So I am finished with my quick trip home. As you know from reading Mel’s updates, I have been in Canada to visit with family after the passing of my Poppy, and on the way back, I spent about a week catching up with loved ones in Edmonton.
My time in New Brunswick was really good. I arrived the night before the funeral, and it was a hard first day. It was strange being in the places and vehicles that have always been synonymous with Poppy. The funeral was a beautiful tribute to the man we all loved, and who would have hated all the fuss about him. Our family was all very involved in the service and it seemed to be a means of grace and grieving for us.
It was really nice to see everyone and to remember Poppy together. It seems like the family (The Neilson 6) doesn’t find themselves all together much these days, but it is real nice when it happens. It was the first time in about 10 years, too, that all of Nanny’s grandchildren were together. She is a pretty amazing lady and we all love her very much. Hopefully it won’t be another 10 years before we are all with her again.
I got to spend a day alone with Nanny, as I mentioned. We went out to Beulah and did some painting of some old window sills on her cottage out there, and I put my former tree skills to use by pruning an unruly brand of willow. It was good to hang out with Nanny. We talked and laughed and drank apple juice from those little cups which all seemed so familiar. We put in a solid day’s work and I made her some supper before we were back to Saint John. Thanks for putting me to work Nanny, hope tree will behave better this year!
I also had some great talks with my dad who is a smart and passionate theological practitioner (marriage and family counsellor). And probably made his year by stacking some wood with him back in the woods (maybe an exaggeration). So yah it was great to see everyone, I have a pretty great family and am proud to be a part of it.
Edmonton was a very different week. Lots of running around, catching up with friends, partaking in real good food, and corresponding real good drink, staying up late and getting up early to get in all of my important and rewarding relationship hours.
It was great times! Edmonton may just be the greatest mediocre city around. I have to thank Matt and Amy (and Charles Buchan) for letting me crash at their place, and Al for being my go-to friend, chauffeur, car rental agency, and just being great! Mona for the great Thanksgiving dinner, and for letting me use her cell phone which made the whole craziness of the week possible. For the people who hosted hangouts, and for all off my Transcend peeps for making me feel like I am still family.
It was awesome. Just wish that Mel could have been by my side for the whole thing.
I am so proud of her for the way she endured my absence, she was brave and beautiful! She was both productive and popular in her time alone, and although I would not want to do another three weeks apart anytime soon, she succeeded with poise and prudence as she always does! I love you Mel!
Thanks to the fam in NZ for checking in on her and hanging out a bunch. We are truly blessed to have so rapidly made a community of such a high quality. It is great to be back.
So farewell, Canada, until we meet again.