My dear friend passed quietly on April 6 after a brief and peaceful period of letting go of this life.
Catherine was born in Lesmahagae, Scotland in 1928, but she usually said she was from Glasgow. She chose midwifery as a vocation when she was a teenager, emigrated to Canada in the '50s as a Registered Nurse/Midwife, and gratefully took out Canadian citizenship... her only caveat being that as a proud Scot she was somewhat loathe to pledge loyalty to the throne of England!
Catherine lived variously in Windsor ON, Edmonton AB, and Vancouver BC but when she discovered Salt Spring Island she knew she'd found her forever home. She was a nurse on staff at Lady Minto Hospital for many years, but also had a lifelong love of live theatre. After her retirement, she was able to devote copious hours of her time to the Salt Spring Players and many other societies -- Theatre BC, Voice of Women, SS Seniors' Society, SS United Church, as an original volunteer at Artspring, and also an original volunteer at Meadowbrook.
While she lived independently until she was in her eighties, she happily gave up the burdens and chores of that lifestyle to live in Meadowbrook, then Braehaven, until she began to require more assistance and last year moved to Greenwoods.
The pictures were taken outside the extended care unit of Lady Minto Hospital, in front of Cathie Grindler's wonderful art installation there. I love the pictures of her and Catherine hated them - I thought she looked contemplative and wise, she thought she looked stern and unforgiving, but we both agreed on our admiration for Cathie's artwork.
I am eternally grateful to the staff of all three residences (and also the Extended Care Unit) for their patience, kindness, and understanding. They all took the time to get to know my friend, and learned to appreciate her acerbic wit and intelligence, and became good friends to both Catherine and myself.
Flights of angels, Catherine, flights of angels ...
I plan to arrange a gathering to remember my friend sometime in the near future. If you would like to attend please contact me through the Exchange.