Thursday, November 24, 2011

Remembering Daphne

The main image of our celebration was an homage to Daphne's goldfish pond. We baked spicy fish cookies on pans that I bought from Daphne's garage sale. We set up cups and hot water for tea on a cold November evening.

Jean commissioned a pond so the lanterns would reflect the water.

Mike helped us to hang the lanterns and Noah helped light the candles.

Catherine made this lovely black and gold fish. Each lantern had a unique personality.

We saved petals from Daphne's garden for participants to create a "teapot mandala"

We featured photos of Daphne generously provided by her family.

We asked friends and neighbors to take the time place a stone in the water and remember.

As night fell we gathered to light candles and I sang 'Soon I will be done with the troubles of the world.' People gathered around the tea pots and visited.

Thanks to everyone who helped create and support Daphne's memorial celebration. This project was supported by the Neighborhood Small Grants program.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lanterns for Daphne

Remember way back this summer when I showed you photos of a heritage garden in our neighborhood? Well, sadly this year we lost the gardener and her garden. Daphne Holmes was a lovely British war bride who met a Canadian soldier in WWII and fell in love. She moved to Canada, had a family and worked as a nurse. When she retired she volunteered at our local clinic, weighing the babies, including our Ules. She was a passionate gardener and I remember she told me that the gift she loved most was a bit of money to go buy herself a hanging basket of flowers. She was very active up until the very end and she surprised me one day went I met her walking all the way to Oakridge Mall from her home.

She was sad to leave her home, but when I saw her for the last time she gave the nursing home glowing reviews and told me never to be afraid to go into a home. Her blue eyes sparkled as she told me how many committees and activities she was a part of in her residence.

When someone bought her house, the members of our community really wanted to be able to save and nurture her plants as part of the process of mourning and remembering Daphne. We really should have set a formal meeting with the owner to say how much the plants meant to us. Turns out he has a friend with a big garden and he took most of the plants. However, in the end some neighbors got to come and help themselves to the leftovers before the yard was destroyed.

Our creativity circle (now unofficially known as The Three Crones) decided to have a neighborhood celebration of Daphne's life near All Soul's Day. Daphne's garden contained a goldfish pond, so we made gold fish lanterns to create an illuminated installation for the event. Catherine Shapiro has been making lanterns for many years, so she taught Jean Kindratksy and I how to make the fish. Jean had some experience making lanterns, but this was my first attempt. I made the runty fish below!

Stay tuned for part II.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Remembrance

My son's great grandfather Hubert "Bertie" Burleigh Douse fought in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. He was wounded in battle and lost three brothers on the Western Front. On the way home from France by ship he missed the Halifax explosion by one day. He went on to live a full life and retired with his family in Vancouver.