Rest in peace my dear Shirley

Rose Marie


My son, Dan introduced me to Shirley about 20 years ago and she was a special part of my life right up to the end of her short life.

Even though we lived miles apart, we were “friends”, either by Facebook, telephone or personal visits.  She always kept me up to date on happenings in their household or with Tika and Sam .  I always looked forward to her Facebook postings and photos.  She became the family photographer whenever we all got together and we always had a struggle to be sure she got into these photos.  Thanks to Shirley, we have permanent mementoes of her talents and skills through these photos, especially Mom’s 90th birthday celebration in Thunder Bay and Nicole and Justin’s wedding in Cuba.  

Shirley was generous to a fault.  She was always wanting to buy something for me whenever I visited.  I remember an occasion when she had a pair of shoes from Delilah’s and she thought I should have them.  They were really cute, however, were not available in half-sizes.  I think I was relieved because I thought they were too expensive.  

Our visits became more frequent after her diagnosis.  We spent quite a bit of time together during a very difficult period of her life.  Dan would always remind me that I was not to arrive with a sad face but that I should try to be upbeat.  I remember a time when I was asked to do the “Ellen Degeneres Dance” when I arrived to show my enthusiasm - I did my best.  

During that time I saw a strength and will to overcome her illness and she always talked about things she would do “once this is over”.  Shirley always  talked about having a ”party” to thank all of her friends and family for being a part of her difficult journey and to hopefully celebrate her recovery.  Sadly, this wasn’t meant to be.  

We spent many hours together, either at home or hospital.  Some days she would have cravings and would send me off to Starbuck’s to get a smoothie.  I would get explicit driving instructions on how to get there and I was happy to be able to drive in Ottawa to a few locations - sometimes driving the wrong way down one-way streets. 

As everyone knows, I love to cook, so I would spend time preparing some type of food to help in that area.  Because of the layout of Shirley & Dan’s home, I was always nearby even if I was cooking.  Shirley would be on the sofa watching episodes of Downton Abbey while I fried onions for perogies.  Needless to say, I’m  hooked on that program!  

Shirley loved all animals, especially their 2 dogs, Tika and Sam. Very soon after Shirley’s death, Tika followed.   I’m sure they are keeping each other company.  

I recall one of our many conversations during which she spoke about Dan and their relationship.  She talked about how “awesome” he had been along her difficult journey.  She said that they were closer then than they had ever been.  Dan’s love for Shirley was very evident throughout her illness… whether it was at the hospital, as he whipped her down the hallways with her arms outstretched in a wheelchair or making sure she could eat the food he cooked for her.  This was very heartwarming to me.

I will miss you Shirley and I hope you knew how much your were loved.

                            Rest in peace my dear Shirley      …….Rose Marie