Mother's Day, and the special Mum who became an intrepid kayaker...
Mum and Joan at the Ladysmith Paddlefest - she loved these outings!
Today is Mothers' Day here in Canada, and today we celebrate a special "Mum" whose gift of laughter and love has gently nurtured and touched us over many years. I've always loved the image below. It is from a staff party at the BBC, where my Dad worked, in Glasgow. My mother was always a very beautiful woman, with an engaging and effervescent personality - and she loved to laugh.
My Mum and Dad (on the right) at a BBC party...many years ago
Mum was always one that put the needs of those she loved above her own. Knowing how much my Dad wanted to move to Canada, when I was very young, she left friends and family behind in Britain, game for and open to whatever adventure was to come. Despite not being particularly keen on water, she and my Dad built a cottage on a beautiful, but often stormy lake, in Ontario's picturesque Madawaska Valley. The cottage was on a tiny island - every rough crossing undoubtedly brought her no small degree of anxiety! As if that wasn't enough "adventure" for someone who couldn't swim, she was the first to paddle my Dad's new sea kayak - much to the surprise of the nervous souls on the beach!
Aboard the MV Lady Rose heading for Bamfield
My mother had a spirit of generosity and gentleness so necessary in this world. She cared deeply, forgave me frequently, rescued me countless times, and has supported us over the years in every way imaginable. Her spunk and my Dad's spirit of adventure launched my love for the outdoors and the passion for the self-propelled pursuits so often shared here in this blog.
As I write this, my Mum is now 93 years old and struggles to make sense of a world that becomes increasing difficult to understand with each passing day. We visit with her daily, and will share this "journey" with her, all the way. I have told her that in a few weeks, we will depart for a short exchange in Scotland. I know that she would be excited, beyond words, if she was able to understand. Alzheimer's is an extraordinarily difficult and debilitating illness. It has not, however, taken away her beauty. And although her laughter is no longer something we can hear, the wonderful memories ring with immense joy in our hearts.