1931 ~ 2015
Agnes was born in Carruthers, Saskatchewan and her family moved to Crescent Bay, just outside of Lac Du Bonnet, in the dirty thirties, to make a new life living off the land. Mom was a beautiful, elegant and gentle woman – a true lady. Eddie and Agnes were often referred to as a regal couple and they were a vision of beauty and grace on the dance floor where their great love for each other shone through. Mom taught us the values of forgiveness, patience, respect and compassion and we try hard in life to channel our “inner Agnes” who was the most graceful woman we ever knew.
Agnes loved her home at the lake in Lac Du Bonnet and found peace and solace in gardening and nature. There was no shortage of hummingbird feeders and birdhouses and in our mind’s eye we can still see her sitting on the dock in the sunshine feeding the chipmunks by hand and scrubbing her garden produce to put away for the winter. Mom loved to cook and no one ever said no to frequent dinner invitations. At holiday dinners there was a minimum of three meats just in case someone didn’t like something and mom’s biggest fear was running out of food, which to the best of our recollection, never occurred. Mom could multi-task and was an excellent project manager. She could bake bread, cinnamon buns, pies and put dinner on the table, effortlessly. In the summer, we went camping in the family Starcraft trailer every weekend and when dad got home from work, mom would load the cooler and off we would go on our camping adventures. We all had assigned jobs and if we stepped out of line we were quickly reminded that it is the sum of the parts that make us whole. Pity the fool who ever said they were bored. This was met with a list of duties a mile long and a big hug, kiss and a squeeze. Family was the most important thing to mom and even in her final, difficult weeks, Mom found a way to tell each of us privately that she loved us. When her two granddaughters were born, mom’s maternal instincts went into overdrive and she was like a mother bear protecting her cubs. Her love and affection knew no bounds. Mom would laugh until she cried, giggled and snorted and not necessarily in that order. She loved red dresses, fancy hats and cheerful colorful canvas runners. Mom also loved walking and when you couldn’t find her you knew she would be power walking alone or with friends and neighbors down to the highway and back. She had no fear and on more than one occasion came face to face with the bears who came to collect the acorns by the big oak trees down by the lake. She then ran, rather than walked.
Mom spent her last four years at the Lac Du Bonnet Personal Care Home and Dad visited her every day. In those years and particularly her last few weeks, we learned many lessons about life and dying. We witnessed the impact she made on her care home family and were in awe of the loving and tender care she received by the staff there who restored our faith in the beauty and selflessness of humanity. Quite simply, they ensure that no resident goes unnoticed or unloved. We will be forever grateful for everything they did to keep mom safe and comfortable as she continued on her personal journey.
Mom died on her 84th birthday and there was a lovely moon over the lake and the northern lights were dancing in the sky. We imagine her young, healthy, and dancing once again with Eddie and we will smile every time we hear a black capped chickadee sing.
Mom’s funeral will be held on Saturday April 18th at the Catholic Notre Dame du Lac Parish in Lac Du Bonnet, at 11:00 a.m., with family friend Father Gerald Michaud officiating.
If you would like to make a donation, the Lac Du Bonnet Personal Care Home Residents’ Council funds entertainment and activities for residents to maximize their health and happiness during the time spent with their care home family. Donations can be sent to the Lac Du Bonnet Personal Care Home, Box 1030, Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba ROE 1A0 care of the Residents” Council.
We will always love you, Maman,
from your girls.
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