In Loving Memory (1953-2023) ~
The light of my life has gone on to a better place. She is finally without the pain that racked her body for so many years and with out the more recent pain of the cancer that ended her life.
Linda was born in Winnipeg in 1953, the oldest of 3 children. Her family moved to BC shortly after and moved around the province. Hazelton, Stewart, 100 Mile, Nanoose Bay and Port Alberni were all places Linda called home until her family arrived in Quesnel.
I met her in Grade 12, in our home room class. Linda had lots of practice making friends with all the moving her family did, and she immediately fit in with the group. We became friends and walked down the aisle together at prom; foreshadowing things to come. We went our separate ways after grad, her going to Nanaimo to become a hairdresser. We both ended up back in Quesnel sometime later and resumed our friendship.
Times together became more frequent as our friendship grew - others could see it was becoming more than that while we remained oblivious. The time came when I decided to go to BCIT and make something of myself. The thought of being apart finally brought both of us to the realization that we were meant to be. We became engaged in the spring of 1975 and married August 30.
We left for Burnaby and our new life together right after the wedding. After 2 years of BCIT and another year and a half of living and working in Raincouver, we moved to Kamloops. A short time later, we bought our first house. It was small but Linda loved it. She started a life long habit/love affair with gardening, quickly learning that 6 cucumber plants were way too many for two people.
Both our boys were born in Kamloops. During her pregnancy with Steven, I foolishly applied for and got a job in Cranbrook. We spent several agonizing months apart during what should have been one of the most joyful times in our life together. We finally managed to sell the house the day she and Steven came home from the hospital.
Shortly after we moved to Cranbrook. A short time later, we bought what is now our forever home and embarked on the rest of our life. Raising the boys (which included sewing, knitting, first aid for them, etc.), backing off on the gardening, taking up golf, painting, making jewelry all gave her great pleasure and made her many friends.
Quilting was her favourite craft; she was a member of the quilting guild and even had a quilting store (Mountain Threads) in our basement for a while. During it all, she supported me in my career. She probably answered as many work related calls as the front office staff. Endless lunches to make and wondering when I'd get home after it was already dark. That improved somewhat when cell phones came along but she still worried.
She had a hard time when first Alex and then Steven left home. I am feeling now how she felt rattling around this house that used to be too small and now seems overwhelmingly empty. She developed spinal stenosis which took away first her golf and then gradually all the other interests. The pain kept increasing, with very little relief, and I gradually took on all of her house hold duties that she had done so well for so long. I eventually, under her tutelage, learned to do more than boil water on the stove.
Her creative passions were taken away but only intensified her remaining passion; that for her grandchildren. They were the most important thing in her life. With great difficulty, we made many pilgrimages to the Island to see Stevens family and we were blessed when Alex's family moved back to Cranbrook, so she could see them more often.
Then, on our 48th anniversary, we learned she had kidney cancer. There followed endless appointments and tests, all to learn it was terminal. The pain of the cancer gradually over took the pain from the spinal stenosis; the amount of drugs increased, her time awake and cognizant reduced.
We were fortunate that, for a brief time on her last Saturday, she was awake and able to participate with our whole family. Those memories and pictures will live forever. Thankyou Dennis, Mary-Lou and Cindy.
So now she is in a way better place. There is no one who deserves it more. She is with many family members and friends, all who will be glad to see her. I can hardly wait for my time to be back with her.
Linda is survived by her husband Ed, son Alex and daughter-in-law Stephanie, granddaughter Kaylee, grandsons Tyson and Carter, son Steven and daughter-in-law Ana, grandson William and granddaughter Clara, sister Julie, brother David.
A celebration of life will be held in the spring; details to be announced later.