Sunday, June 18, 2006


A note from Victoria Elizabeth, aka 'The Quipping Queen', and host of this blog

Please forgive me for not keeping up with the lighter side of life of late.

For the last three months, I’ve been assisting my elderly Mum leave her home for the past twenty years and move into a senior’s residence. It has been both physically and emotionally challenging, symbolic in many respects to embarking on a voyage into uncharted waters that would end tragically but peacefully for her on June 1, 2006.

This has undoubtedly been the most difficult juncture in my life as I am reminded of the untimely death of my only sister twenty years ago in May, the loss of my grandmother fifteen years ago, and the passing of my Dad in hospital seven years ago.

I am however blessed to have the support of a superb son, two wonderful nephews, a very caring aunt, and many thoughtful cousins around me. And, I am also honored to have received the genuine affection of friends and the compassion of complete strangers who have comforted me enormously during this time of transition.

We never know what life has in store for us. And, although the last week spent with my Mum in a Palliative Care Unit brought many tears to my eyes, it was a truly miraculous and timeless moment full of unexpected gifts that none of us could have imagined.

It was through this experience that I learned a valuable life lesson -- that the power of love is always around us if we but surrender to it and trust that it will guide us safely through any unfamiliar terrain. My faith in humanity and my sense of joy in living each and every day to its fullest has been graciously renewed in an incredible way. This lesson gives me much strength and peace of mind as now I embark on the remainder of my own joy-filled if not jocular journey.

Born in Montreal 85 years ago, my mother was a talented artist, an independent-thinker, and a remarkable “grande dame” who couldn’t help but leave an indelibile impression whereever she went. With her faithful 15-year-old canine companion (an American cocker spaniel named “Benjamin”) always at her side, she delighted grandchildren with her ‘house rules’ scrabble games, enjoyed friendly competition with peers at her weekly Mahjong, and simply adored wearing a witch’s hat at Halloween, 'flying by the seat of her pants', and handing out golf balls to smiling ‘trick or treaters’ from the front door of her Salt Spring Island home.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank my dear parents, fond grandparents, and my spunky sister for sharing their lively Celtic spirit of wit and wisdom, not to mention their eternal source of light and love with me during their unforgettable transit on this planet.