For Someone who Lived.
I apologize for not writing for a while. I’m actually quite sorry to myself for not doing it for my own heart. It really does good things when you’re able to express yourself and your thoughts and put them out there, even if it might not be read by anyone but yourself.
I’m dedicating this blog to someone very special in my life who passed away a few hours ago: my Grandpa. I received the phone call minutes before my alarm was to go off so I could catch the bus back home to Tofino from Vancouver. Now, as I journey home to merely re-pack my bag from wedding clothes to funeral clothes, I have time to reflect and think about what an amazing impact this man had on my life.
I am fortunate to say that I come from a family of environmentalists. My grandfather was a pioneer in the conservation of wetlands, birds and wildlife (mainly in Alberta and the Arctic) and I knew him as an incredible ornothologist and photographer. He was awarded the Order of Canada for conservation, he’s in the Canada’s Who’s Who book (it’s okay if you haven’t heard of it…I hadn’t until I found out he was mentioned in it), and has been honored the Alberta Emerald Award. He started his life as a pilot in World War II, followed by a bush pilot to the Arctic, he was at some point a wildlife guide in Africa and other parts of the world, and a seriously avid traveler (has been to Africa 8 times and Costa Rica around 6-7 times…I can’t even count how many countries he’s been to).
When my mom was still in high school Grandpa and my absolutely amazing Grandma pulled her and her brothers out of school to travel the world for a year. They shipped around with them through Africa, Asia and through Europe a classic 60’s microbus.
My Grandpa as an older man still was just as adventurous. He and my equally as adventurous Grandma took me on amazing journeys to China, Newfoundland and the Maritimes, wicked and multiple camping trips through BC, the Rocky Mountains, Prairies, and the U.S., and lastly an epic trip to the Arctic in Nunavut so I could see where he did so much of his work as a bush pilot.
As I listened to his stories I could feel his (and my Grandma’s) passion and zest for life. Not only the passion for life, but also for the importance of recognizing what beauty we are surrounded by. He taught me that appreciation of life can be as simple as observing a flock of Harlequin ducks chill in the ocean, watching a hypnotized hummingbird lay in the palm of my hand (this happens when you lay them on their back…kind of awesome!!!!), or greeting a lone caribou as we roamed through the isolated tundra. He also taught me that my life is equally as important when he when on conquests involving me holding on to his jacket as he scales a high cliff just to get a good photograph of a falcon’s nest…interesting times to say the least!
I want to thank him for teaching me his perspective of the world, guiding me to follow my passions just as he did, and to live at my full potential. He is someone who truly lived in the moment and used his moments to create positive environmental change and inspire those around him.
I am so grateful to be his granddaughter and I feel better knowing he is now with my Grandma and together they are causing serious mischief and going on epic adventures of another kind.
Mad love to a man who inspired me to live the life through my passions. Love love love!!!