Last evening I returned from my three day trip to Brockville, a type of trip one does not enjoy making. I had four first cousins there now I have but three. I shall not use their names just their initial. P. is the oldest, then came R., then M.L., and finally M. It was to attend the funeral of R. that I made the sad trip. As sad as this trip was it was also enlightening in that I witnessed something that I had read and heard about but never experienced at least not to the extent that occurred.
On the Wednesday I arrived there was two, two hours periods that people could come and pay their respects one in the afternoon and one in the evening. I attended the evening one and at the end found out that in that total of four hours over six hundred and twenty five people, not counting those who had not signed the Book of Condolences, had found it in their hearts to pay their respects. Now R. wasn’t a famous person, not wealthy or powerful just a Wife, Mother, Grandma, Aunt, cousin, and friend, but she was a much loved member of her small community which has a population of around five hundred. R. was a practicing Catholic and sang in her Church Choir and she was very involved with the local kids hockey team and from what I could gather her whole community. The Funeral Mass was held at St. Theresas`Church in N. Augusta which has a capacity of one hundred and fifty, it was packed with people standing across the back leaving just enough room for the doors to open. After the Mass everyone went to the Community hall for lunch and believe me when I say there was enough food, all of which was prepared by the ladies in the town and donated, to feed a battalion. This is the experience I mentioned in my opening. I had heard and read about such things happening but to me it was a bit of a culture shock. I am not use to displays like this. In truth I tend to panic if there are more than ten or twenty people around me. It is not that I am a loner it is just that I am always uncomfortable around people I don`t know. Actually I guess you could say I live in a type of shell as I am very choosy about who I let into my life. My girls tell me it is a type of protective screen I wear. I like people but do not get to close to them. It was amazing to see how many people knew and loved R. and something I won’t forget.
Much to my regret I didn’t know R. as well as I should have as her and her sisters are referred to as the “Country Cousins (CC)” as compared to us “City Cousins”. You know what, I think I would much rather have been a “Country Cousin” It is amazing the difference that two hundred and forty miles can make. The CC live in the St. Lawrence River area where as, this City type lives at the opposite end of Lake Ontario in site of Toronto. Suffice it to say, methinks I would prefer living in a nice quiet, peaceful Rural setting. Then, most City types dream of that and few, very few, make the transition. I have thought of it a few times since retiring, but then I would have to give up being close to my Daughters and I don’t think I could really do that. That doesn’t mean I can’t dream of it and be just a little envious of my “Country Cousins”.