Saturday, 28 December 2013

Off To The Island

Boxing Day was Christmas for me, my Mom and Ray's apartment filled with chattering children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and brothers, four generations of us in all, sharing our space and thoughts, talking about our lives, giving and receiving gifts. It was the kind of a day I hoped it would be, the kind of day that I wish for more often. I love my family. I love my children. It is the saddest part of my life that they are not around me as it draws to a close.

I am grateful for that day; I get another one today. We are headed over to Victoria to see my oldest daughter. She, her husband and my granddaughter will be spending lunch and part of the afternoon with us. There will be more chatter, especially about her second child, due in early June. She had her first ultrasound yesterday. They were not able to determine gender; it's a squirmy baby. I was that way, not only in the womb but out, forever active, forever running, playing, jumping, energetic and on the go.

The day itself will be a long one. We, my Mom, Ray and I, are all up early, heading to the ferry for the 10:00 AM crossing. That means leaving here at about 8:30 AM, in about a half an hour. I am writing quickly, saving these thoughts before the day takes hold and the travel begins. It takes about an hour and forty-five minutes to cross the Straits of Georgia, a run that would take five or six hours under sail. These are fast boats, these giant ferries plying the coastal waters of BC, nimble too, cutting their way through the narrows of Active Pass and picking their way through the Gulf Islands.

Mary, Albert and Rose live just 20 minutes from the ferry dock in Schwartz Bay at the head of the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island. We will probably spend more time in the unloading line that actually driving into Victoria. I suspect we will meet Mary and her family for lunch somewhere after which we will head back to their tiny apartment to exchange gifts. Then, later in the afternoon we will make the long ferry ride and drive back to Vancouver.

I may not get Christmas with my kids, but I am going to make every effort to enjoy the days I do get. There won't be many left; each day with them is precious. I am lucky to be able to do this, to have both the time and ability to share another year with them, or at least as much as life gives me. This may not be my last Christmas but the odds are fair that I will not spend another here in BC. Next year I will be less able to travel, almost certainly unable to make this drive. I'm not going to worry about next year; I'm going to enjoy today.

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