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July 1st Plus Three

Story ID:6136
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:Retired
Story type:Biography
Location:Truro, Nova Scotia Canada
Year:2010
Person:Richard & Esther Provencher
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July 1st Plus Three

In Canada, July 1st represents celebration, parades, people wrapped in the flag, children clapping and this year the Queen of England opened up official ceremonies in Ottawa. But, that was three days ago.

My wife, Esther and I missed out on our local parade in Bible Hill last year, due to being out of town. This year we felt a need to be part of the noise and shouting. Unknown to us they changed the parade route. After walking slowly through town on a partially limp leg I slowly climbed a rising sidewalk hill to the normal turn around corner where the parade passed by for years.

However we noticed no one else in sight and a passerby said, “You have to go up to the next block where the route changed this year.” We knew this distance was a good one quarter mile and beyond our energy levels. Yesterday we used up most of our reserves. Our usual lunch work at a local church giving meals to unfortunates, around 100 of them, followed by me painting the church porch, after an hour and a half of scraping of course, while Esther did her volunteer work as a bookkeeper for our church. So after six straight hours of activity, no wonder these bodies needed some kind of rest. We headed back home, still cheerful and knowing our waiting couch would provide a great resting place, along with a cup of Esther’s coffee.

We are so thankful to be able to do the things we do; a daily walk, working on our computers, visiting with friends, treating others to a meal at our apartment, and tv watching, talking, sharing our time together. It may not sound so exciting when one considers how the past occupied my time. I used to be very active with canoeing, hiking and hunting, but that was before my stroke, almost eleven years ago.

Esther and I visit this lovely small lake about twenty kms from Truro. I don’t have to walk far, perhaps a few hundred yards and then cast into MacAlmons Pond (about 20 acres in size). We also took up bird watching, something quite interesting. A Cardinal, rare in this area, likes hanging around the woods back of our church.

I am very content to hold my wife’s hand, hold a cup of coffee, walk to the bathroom in time, and speak distinctly so folks could understand what I was saying. These points were not easy to accomplish for the first years of my stroke recovery. God is good, and prayers from family and friends precious.

Today we went to our downstairs neighbour’s funeral. Colin’s wife had been sick for years and suddenly without fanfare passed away. Some say, a blessing, yet after 56 years of marriage it still staggered our dear friend, Colin. Both of us realize we too will face such an event and after 35 years of marriage we will continue to enjoy each other’s company. We spend much time together, because we really like to do so. I grieve for some of our own friends and relatives who seem to spend so much time away from their spouse, as if they have difficult times together.

Yes, nagging and fighting over the bills, even arguing over the best way to raise children can tear a family apart. We can only do what we can, considering the circumstances of the moment. There are numerous times I wish I could have done things differently, but at the time so many issues tended to cloud judgment. That is the past and each of us have to live during this moment.

Esther and I do enjoy life; each other’s company and we talk much about our children and friends. We have hundreds of pictures of our children and grandchildren growing up and it’s as if they are right here with us. In fact we not only have pictures hanging in frames, but also photos scotch-taped to one whole wall.

We wish everyone lived closer, but this country is too huge. All we can do most times is to pray for our loved ones and wish them a long and fruitful life. Memories are great and life has been very good to both of us. In spite of trials and tribulations, everyone has them, we have received much satisfaction in past challenges.

I still remember vividly the time I hitch-hiked 6,500 miles from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec to Vancouver and back. I would not counsel anyone to do that these days; too many monsters out there. And working in Moosonee, Ontario as the Welfare Officer with a territory, which stretched to Winisk, on Hudson Bay, was quite interesting. And winning the chess championship of James and Hudson Bay, both sides, was very humbling in 1967. Any one of has achievements we can be proud of.

Of course I still love to write, mostly poetry these days. Below is a latest sampling. If you wish to read any more; Esther is a co-author with me on several projects -- google “Richard L. Provencher” and also, “Richard & Esther Provencher.” We enjoy receiving slow mail or e-mail.
Please keep in touch. Hugs to all from Richard and Esther Provencher

PS. May the July 1st years to come be kind to you.

© Richard & Esther Provencher

este angel

An angel wears no
tagged jeans
nor hairdo with the latest
wild colours
Este Angel is simply a blond
young lady

wishes to be a model
a darling
for mom and dad
innocent to life’s pitfalls
bathed in love.

© Richard L. Provencher