Tuesday, July 10, 2012

From Out Edmonton Way

It's early morning, relatively, and Shelly's run into the city to pick up one of her daughters. We are going to float on the Pembina River today for a couple hours -- a new experience for both Shelly and me, though her daughters Becky and Sarah went on the weekend and say it was FABULOUS. We've had scorching hot weather and today promises to be just as intense. We're packing up sunscreen, an umbrella, hats, water ... and of course a lifejacket for me, who will take no chances even though the water for much of the way is only waist-deep. I can barely dogpaddle and haven't done so for a hundred years.

We have been pretty much constant companions since I arrived the day before Dale's funeral on Wednesday. It was a bit of an ordeal, as they often are, especially when a Catholic priest is officiating and ignoring the family's request to keep the service short and sweet. I think I may hate Catholic priests. Who do they think they are? Oh, messengers from God. I forgot. Pfft. This one may have managed to put me off churches of all denominations, forever. Not that I wasn't put off already.

There has been pretty much constant coming and going here at the house, mixed in with a few slow and quiet times. Shelly has been going through the motions required after a death -- phone calls, paperwork, restructuring of everyday arrangements -- and her family, and Dale's, and their friends, have all been checking in regularly and doing everything they can to support her and the kids. It's been quite impressive, not to mention heartwarming. The three kids themselves, ranging in age from 20 to 24, are looking out for each other and their mom; it's tough on them all, but they are displaying incredible strength. I don't need to worry about any of them not being okay, though naturally the coming year will be hard on them.

After a week here, it still doesn't seem real that Dale has gone from us. It feels as if he is present sometimes. His ashes have been put into a pillar topped with a beautiful sundial and engraved with "Dad" and it is standing out in a flowerbed. Yesterday I bought a rose bush that will be planted next to it, in his memory.

I had best get my ass in gear and get ready, if I don't want to be left behind.


  1. Have fun on the river, be careful and give Shelley a hug......

  2. I am glad to hear your friend and her family are doing okay. I know you kinda go through the motions while everything is going on and once the quiet comes, so to do the emotions. Although that in itself is not a bad thing.

    I am also glad there is some joy to share. Enjoy the river.

    Sending strength to all ...

  3. I hope you had fun on the river trip. I like your gift of the rosebush next to a beautiful sundial. Highly symbolic as well as a treat for the eyes and nose. I also had to laugh at your comments about the priest. Maybe the length of the service was his way of showing that he cares. Or not.

    Sending a (short) prayer for Shelley and the family.

  4. I knew Dale well enough to imagine him rolling his eyes while the priest went on -- and on -- and on -- and thought I could see steam coming out of Shelly's ears, too.

    The river trip was a beautiful way to spend a hot afternoon.

  5. All the best in these trying times.

  6. Darling Kate! Funerals and sick beds seem to shaking everyone's lives right now. Have missed checking in here for your serene Prairie reflections. Am so so sorry to read about your friend. Sending love! xoxo B

  7. Thanks Barb. I arrived back home Sunday night but who knows, may turn around and go back soon if needed. Shelly has some good friends there who will look out for her, but still ... it's not the same as having a "constant" companion for the first while, so we shall see how she makes out. I am keeping in as close touch as possible for now. Hope all's well with you and yours; I've checked into your blog from Edmonton so think I'm caught up with all the "happenings."


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