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The “Art” of Remembering…

Question: “What do you give to the man who has everything?”

Answer: “A memory.”

The man in question is my dad.

The memory is…a tangible art-piece that will exude the essence of himself.

My grandmother passed away October 12, 2002. It is a day that shall be emblazoned as brightly on my heart and mind as does her blood that flows through my veins.

I remember holding my grandfather as he cried for the loss of his wife.

My grandfather passed away on May 5, 2007. (Yes, my husband and I were married on the fifth day of the fifth month of the fifth anniversary of his passing…without having even realized the day until after the date had been set)

As the oldest grandchild, I gave a eulogy at both of their funeral services.

Being the awesome of managers of all things detail (wonder where I get it from?) they had pre-planned their end of days very well. But what I loved most was their caskets.

Yes, I said that.

They have four children.  A casket has four corners. On their caskets each corner was a removable plaque that you could take with you.


My dad gifted me my grandmother’s “plaque.” I light a small tealight and make offerings to her memory at gatherings with friends, at particular times of the year…or just for shits and giggles. Because I can.

My dad had also given me my grandfather’s plaque with the understanding that I would work my creative magic on it and give it back.

That may or may not have been several years ago.

*shifty eyes*

Thus brings us to today…

I was ready, and it was time.

I chose a paper collection called “Curtain Call” from Graphic45.  As much as this was specifically my grandfather’s plaque, it still represents both of my dad parents, as I have the one for my grandmother.  My grandma used to be a tapdancer. 🙂

The photograph was from a Mess dinner that they attended with my dad (my dad is a retired Brigadier General in the Royal Canadian Air Force).

“Why do you always put a bird on your projects?”

Not always, just the last two. 😉

To the Anglo-Saxons the bird embodied strength and courage and they believed that those carrying these symbols into battle would inherit these virtues. They usually used images of birds of prey… with talons and sharp beaks… and… well…I didn’t think it quite appropriate.

I want my dad to love it, not have nightmares. 😉

Thus, I used a bird.


Creating this was more difficult than I’d anticipated. Their loss is still deep in my soul.

But, as I endeavour to slowly crawl my way through our ancestry, and as I maintain the virtues and strengths of their bloodlines that run through me and my children…I understand why my ancestors of long ago honoured their dead for generations so intensely and purposefully.

And THAT, my dear friends…is what you give a man who has everything. 😉

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