It’s been 8 years today since Chris died. This year, I salute his life in a series of unpublished pictures to try to show what our life with him was like.
Chris was a patient person, even trying to teach baby Nellie Mini-putt! We always tried to find mini-putt whenever we went on vacation since the kids loved it so much. Chris would do anything for the kids and me.
At Halloween, every kid had their own pumpkin to carve…..after Chris scooped out most the seeds! One year, he created the “Pumpkinmobile” for Halloween night by strapping onto the top of the van, a large carved pumpkin with a blue flashing light inside. We drove the kids around our neighbourhood and nearby homes so the kids could trick-or-treat.
Chris was always building something around the house: the front garden or the playhouse or the pond.
One of our favourite summer pastimes was ‘Patio’ where neighbours (human and canine) would gather at our house to visit and sing.
Chris prided himself in his skating rink out on the river. This one had a rink plus a skating oval around it. He’d spend hours cleaning it off after a snowstorm and flooding it on -20C days. He hung lights for nighttime skating too. Every winter, we hosted our annual skating parting for neighbours and friends. We skated on the river, keeping warm at a bonfire at the beach then shared a potluck supper in our garage/party room. Every Saturday night during the hockey season, we would host a ‘hockey party’ where we would watch NHL games while playing darts or pool with our friends and neighbours.
Chris would always take us anywhere we wanted to go at any time. This picture shows us at Tadoussac, Quebec where we went whale watching and stayed at a cottage overlooking the St. Lawrence River. We were on our way down home.
One year, we took the whole family to the Toronto Zoo and Wonderland for the weekend.
At home, he loved boating on the river in the summertime. He patiently taught our kids and friends to water ski.
He loved it when our brother-in-law Joey came up for his annual visit. This picture shows their favourite spot to sit and talk and enjoy a cold ‘beverage’.
He loved working with Mark and Simon, travelling at times to Niagara and British Columbia on jobs.
Chris was such a good sport: he played Santa to all the kids in the neighbourhood at our annual Christmas Party. Here he is with Kalia as Santa Grampie.
What an incredible man. Even though he was in the middle of daily radiation treatments for cancer, Chris insisted we didn’t cancel our family camping plans. We camped on the St. Lawrence River and him and I just drove up to the Ottawa Hospital for his treatment then back to the campground. Pain and the side-effects from radiation treatments didn’t stop him from sleeping on the ground in a tent so the kids would still have a holiday. He was adamant that he would try to make the kids feel like life was as normal as possible, until it wasn’t.
Our last family photo when everyone came home in 2007.