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  • Jennifer Z. Major

Just when the dust had started to settle...


It's been almost a year.

I'm re-posting this for my dear friend, Shelagh.

We love you, and we're praying for you on this most difficult of weekends.

***

For years, my husband left for his field site in Ontario for what we call "pollen season".

Early spring until well after the trees had pollinated. Most times, it was 2-3 weeks, and then he'd come home for a week or two, then go back for a few more weeks of work.

It was a lot of time to be away from us and it got to be REAL old , real fast. But it was part of his job...so...

Suck it up, buttercup.

FINALLY, when the baby was 6 months old, we all went. First, to a friend's cottage in town (long story) and then to a idyllic place called Ogilvie's Cottages.

They even had their own lake!!

We stayed in a log cabin that Doug built, and we all loved it. We called it "our cabin", because it sort of was.

Glory hallelujah! It was SO nice to lollygag at the lake half the day, listen to the older boys and our daughter play in the woods, the lake, and then hear them crash like timber at bedtime.

We'd visit with the owners, Doug and Shelagh Ogilvie, and we all grew to love them like the fabulous grandparents they were. Doug pretended to be a bit surly, but his real grandchildren, and his pretend ones, all knew their way around all that bluster.

One day, we looked out of the cabin window, and there was Doug, and our little son Jordan, playing badminton. I though Shelagh was going to fall over.

Surly? Suuuuure.

Every summer, for YEARS, that's what we did. A few weeks at Ogilvie's and then off to visit John's family at the Ontario Camp of the Deaf.

The last few years, John's work responsibilities changed, as work often does, and we stopped going for weeks long stays, and only managed an over-night on the way to Deaf Camp. So, our visits with Doug and Shelagh had to be more intensive.

We never stopped loving them, or their little corner of paradise. They loved us, and our kids.

Doug managed to survive a long bout with cancer, and we all thought he'd grow white haired and even more pretend surly with his elegant Irish rose Shelagh.

But those dreams crumbled yesterday.

Doug went off to start his day by turning on the water to "our" cabin.

He collapsed from a heart attack, and never woke up.

There is no greater sadness than a loving goodbye left unsaid.

So I will whisper mine and hope he hears it.

Goodbye Doug, we loved you dearly and will keep an eye on your girl.

She will be surrounded with love, family and friends.

Thank you for loving my kids and letting them build twenty foot tall bonfires and chase giant turtles hither and yon.

Next time I'm on these shores, I'll toast you with a strong cup of tea, and grumble something about city kids and their fear of bugs, mud and manual labour, in your honour.


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