After hearing the shocking news of Gerry’s passing, Barb and I muddle through some of our activities in a bit of a fog. But life does go on and we try to keep busy, keeping our minds busy to keep down the sadness we feel. First things we had to do was cancel our cruise to Hawaii and reschedule our flights to take us back to London, Ontario. Our daughter offered to pick us up but a rental car would give us more flexibility while back home. There are complications when one dies outside of their home country and it sure made us think about our own situation of being snowbirds. Our good friends sent us home with a going away dinner.
The flight home was uneventful, get into rental, stop by the ‘hobby house’ and head to Chez Terri & Mark’s in Toronto. Kerri & Kelly, Gerry’s daughters and their significant others came by for dinner and the evening. We sat around the dining table remembering their dad and telling stories. As the wine bottles fell, the funnier the stories became. It was a great pre-celebration!
John gave us a heads up that friends Donna & Ray were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. So, on Saturday on our way to London, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop by and hoist a beverage with them. We surprised them completely and had great fun for the short time we were there.
At Anne’s, the family all gathered for dinner and stories. Anne’s kids, grand kids, Terri & Mark, Anne’s sister Rose and her husband Flo with their daughter Leanne. A tremendous amount of food was served, the odd beverage consumed with lots of fun and good times remembering Gerry – it’s too bad this was one party he missed or did he!
Gerry’s service was held at the funeral home, attended by many, many family and friends to honour Gerry’s memory. Terri provided a eulogy that exemplified Gerry’s life and accomplishments. It was a tremendous and deserving celebration for a send off of a truly good guy – we will miss you Gerry…..
We spent the remainder of the time in Toronto, waiting for our flights home. We had dinner at Corrie’s and visited with our grandsons Mackenzie and Nathaniel, dinner downtown with Terri & Mark – now that brings back past memories, we used to do this lots when we worked downtown in our previous life!
On the weekend, we’re off to the cabin – no, we’re not skiing but Terri & Mark did while Barb & I sat in the lodge doing the après ski thing – I’m good at that part of the sport.
Monday, we drove back to London to have lunch with Anne and Kelly and a farewell. The weather was threatening so we did not stop off to visit John & Di but headed back as quickly as we could. Brrrr, cold and snowy is not our idea of a fun time! All the time away, we are keeping an eye on FB and our email for news on Jim, our dear friend in Jasper, GA. His battle with cancer has been hard fought but he has been in the hospital lately for blood problems and we are hoping we can drive up to see him after we land in Pensacola on Tuesday.
But, our return trip was unfortunately extended by bad weather in Pensacola and the airport was closed down for 2 days with ice. We got held up in Washington DC for 3 nights before we could get a flight out. More unfortunately, we found out on Wednesday that Jim had lost his battle and passed before we could even get out of DC! Jim and Lydia are the type of people that you meet once and immediately are best of friends. We spent many great times together even though we only knew them for 4 years. They would tell anyone who listened that Barb & I were the couple that inspired them to go full time RVing. That’s a heavy title to bear but love them both.
More on our unscheduled holiday in Washington, DC in our next post. We hope all is good where you are, it has been a shaky start to 2014 so far.