62a   They had their 25th Anniversary celebrations at home. A low key affair in Kitchener. All the kids were there, some friends and relatives as well. We made a cake. We drank and listened to music. We danced. We took pictures. We celebrated the union of Carmen and Roger Gingras, my parents. It was 1980. My parents were celebrating that day, then the next day were setting off west, to see if jobs were better elsewhere. There was a recession. Something needed to be done.

To say that they were resilient and adaptable is a gross understatement. My parents were able to pick up stakes and move to build a better life relatively quickly. Armed Forces life prepared them for that. So this was yet another chapter in their gypsy lives. Wherever they would land on this next journey I would follow being only 16.

They found work in Winnipeg, the city I was born in but could not remember. Soon I joined my father while my mom returned to pack up te house and get us moved properly. It was a very full summer to say the least.

And now we find ourselves 37 years later. It never crossed my mind celebrating the 62nd anniversary. That was something for Future Bill. I those 37 years we had many grandchildren, some great-grandchildren, they went to Florida for 25 winters, have opened and maintained a family business, dealt with the loss of their eldest son Bob, lived, loved, laughed, and remained about the best parents a son could ask for.

Now they are both in long-term care, although not together. There is not a day which passes where we don;t wish for this not to be so, where their youth and exuberance were still plentiful, keeping our family together. And yet, despite their conditions, they still maintain an attitude for which I am humbly grateful for. All the wishes in the world won;t turn back the dial of time however. We are all chained to the same clock. And so to honour them we live the best we can…..we love and live and laugh.

When I think about what they did after their 25th anniversary, how that fateful leap of faith opened up the world to all of us, created opportunities we likely never would have had, allowed us to meet our own spouses, to create our own legacies….all because of their bravery and tenacity and love for their family. As I prepare to celebrate my own 25th anniversary with my wife Anne, I am very humbled by what my parents accomplished after where I am now. It is amazing.

I owe everything to my parents. I wish things were different. And I praise the universe every day for their love and support through the years. I will pay this forward mom and dad. I want my own kids to have the opportunity to live like you showed us to.

62c

I love you ma and pa!