pushed out screens, and desparate, whiny barking to go along with all of the devastation. 

Nellie was a handful, let’s just say that. But after a good 16 months of convincing her we weren’t taking her back to the SPCA she settled in.  She had been adopted, and sent back to the shelter prior to our getting her, and she spent fully three months with the SPCA before she came to us. I’d have a little anxiety, too, frankly.

Nellie, in many ways, presented more challenges to us than our human children. Our human kids have never blindly run off the side of a cliff to chase a crow, dropping of the edge of the world like Wylie E. Coyote.

Our kids have never run across the road to chase a squirrel, and rather than getting hit by a car, run headlong into the side of a moving vehicle instead.

A first family portrait when we adopted Nellie. 
But Nellie did.

And, yes, the opposite also ocurred. Nellie was hit by a car at some point. 

Our kids have never hidden in the bathtub in a thunderstorm or crawled full body on my pillow WHILE I AM LYING IN BED in order to escape the volleys of firecracker explosions at Halloween.

But Nellie did. And she ain’t no lapdog. 

The kids have also never managed to jump through a second story window, scale six and a half foot high gates or escape completely locked-down kennel crates in order to come seek out their favourite human beings... 

but Nellie did.

Where the kids are concerned, Nellie was nothing but top notch. No matter the abuse the kids doled out, she never turned on them, and to her last day, barely so much as growled at them when they crossed the line. She usually just licked at them to get them to stop tugging at her or jumping on her.

Where strangers where concerned, you could be fairly certain she’d warn you of their approach, and circle the wagons with the kids. She also seemed to have a bit of a racist streak which was mildly concerning, barking more frequently at our Asian neighbours than the Caucasians. I don't know what her problem was. Nellie was black, after all :)  

Nellie has spent the last seven years keeping our family in shape. Daily walks or bike runs with a family dog ensures a healthy lifestyle, and prepares one quite well for the early mornings required as a parent.

Alas, her own health has not been assured so well as ours. 

We knew the deal when we got into it. Dogs just don’t last as long as humans do. But we really hoped she’d have lasted longer than this. 

We got the diagnosis of degenerative kidney failure sometime ago, and we knew we’d be getting a year more, at most. And here we are.

Damn those pets for not being able to tell you when they think it’s time, and making us choose for them. They continue to act fairly happy-go-lucky, but they stop eating and vomit all over the place one day, they lose weight and shed hair the next,  and then want you to throw the stick or tennis ball.

It was one of those ‘this will hurt me more than this will hurt you’ moments this past week, knowing we were going to pull a Hotel California on our smiling-tail-wagging-happy-go-lucky-I’ll-run-to-my-humans-whenever-I-feel-fear family member. 
A final walk in the woods on Nellie's last day. It was a good day.

Knowing that she’d be going in and not coming out is something that you just wish you could communicate to them, to let them know that there’s no hard feelings, and this isn’t retribution for that time you tried to eat the favourite CD player/ FM radio clock combination.

This isn’t punishment for the time you decided to put your paws up on the counter to scarf the entire fresh loaf of banana bread before I even got so much as a taste. Yeah, caught you red-pawed on that one, so there’s no need to level punishment now. 

This isn’t a ‘we told you so’ for scavenging garbage and littered bones from the back alleys of our neighbourhood.

This has nothing to do with your landspeed record-setting ability to chew through leashes. Or that temporary obsession you had with the skunk under our porch. Or you never being friends with any cat, anywhere, ever.

No, Nellie, letting the vet help you pass away quietly, painlessly, is the greatest thanks we can give you at this point for being our furry friend and family member.
For teaching us parental tolerance well before we even had kids,
For being the bolt in our lock on those occasions we may have forgotten to secure the door,
and for so much unconditional love and affection towards us.
The family says goodbye.
I’ll never forget the moment you came and dropped one of your toys at the door, moments after Sacha was born, as if to say ‘welcome to the family, this is all I can give to you’. 
You’ve always been our shepherd,  charging back and forth on family walks, trying to make sure all members of the party were safe and staying together if ever we spread out. 
We’re glad we found you, and made you part of the herd you were so pleased to gather round and protect.
I’m not sure the mailman, the garbage trucks, the pigeons perched on the city street lights, the city buses or the squirrels will quite understand the serenity that will fill their lives in your absence, Nellie. Next time--if ever--I find myself in the trunk space of our car, I may just throw myself at the window at an unsuspecting passerby in a moment of temporary insanity in homage to you at some point. Consider it your 21 gun salute, perhaps.

Lastly, sweet girl, if, in that moment of crossing the borders of existence you saw that crow flying low above the bluffs, I hope you went for it. We sat there, hands on you as you breathed your last, and we know that gravity wasn't stopping you then. By now we presume your paws have touched down on some other side, where we know some pretty awesome dog people who might just be glad to see you.

Good girl. Shake a paw. Spin. Woof. We love you. We miss you. 

August 1, 2013

Summer lovin'... or loving summer, rather.

Hang on, I just need to pinch myself.


No, this is the real deal. We went through the entire month of July without rain here. In Vancouver. British Columbia. 30+ days of sunshine. Should I repeat that?

No, seriously. It's epic. it's Heaven. No stifling heat, no sweater days. Just endless perfection. And we were taking advantage wherever possible. Blissfully, the front porch on our house has been restored and the back porch rebuilt. haven't eaten a dinner inside in weeks now. still lots to do outside of the house, speaking of renovations, but we're pretty settled indoors now. Here's where our back deck is at:

As for weekends, we've been out and about. We hit up Victoria this past weekend to take in some family time there and enjoy the same unending sunshine that the BC South coast has been enjoying. I had the pleasure of hopping over to the Island on a float plane on the Friday after work, a mode of transport I haven't been on in years. Good fun! And look! I made a highlights video! I admit, it's not all scenery as I knew my kids would like to see boats and such down below... so don't think me overly obsessed with watercraft:

And here's some more photo evidence of just being out enjoying the sun. Long story short, I hope you're grabbing some too, wherever you are!

I love the kids at this age because...
...they actually seem to enjoy doing chore-like things! Sweep the patio, boy! 
Meanwhile, the adults can enjoy a glass of wine and look fabulous doing so.

Nellie prefers, at times, to keep it made in the shade. She's so cool. Pun intended. 

Fiinally, unrelated to the family, these pigs don't seem to care about the heat, happy to laze about all over one another and generate even higher temperatures, no doubt (BTW, just head to Victoria's Beacon Hill Petting farm to take in this adorable sight).

That's it! happy summer to all!

June 3, 2013

A Bridge Too Far

Sometimes when a bridge falls down, opportunity arises. Such was the case recently when the Chases were slated to head down to Seattle for the weekend to visit family. Some may have heard about the bridge on the I-5 to Seattle, which partially fell into the river after a truck clipped it while crossing the deck. That was the bridge we were going to be on.

We had been building up the trip to the kids for a few days, so calling it off wasn’t going to be popular. But going to Seattle with the main road interrupted, on a US long weekend, which was also the same weekend as a major music festival... left us feeling a bit queasy for a long drive....

So... we took the TRAIN! Choo CHOOOOOO!

We did up Amtrack Cascades on a faily last minute basis, and setting aside some early departure times from Vancouver and that three hour mark where the kids say “are we there yeeeeeet?” and “when is it oooouuuuurrr stoooop?” it was a very nice way to go! Ultimately , the kids really did enjoy it and the scenic tour along the coast is pretty awesome.

Let’s keep this short, and I’ll direct you to the YouTube videos of our experiences below. You can either opt for the no-music version with some kid commentary or you can go for the moody road music video. In any case, I recommend taking the train at least once if you’re in Vancouver and planning on Seatle or points further down the coast.
That’s it for this month... ciao for now! 

Kids and chatter:
Muzak and motion:

April 23, 2013

Spring is sprung!

And so we find ourselves on the doorstep of Spring. 

For many out there, seems like the stoop is still covered in snow. To those people, I say SUCKERS! Yeah Vancouver!  We had an outstanding belt of weather around Easter this year and, though the clouds and drizzle reappear with us here and there, warmer days with longer light seem to be the norm right now. Hope I haven't blown it by talking about it! Cherry blossoms abound on the trees and the Daffodils are standing tall and bright. Hallelujah.

Just one of the Cherry trees in full bloom in the city. 
I don’t know about you, but nothing says ‘Spring’ to me like that feeling you get when you’re inside and you just want to be outside all the time. Someone in my neighbourhood has hit on the solution to this timeless tug-of-war. Behold, the splendour of a Cherry Blossom tree (pictured) in the light of spring... yours to appreciate from the comfort of your leather couch, set curbside right under the tree (not pictured!)

Just take your trash to the dump or a thrift store, OK people? Yeesh.

The seasons just keep changing right along with everything else in life. I have a new role at work, which has been in full effect for about a month now. My mom and dad’s house—thanks largely to the efforts of my brother, his wife, and a nearby aunt and uncle with big hearts and a trailer—is all but cleaned out now. It is sad to see this place empty. It was six years ago that we lost dad, and only since January that we lost mum. The sale of the home is not just closing a chapter on mum and dad, it’s the house we grew up in as kids and came home to for visits with my parents. Seeing the house sold this year will be a hard pill to swallow. Though I can honestly say that without the people in it to make it a home, that empty house is just that. Already, I feel the disconnect between what was my home and what is just a house being cleaned up for sale. The soul that I knew is gone from it.

The main floor, totally gutted and on its way to repair. 
Part of the view from the outside. Note jacks holding up front
porch, which was basically unsupported thanks to century-old
structural issues. 

Speaking of houses and of more change, ours has been going through a massive renovation. Basically a full gut, with large structural issues being dealt with along the way. Engineers that have looked at the place declared it a magical house, so impressed they were with the fact that it had not fallen over in it’s 100 years of standing there. I might go into more detail on those...quirks... in a future post, but for now, we’ll just leave it to a few photos. We’re loving watching the progress and we are looking forward to getting back in at the end of May and back to our usual routines—we have been living in a rental space a few kilometres away, and comfortable as we are there, we are looking forward to getting our old rhythms into play once more.

Other change... as some may have seen via Facebook / twitter / news sites, the Chase family recently lost a member in a tragic way. We remember my cousin, Curt Chase, who succumbed to the strength of an ocean current while on vacation with his wife in Costa Rica in the last few weeks. I cannot claim that we had been close in recent years. As cousins and as families, we hadn't seen each other in long while. Reconnection via Facebook was how we knew of one another’s lives in more recent days, and it was easy to see that Curt was not only loving life, but that all who knew him loved their lives with Curt in it.  The shock of the circumstances has weighed heavily on my mind and those of our family and of Curt's many friends. Curt’s work  had been going well, and he and his wife have a house of their own under construction, a home for them and their three children.

I remember Curt as a bit of a rebellious youth, but that was long ago.
The last time I actually saw Curt was in
2006 at a family gathering, where this
shot was taken.  
The wonderful thing about our road in life is that we can always change our destination. The fact is, as the currents were taking Curt away, he was using his energy to push his wife back to safety. It was the kind of action you’d expect from the man that he was. Seen or unseen in past years, he will be missed, and we pray for his wife and for their kids. I don't know what you would do if you were the parent of three children, all at once in need of a home, with no prospect of  life insurance to help ease the burden, and just the day-to-day being hard enough. If you want to help and are able, please note that a trust fund has been set up to assist Curt's family in this trying time; please consider donating to it. You can donate ANY amount, through ANY bank, though the trust fund is established through ATB in Alberta.  These are the only details you need to deposit money in the trust:

Kathalean Harasimiuk Chase
Acc # 876-00153286300

Thank you to anyone who can donate

As a last piece of news about good change, my lil’ spring daffodil of a daughter is growing up. Three years old. Already skiing, biking a pedal bike with no training wheels, and generally raising a ruckus wherever she goes. I am not sure how we’ve come from a 4lb premature baby in a hospital incubator to 40 lbs of boisterous laughter or boiling fury (depending on which way the wind is blowing), but here we are, and we as parents couldn’t be more proud of the daughter we have today. I long ago read good advice that  any clips video of your child that you produce should be no longer than two or three minutes. After all, it's your kid, why would someone beyond perhaps the grandparents, close aunts, uncles and friends want to watch longer? You think your kid is cuter or more special than someone else's kid? Well guess what? They aren't! so keep it short! 

I have failed to heed this advice, based principally on the fact that unlike my son's videos, where I managed to produce a new something-or-other on a regular basis, I have utterly failed to do so for my daughter, and thus, felt the need to play catch up in one seven minute video. So you are, of course, welcome to watch all of it, or turn it off if you think you'll vomit from all the adorable-ness after two or three minutes. I won't be offended :)

Happy Spring, y’all. Whatever your changes, I hope you’re rolling right along with them :)

If you can't click on the image below to start the video, watch it on YouTube, here

February 21, 2013

One month since: In memory of Wendy Jacqueline Mansbridge Chase

31st March 1970. London – Vancouver. Depart Heathrow 2:55
Route – London, Scotland, Greenland, Iceland, Hudson’s Bay, Lake Athabasca, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver.
A 13-hour journey during which we were treated to dinner followed by tea followed by dinner again! A smooth flight and clear on most parts once away from G.B. Could see Iceland and Greenland. Once over N. Canada, a non-stop view of miles of ice and snow.
8 ½ hours to Edmonton which was snow covered and temp was 34 F, 1 hour stop, then ½ hr flight to Calgary where further short stop before final 1 ½ hrs to Vancouver.
Arrived to clear evening, and rather amusing shuntings with piles of luggage at airport.
With that single journal entry, my mother marked the beginning of her life on Canadian soil. No ceremony, no pomp, no musings of what the future in this new land might bring. Just a matter of fact record of the trip, and then, luggage gathered up, out into the wilds.

If the facts of Wendy’s life in Canada are what we’re after, then loosely collected, they might go something like this:

My mother, Wendy Jacqueline Mansbridge, flew to Canada with her friend Mary, both with teaching certificates in hand. Jobless, they both pledged to find work in a year or leave. They moved in with their friend Jane, who arrived before them, at a condo at 4691 w. 10th avenue in Vancouver.  The first months were peppered with odd jobs--babysitting mostly, delivering flyers and stuffing envelopes--and travelling about the town, the region and beyond, well into BC, discovering Terrace and Smithers (It would also appear, based on another journal entry, that on May 8th, 1970 there was a party, "small, noisy, drunken”).

The name ‘Jim’ starts to appear at the end of July of 1970:

“Jim, outside Orpheum. Drinks"
“Chinese smorgasbord – Marco Polo – Jim"
“Boozing with Jim, slightly too much beer”

A few other boys' names got mentioned in the coming weeks, too, but they all faded away. Soon, the record will show it was just ‘Jim’ standing alone (It is worth mentioning how Wendy was meeting these fellas: Personal want ads. Being resourceful but broke, how better to get to see your new town than for a local fella to take you out at their expense? Clever!) It may have been that Wendy wasn’t looking for love, but she found it in Jim all the same. 

Another simple entry in her journal later that year from September 24th: she landed a teaching job as she had set out to do. Again, no fanfare. Just a note, easily glossed over.  It would be the start of her life’s career in Canada.

Wendy married Jim of ‘want ads’ fame on June 2, 1973. 

Jim and Wendy moved to Kamloops, B.C., bought a little house and welcomed their first son Jamie into the world by summer 1976. Soon after, they found their dream home in a more rural spot out the east end of town. Wendy gave birth to their daughter, Kari in spring of 1978. I arrived in late 1979. That dream home in the community of Barnhartvale is where Jim and Wendy filled the rest of their days, with veggie gardens, cats and dogs and a consistency to life that we as kids were thankful to have.

Mum brought grace, courage and plenty of humour to repeated battles with the disease that took her from us, and in doing so, proved to us all that success is not simply found in an outcome. Success can be defined by the attempt. It is hard to watch someone get knocked down by bad news, over and over again, but it is nothing short of perfect inspiration to watch that person get up, accept what cannot change, and smile in the face of it. 

As reading through her daytimer of her first Canadian year showed me, her life did not need an exclamation point or a blare of trumpets. Life IS an explanation point and a blare of trumpets, all on its own. 

By sheer chance, I was there in mum’s final moment. A long journey was at its end. It all happened in just the understated style mum might have journaled about:

21st January, 2013 Kamloops -- ? Depart 2:oo pm. Route: up. 

Temperature, zero degrees under overcast skies. Lovely view across Kamloops. Quiet.  Family have all said their good-byes. Laboured, noisy breaths gave way to short, calm breaths. One breath, followed by another, followed by another, followed by another, followed by nothing. But I see Jim? 

No ceremony, no pomp, no musings of what the future in this new land might bring. Just a matter of fact record of the trip, and then, luggage gathered up, out into the wilds.

I know my mum had a whole life before Canada, but it was once the Canada chapter started that I, and my siblings, make sense. Without Wendy making the bold choice to strike out at age 24 and cross the Atlantic away from her family, her friends, her normal way of life to maybe find something new.... well, would I be here? Who knows! Some things just happen. My siblings and I got the unusual privilege of growing up in one single house, with two loving parents who did their best, and once we were grown and gone, we still got to come back to that house because Jim and Wendy never saw fit to move out of the best house that ever was.

Cancer was not a choice for either of my parents.  Some things just happen. How they chose to deal with their illness was, however, their choice.  As I said above, mum showed us how success is not always defined simply by the outcome. 

This is not merely an end-of-life-lesson that she blessed us with. It was a philosophy that she instilled in us as children, and presumably into the lives of every kid who had the privilege of being one of her students during her 35 years of teaching. We were always told by mum that as long as we tried hard, she would be proud, no matter the result.

It was a core of her values, and she lived it in every moment of her final days, weeks, and months. Mum, I told you before and I’ll say it again: You made us all so very proud in your attempt. Thank you for living your word.

You will be missed, mum. You ARE missed. Wide and deep.But we know you are reunited with dad, and your own mum and dad, and that you are without pain or suffering. For that, we are all so thankful. 

Before I sign off, I have one last story to tell--this will be a repeat for those at the service for mum. It takes place on New Year's Eve day, 2012. 

Mum had a bad day. No food or drink, largely uncommunicative,  confused when she was, pain ruling the day. 
I sat at her bedside. 
I asked 'can I hold your hand, mum?' 
No response. 
I took her hand, and as I did, said "I'm feeling really sad today, mum," and I started to cry. 
Mum, even in the state she was and all the while looking somewhere else, moved her other hand across her body and placed it on top of my hand.

Truly, "The heart has eyes that the mind knows nothing about". (a favourite quote of mine). 

My mum, was there just then. 
On a day when I felt so little hope, she restored it in an instant. What a gift for me to remember. 

I picture you today, mum, doing what you and dad loved to do, nestled into deck chairs at a lakefront camp site, watching the sun go down, reflected in calm waters. 

Rest easy and keep the campfire glowing. 

If that is the piece of heaven you earned, where the streets of gold have given way to the gravel and smell of pine, all I can say is that's where you may well want to be, and you earned it. 


The following is a video played at mum's celebration service, watched by the family and the hundreds gathered to celebrate her life (we hope she wasn't put out by all the fuss).The re-posting of this video here is especially for the benefit of those of you who could not be at the service who may have wished you could, but as well it is for those of you who didn't even know my mum. There is no rhyme or reason to the placement of the pictures, it is as random as life itself. Watch it, and take a quick glimpse into the wonderful existence of Wendy Jacqueline Mansbridge Chase.