Thursday, January 5, 2012

Save the Neck For Me, Clark!

I am terrible about finishing my posts.  I'm not a great writer like others in my family and I have 3 kids that tend to distract, not to mention an attention span of a gnat so I am going to post a couple of posts today because I feel like they are still good posts.  A little belated but still worth reading.

 Dec. 19
It's so strange how you can experience highs and lows so frequently in such a short time.  I guess that is what is meant to happen.  In Ecclesiates it reminds us that there is a time for everything.  A constant juxtaposition.  There cannot be one with out the other.  Life and Death, Joy and Sorrow, a time to speak and a time to be silent, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to weep and a time to laugh.  They are the constant.  Nothing would hold it's value without the other.  If there were only rich and no poor, then there would be nothing to strive for.  If there were only Life and no death, the celebration of Life would not hold as much value.  I feel like my family has experienced a few of these this past month.  So when the highs hit, we are celebrating, and when the lows come, we mourn.

Backing up to Thanksgiving. 
Jeremy's family was able to join us for Thanksgiving.  Hooray!  Celebration!  His sister, met her youngest niece for the first time. His mom, now cancer free, was actually able to enjoy more food and beer than she has been able to since her surgery last September.  More celebration!  Jeremy turned his dissertation in on Wed. before Thanksgiving which meant he was stress free for the time that his family was visiting! 
All of these were great celebrations!
Now in December...
Jeremy's mom came back up to watch him present his PhD. dissertation and stay for graduation.  During that time my mum and I planned a graduation party to celebrate this HUGE accomplishment.  Did I mention, HUGE!  I mean, I wouldn't be able to do it.  He managed a 3.9 through all of it and still finished his program on time, with a wife and 3 kids.  I know he didn't do it all on his own, but still.  HUGE accomplishment!  We had a great time with Jeremy's mom, my mum and dad, my brother Bobby and his wife Jenny and my niece Jordan, who all came to help us celebrate Jeremy and his PhD.
After graduation we had a party/open house.  It was so great to celebrate!  So many people that came that I was able to thank personally for all of their prayers and support these past 5 years.  Thank you, thank you!
We were feeling optimistic, joyful and full of thankfulness the week after, looking forward to Christmas and celebrating (again).  On Dec. 17, my mum sent me a text.  It was a fairly normal Saturday morning.  Lazy and full of chaos in our house.  The text basically said, "Your cousin was killed last night in a car accident."  The happy sounds of chaos in my house became a white noise and my phone became a foreign object in my hand. How do I process this?  I called my mum. The other kicker was, Saturday, Dec. 17 was his wife's birthday.  My heart broke.  I wanted to cry for his wife and 2 kids.  I wanted to cry for all that were left behind.  I wanted to cry for my cousin, Cameron. I wanted to cry for my aunt and uncle who were on a cruise and still had not heard the news.  I just wanted to cry.
The question most asked is, "Was I close to him?"  Honestly, the answer is sort of muddled and hard to give a simple yes or no to.  No, he was 8 years older and he was a boy.  In my house growing up, we were divided by our gender. My cousin, Michelle and I were paired up and all the boys were together.  My mum's family was the closet geographically to us.  My dad's family was all over the U.S.  My mum has one sibling, a sister and growing up we spent our Christmas and our Canadian Thanksgivings going up to Vancouver to spend it with my aunt, uncle, cousins and my Poppop and Nana.
Cameron was older than my oldest brother and was always doing older guy things.  I have my memories of him though.  Cameron was a funny guy.  He always wanted to be the life of the party.  The guy with the punch lines and practical jokes.  At least this is how I remember him.  The last time I saw Cam was at my younger brother's wedding in 2009.  He came down from Kamloops to come to the wedding, bringing his wife and 2 kids.  That's not a short trip.  So when you ask if we were close, the point I'm trying to make is that no, I couldn't tell you his favorite color or his favorite food.  BUT, my family is fiercely loyal.  You can call on any of us and we will be there.  He came for my wedding, he came for Bobby's wedding in Vegas and he came for my little brother's wedding, why?  Because that's what we do.  We are loyal and close in that way.  He was 45 years old with a wife and 8 year old daughter and a 3 year old son who are going to miss him so much.  His funeral is Friday Jan 6 in Kamloops

During Christmas, we often pull out our favorite holiday movies.  Jeremy's favorite movie is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  I'm sure you are wondering how this is segueing from the bit about Cameron.  Well, if you've never seen it, you should.  The family dynamics I think everyone can relate to on some level! Cameron was nothing like cousin Eddie,  my family may be wondering where I am going with this.  Cousin Eddie was the comical family member and the one that said the most unexpected comments like Cam would. When I watched the movie I laughed.  It is so healing and good to laugh. I've spent so many holiday dinners with our family gathered around and the comedy that is our family and it's dynamics and inputs from people at the table.  The dinner of the Griswolds on the movie feels normal to me.
So to quote a line from Cousin Eddie, "Save the neck for me Clark." You will be missed Cam.

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