My Precious Little Mama,
Charity...Loving and benevolent...one of the three graces in
Greek mythology. Charity was a kind,intelligent and adventurous person who always enjoyed a good laugh.
She grew up riding ponies with her cousin Lisa and whether splashing and giggling in rain barrels, climbing the silo, jumping in the hay or building forts with her cousin Richard, there was always fun to be had.
She tolerated the eye patch to strengthen one eye, the
thick glasses and dental braces-all with grace.
She proudly became a Tweenie, a Brownie and Girlguide,
enjoying many parades and camping excursions.
Char enjoyed summer camp where she participated in horse care and riding as well as Arts and Dance.
She later enrolled in a 4 year modern jazz dance class
followed by a performance for a large audience at Malvern Collegiate.
We enjoyed our motorcycle which required customized foot rests and a helmet small enough for Char when she was young. One day, we were making our way to kindergarten in traffic, when I lost balance and the bike started to go over. Traffic came to an abrupt stop. Charity was so embarrassed and mad at me, so with her little hands on her hips, she said "MAMMA!" and trotted off to the sidewalk.
We always loved camping and Alliston was our special spot for many years. Charity and I would stop at our favorite pizza parlour on our way to the campground and she'd hold onto the pizza until we arrived. We'd get set up, then eat. One time, we couldn't finish it all before falling asleep and awoke to our leftovers covered in ants.....a lesson well learned!
Charity, Lisa, Aunt Carol and I went white water rafting on the Ottawa River. Fairly recently, the four of us rented a pontoon boat , touring Balsam Lake. An adventure ensued trying to parallel park the boat in front of a cafe full of onlookers! At last we made it in with help of a seasoned boater on shore.
Charity was such an adventurous traveling companion.
We travelled almost any distance for motorcycle events from Schenectedy, New York to Port Dover, Ontario. We travelled to visit her grandparents in Tennessee's Smokey Mountains, where sometimes she'd stay on for part of the summer. We enjoyed the all day tubing down the river along with fishing. Grandpa Ed was an avid fisherman who
taught Char to fly fish. Over time, she developed a beautiful casting technique...one of the best I've ever seen.
One of our trips began by traveling down the U.S. east coast. By the time we decided to to get a motel, there were no rooms to be had, so we went to a State Park. It was late and we were tired by the time we started to set up our tent. We needed some supplies and set out to find the canteen.
The park was quiet and dark by now. We were apprehensive but we found it and made it back safely.
In the morning, Char told me that she hadn't worried at all because she had a good weapon to protect us.
Out of her pocket she pulled a set of nail clippers with the file turned out and she smiled confidently!
Our travels included a fun filled trip to St. John's, Newfoundland with Janice, Elizabeth and Darrel. Another was to Pender Island, B.C., where we lived and worked
for about a year and enjoyed lots of adventures with cousin Gail.
We travelled to Cuba where we became friends with Janice and Keith and together we toured the island on mopeds.
More recently, we took a trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico with Lisa and Carol, where we para-sailed, explored the ruins and watched the March breakers go crazy. Lisa and Char decided rather than doing the eco tour with their mothers, they'd go site seeing on their own. They headed to a small town where they found a little restaurant serving local fare. The waiters cautioned them when they ordered the hottest thing on the menu. The girls looked at one another and said "Bring it on!". So the waiters did!! The next day they wondered why their sinuses felt like they were on fire, their eyes were bloodshot and their mouths were full of sores!!
At one time, we lived in a co-operative where each member was required to participate on a committee which turned out to be a wonderful learning experience for both of us. Char volunteered for the Children's Recreation and Landscaping Committee. The Co-op was on the Bluffs and, unbeknownst to me, she and her friends, including Elizabeth and Darrel, would ride their bikes down the Bluffs!! Who could imagine!!
We always had a fire plan where ever we lived. One evening I left to pick up a pizza for supper. The fire alarm went off. Young Charity, in fire plan mode, collected the three cats, placed them in a laundry bag with a tie top and proceeded
down three flights of stairs. It was difficult at times because of the weight of the cats. Once outside safely, a fireman asked why the bag was moving and she said:"Because the cats are mad at me".
Charity volunteered at Providence Hospital where I worked at the time. She assisted with meals and visited the patients who enjoyed having her company. She helped her Aunt Carol do some work for special Olympics and she packed boxes for the Bowmanville Food Bank. Aunt Gloria and she participated together in a fundraiser for Variety Village and what a gala event that was....not to mention the numerous backstage passes Gloria arranged for Char and her friends.
Over the years, Charity worked at a number of positions, but she particularly liked her 2012 summer job, with Tracy's Kawartha Cottage Care. She really enjoyed her friendship with Tracy, Kevin, Carol and Annika and the learning experiences she shared with them in some challenging but fun adventures.
She was accepted into the PSW course at Durham College in September and loved it. She said that her group of co-students were so friendly and supportive and felt that care giving was definitely the right choice for her. She was working towards completion of her studies. then moving north to rejoin Tracey and to begin her work as a PSW in Healthcare.
Char visited George and I over the summer and helped us so much around the house and in the garden. She painted,
picked berries and stacked wood but her sweetest labour of love was in building a stone pathway for the newborn goslings to walk onshore.
The caring and loving nature that Charity showed to all her friends and relatives who are here today at this "Celebration of Life" was evident throughout her life and will always serve as a reminder of her gentle spirit.....
so reminissent of her Grandmother, Thora.