Dear friends and family: December, 2015

Again the Christmas season is approaching and we send our warm wishes and greetings.  This year has been different for several reasons.



Merry Christmas                 and                 Happy New Year

4insnow
Twins  and Friends



Gumboots

Twins + 2

from the


Valeriotes
Gene, Rose & Nina
Mary, Rose & Nina


Havana


Elinor is now so well settled and happy in her home (EliVan) that when she comes to ours she’s only visiting.  That meant that we felt comfortable  leaving her with the competent and caring Shekinah staff (disclosure - Gene is on the Shekinah Board) to go to Cuba without her in February.  Gene had been studying Spanish for a while and was anxious to put his new skills to the test, especially before the start of the American “invasion” and before starting Italian.  We stayed in B&Bs and, after a few days in Havana, rented a car to visit as far east as Santa Clara (where we visited a Rett family that we’d first corresponded with 13 years ago) and Trinidad.  It was a very interesting, enjoyable and enlightening trip and we were glad we could go there.

Mary had her 80th birthday in June.  To avoid a “fuss” at home we decided to take a Mediterranean cruise (again just we two).  We began in Barcelona (which we loved) and then proceeded to various ports in the Mediterranean, first visiting with Clare in France and then three Italian cities before spending Mary’s birthday on Mykonos.  We then went on to Istanbul, Ephesus and Athens,  ending the cruise in Venice.  It was a lovely and memorable two weeks. We did not, however, succeed in escaping the “fuss”.   Jeremy and Ginny, with some help from others, organized a wonderful surprise party for Mary in mid July.  Once recovered (partly) from the shock, she appreciated the thought and really enjoyed the afternoon with about 50  family members and friends at a location on the ocean shore close to home.  
Cruyise

 
Birthday Party








UK Dales
In September we took Elinor to England to visit Mary’s sister and brother and their families.  It was so nice – in fantastic weather – to enjoy visits to the Yorkshire Dales the Lake District and the city of  Liverpool.  On the way back, Gene stopped over in Guelph to visit his sisters and tend to family business. Train
Jon & Sally's

HatsSoon after we returned in early October, life in our family took an unpleasant turn.  Our dear little granddaughter Rose, at 22 months, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).  We, especially Jeremy and Ginny, were in total shock as chemotherapy treatment began within 2 days of diagnosis.  Rose has completed the first phase of treatment and has responded quite well.  She has now just begun the second stage of a 6-8 month intensive protocol of chemo.  The prognosis is good and we try to remain positive that after about 2-3 years she will be cured.  Fortunately her twin sister, Nina is not affected – confirmed with ongoing testing.
M&G+2

Twins in France

To enable frequent trips to BC Children’s Hospital over the next few months and to allow Ginny to go back to work, they have decided to rent a house in West Vancouver and Jeremy will commute to Gibsons when necessary for his Council responsibilities.  We have been spending a lot of time in Vancouver to help out,  and that will no doubt continue for some time,  especially to help Nina cope with all the attention Rose requires.  Gene + twins

We have again enjoyed the visits of family and friends over the year and are happy to have any of you visit this beautiful part of the world.

We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you all a healthy and fulfilling 2016. 

GM signature

Gene and Mary


5495 Parker AvenueVictoria, B.C.V8Y 2N2250-727-7636 geneandmary@valeriote.ca


Photos of our trip to Cuba
Photos of our trip to the UK 2015
Photos of our Cruise 2015


Giftbox


Instead of buying Christmas Cards, a donation was made this year
to BC Children's Hospital