|Dear friends and family:
Again the Christmas season is approaching and we send our warm wishes and greetings. This year has been different for several reasons.
Twins and Friends
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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
We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you all a healthy and fulfilling 2016.
Gene and Mary
|5495 Parker Avenue