fin de semaine sur l’île de Vancouver

It’s another grey day in BC. While I may love shades of grey for most everything, it certainly isn’t my favorite landscape color. But what I can be appreciative of is that I’m writing this from my new MacBook and I have a nice view of the Georgia Straight while Lauren, Kevin and I venture back home after my Nan’s memorial.

Going home has been a greater joy this year than ever before. I spent years a bit afraid to engage with relatives but for once it didn’t feel quite so scary. It took me a while to become comfortable but it was nice to hear stories about our family, which is a bit shrouded in mystery to me, not because anyone intends it that way but because we quite literally don’t have answers to many of our questions.

The weekend was full of nice surprises. Quality time spent with family, hearing about everyone’s lives and their day to day but also coming home with my new “travel computer” and Lesley handed me down a chocolate brown merino wool sweater which was not only the perfect color but met my picky standards, fitting like a glove. Not bad at all.

Saturday morning the immediate family got together just following lunch to meet at Wall Beach, home to my grandparents former dream house. A house my family loved a lot and were sad to see sold many years ago. We gathered and met with one of the neighbors we’d grown up beside who had taken the ferry from North Vancouver to meet us and take us down the path to the beach and as a family we held a more private ceremony of spreading the ashes of both our nan and our grandpa together along the shores. This seemed the only suitable way to close a chapter and it seemed only fitting we spread both of theirs together.

After the church service my dad came up to me and reminded me again how similar I am to our Nan. She loves to cook, to knit, to sew and get things “just right.” We all carry a lot of her traits actually. Even how my mom is so similar to my dad’s mom is pretty astounding but equally fitting. I also think about how she adventured across the Atlantic both as a 4 year old taking care of her younger siblings on the boat but also as an early teenager going home to see family. She had her adventures and now I get to too.

Usually memorials are so sad but there was something very settling about the weekend. It was so good to spend time together and to hear things from cousins and other family that I’d never heard before.

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