We both had longer hair then than later,
and I wore contact lenses most of the time
instead of my "Coca-cola bottle" glasses.
|With Mom and Dad|
at the home of my Aunt Alice Rennie
Time to go to the church!
|St. John's Anglican Church,|
In the fall of 1976, with a dramatic change in provincial government from Liberal to the Parti Quebecois (Separatists headed by Rene Levesque), we decided to move West. Howard's family was in Vancouver, but we opted for Calgary because my sister already lived there, and Howard had cousins there. Besides, I told him, I couldn't bear 5 months of rain in the winter. I needed snow and sunshine!
We found work, bought a house and in 1980, started a family.
|The nursery was ready...|
|Our daughter, Gina Ruth, arrived|
January 13, 1981
|And then there were four...|
Our son, John Martin, arrived
June 6, 1985
The kids grew...
There were family vacations
High school came...
|Gina - 1998|
|Marty - Grade 11|
We got older too. Howard's Type 1 Diabetes, which began to show its nasty effects as early as 1986, grew more destructive by the year. There were many crises, surgeries, and a decade's worth of haemodialysis. Still...we managed to get away on a cruise from Vancouver, B.C. up the inside passage to Alaska to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary...
|On our way! Aboard a Royal Caribbean ship,|
Vancouver, B.C., July 2005
A year later, he was gone...having marked 31 years together.
My mourning has not yet (quite) 'turned to dancing' as the Lord promised,
but there are many things for which I am grateful.
My reinvented life as an artist in a central Alberta rural hamlet on the rolling prairie.
Taken just after moving in, September 2008
Two grown kids whom I love with my life...
Who've gone on to higher education...
|Gina's M.Ed. - U of Alberta, 2008|
|Marty's BFA (Drama) - U of Lethbridge, 2008|
|At Marty's Dip. Technology Grad - NAIT|
And who, despite the 4 1/2-year difference in their ages, and their very different personalities,
still manage to be able to get along when they're together! 😊
|Celebrating Summer at Sylvan Lake - 2009|
|Edmonton, October 2016|
With our parents gone, I've grown closer to my sister too...
|With Wendy, July 2016|
I like to think we're there for each other, no matter the miles between us.
My friends and colleagues are too many to enumerate, while my neighbours remain a source of support and help for this "widdy lady", as well as good friends.
It's been a good life thus far, despite the cares and struggles of illness, the loss of loved ones, the on-going challenges of aging, and the particular chaos that 2020 has brought.
But I'm glad I'm here, expecting to mark my 68th year next month, having built a rich store of memories, with -- God willing -- many more to come.
On that wedding day 45 years ago, my step-father and I danced to a song that remains a favourite of mine when I think about how "...swiftly fly the years -- one season following another, laden with happiness...and tears".
|Eternity in a ring|
From HMB - Mother's Day, 1985,
now on my older hands.
|GMB 💕 HMB|
August 9,1975 - August 9, 2006