Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back from Bracebridge

Last week began as an ordinary week in my life. That changed with one phone call on Tuesday afternoon when Dave learned that his 91-year-old grandmother had died. Or, as we say in The Salvation Army, Nana was "promoted to glory." She had been ill with lung cancer for several months, so we knew her time on earth would be ending soon.

We left home early on Wednesday morning, around 7:00 AM. We got back about 3:30 AM today.

We spent Wednesday evening in Niagara Falls, Ontario and had a very pleasant time. Since tourism is way down, we were able to get a hotel room overlooking both sets of waterfalls. That night we enjoyed a lovely candlelight dinner (including escargot) in our room and watched the light show over the falls.

The Maid of the Mist heads toward the rainbow.

On Thursday we traveled the rest of the way to Bracebridge, Ontario, a lovely little town in the Muskoka region. After a quick visit to Port Carling, where I just had to buy some pottery, we spent most of Friday and Saturday attending to funeral business (viewings, funeral and committal services, etc.), then departed for home at about 4:30 PM on Saturday. Eleven hours later, we arrived home. In the 92-hour period from Wednesday through this morning, we traveled approximately 1,400 miles by car.

Aside from the opportunity to say au revoir to Nana, the greatest highlight of our time away was the opportunity to reconnect with many family members and long-time friends. We shared several meals with assorted family members. Like all Sears family meals, they included lots of laughter, family news and good stories. I missed Cathy's tale about her nearly-missed flight from Calgary, so I'll have to catch up on that one the next time we're together. We also caught up with some friends whom we haven't seen in far too many years. Those were also precious moments.

It's a beautiful thing when the years fade away and family and friends can visit with as much ease as if they'd just seen each other the day before. While the principle purpose of our gathering was to bid farewell to a much-loved family member, we were given wonderful opportunities to joyfully renew and strengthen personal bonds. I think that's exactly what Nana would have wanted us to do in her memory.

Visitors to Port Carling are greeted by this impressive mural
comprised of thousand of photos depicting the town's history.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

wonderful post Evie. I, too, felt that, while we were saying goodbye to Nana, that it was a happy time and a time that was enjoyed with family. I'm glad you were able to come up with David. I always enjoy spending time with you.