Shirley Lewis
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Shirley Lewis who was born in Canada on August 19, 1935 and passed away on June 30, 2005 at the age of 69. We will remember her forever.

July 3rd, 2005

One week ago yesterday we celebrated our Mom & Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful day shared with so many family and friends - many of you here today. It made my Mother a very happy woman. And it was the glorious capstone to her fight with a disease that she would not let defeat her, not unless, of course, that defeat was on her terms. If you haven’t had a chance to view the picture of my Mother in her wedding dress on the day of her 50th; the day when she marched down to the basement of her home, pulled that dress out of its box, reluctantly allowed her “attendants” to assist her in dressing, and then marched back up the stairs to her living room where she strutted her stuff in front of a disbelieving and ecstatic audience, then I strongly urge you to do so after this service. The picture, with its context, captures the essence of my Mother like no other. It was truly a great moment and a great day. No one was more proud of her that day than her husband.

An ultra-marathon as you know is a very long running race. Sometimes 100 miles; sometimes more. They even have one that crosses the Sahara Desert. You watch these racers and they are full stride, relentless, for the duration of the race, with one goal in mind: to cross the finish line. Many, as soon as their chest hits the tape, collapse in utter exhaustion, unable to take another single step (after already taking upwards of 180,000 larger steps beforehand). This race is a metaphor for my Mother’s own battle with cancer, and her singular desire to see her 50th anniversary. She crossed her finish line with strength, dignity, humility and beauty. The very essence of my Mother.

Mom was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and as a young child moved to Shanty Bay, Ontario, where she grew up in a hard working, loving family. The second oldest of five – three girls and two boys – she was matronly, bookish, and a real looker. A fond memory of hers was that of her Daddy’s strong hands winding her hair into little ringlets. Another memory, Mom now a little older, was of her and her sister June dressing up for Saturday night at Club 67?, a soldiers’ hang-out at Camp Borden.

Dad, and his life as a career police officer, anchored our family. And we lifted anchor many times. Mom followed Dad and managed the family as we moved from town to town: Germany, London, Strathroy, Wawa, back to Strathroy, Bramalea, Malton, Pine Grove Point, Brampton, Barrie and finally Bramalea. I’m sure I missed a stop along the way. But if Dad was the anchor, it was Mom around whom the whole family orbited. She was our light and our gravity.

She was the cop’s wife, her own mother’s love and support system, the football mom, the homework mom, the baseball and jazz dance mom, the hockey mom. If you see a theme here it’s this: putting others in front of herself. As most of you know, she did this as a sister and daughter, then as a young Mother and wife, and perfected it as she aged. When you hugged my Mother, you felt the thickness and strength of a back lovingly burdened by countless years of selfless sacrifice. You also felt the hot percussion of her larger-than-life beating heart.

First and foremost, my Mom was a wife and a Mother, sister and daughter. But she also had many jobs, including resort owner, bell telephone operator, farmer (well not really, but we did live on a farm) office supply salesman, avon lady, real estate agent, secretary, small business owner of Little Angels – a beautiful store, but sadly a terrible business. Some professions she was good at, others she just looked real good doing them.

Our time on the farm - now the big Canadian Tire warehouse on the corner of Steeles and Bramalea Road - was a great period in my Mother‘s life. A period where the anchor set for a long time, from around ‘66 to ‘71; harbored in a time when her kids were small, innocent, dependent. The farm was her island, where a quarter-mile driveway separated the rest of the world from her home, her family. It was there where her young children started to really grow, where Dad began his career as an officer in the Peel Region, where there was room to breathe and play, where her family really began. She understood this and cherished the farm in her heart for the roots it allowed her to grow for both her and those she loved dearly.

Fast forward to 1981. Pine Grove Point was an ambitious enterprise launched by my Mom and three other folks pretending to know what they were doing. Mom and Aunt Lorna had a great time managing the day-to-day business of running a small resort in cottage country, while Dad and Uncle Doug held down their day jobs, contributing everything they could on weekends, holidays and evenings. In many respects it was the girls’ show. Through most of the ‘80’s, they worked their tails off and had a blast doing it. From hosting theme parties, to collecting garbage, to playing cop to some recalcitrant campers, Mom with Aunt Lorna ruled with a soft heart but a strong hand. They turned Pine Grove Point from a somewhat dilapidated, impersonal holiday retreat into a revitalized, fun resort, where folks would drive from as away as Texas to stay at one of their cottages and fish for large mouth bass the lake was famous for. Her years at Pine Grove were special to her indeed, allowing her an independence she hadn’t ever really experienced before. Most importantly, to me it seems, anyway, it gave her the wonderful gift of the very special relationship she developed and nurtured with Lorna, her partner in crime for some seven years.

In Mom’s later years, she channeled so much of her boundless love toward her grandchildren - all six of them. She did the traditional things: Grandma was a knitting machine, cranking out sweaters, scarves and blankets in some very “unique” color patterns, at the rate of a finely tuned Guatemalan sweatshop. And she did the “above and beyond things“: I think for each of the grandkids born south of the border (all five I believe), she took one or two weeks off and flew down to help out the new mom and dad with their latest arrival. I know for Karin and me, and I’m sure for Scott and Ellen, having Grandma’s caring hands and loving heart helped us through some difficult baby times, but also gave us our Mother for a short, precious period.

But the best thing she did was love. Oh how she loved her grandchildren. She had a great gift that allowed her to make each child feel Grandma’s special love. Mom would always say that her “Grandma arms” would ache to hold her grandchildren. But perhaps the greatest gift that Grandma received was the arrival, at long last, of Rhonda’s first and only child. Rhianna’s birth was a Godsend, to both mother and grandmother, and without a doubt, one of the happiest moments in my Mother’s life. With Scott and I long defected to the other side of the border, it was Rhonda who was the “go-to” child, and by extension it was Rhianna who was the “go-to” grandchild. With Rhianna, Mom got her full grandma arm-aching fix, being the primary caregiver several days a week while Rhonda worked. There’s was an extra-special relationship, one Mom cherished like few others.

As you know my parents were married for a very, very long time. Their relationship was a living, breathing lifetime of co-mingled love and pain, triumph and heartache. Where weak relationships break or whither; collapse under their own weight, or weightlessness, Mom and Dad’s relationship was strong - it bent, adapted, persevered - and became emboldened by mutual experience. They loved each other very deeply.

Through the 14 months my Mother battled with diagnosed cancer, my Father’s maxim was “no surrender”. He’d tell that to her everyday (and to all that would listen), wear t-shirts, leave small notes. This was no cliché, he lived this and with his strong will got even my most stubborn Mother on board. So much so that on the day before Mother passed, without saying a word, she lifted up my Dad’s sterilized gown to see if he was indeed wearing his “No Surrender” t-shirt. To the surprise of no one he was.

I wanted to share with you a very special moment I had with my Mother. It happened the night before she passed away. Through grace I was given the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with my Mother, alone. It was my turn. Scott was with her alone the night before; Rhonda, indefatigably, over so many years; Dad a lifetime. It was around 9:30 or so at night, and everyone had left my Mom’s room. The lights were down low. I sat on her bed and we just talked. And read. And kissed. If any of you have had one of my Mom’s kisses, you know what I’m talking about. She’s was never one to give a little peck on the cheek. For her the only real kiss was a full, wet-pucker assault, lips everywhere. So yeah, we kissed - a lot, and no, Oedipus never crossed our minds.

While we talked I asked my Mom random questions, trying to evoke happy memories, like: “What was her favorite thing to do on a hot summer’s day?” Her answer: Sit under a tree in a big field, read a book, and eat “when falls”. “When what?” I asked, thinking that maybe my Mom was drifting away from me for a moment, “When falls!” she replied with exasperation, “you know, when an apple falls, you eat it; when a pear falls, you eat it.” We had a great laugh over that one.

Another question was: “What was her favorite thing to do on a cold winter’s night?” Her answer: Curl up by a fire, read a good book and eat Lorna’s cold liver. Cold liver, that was a new one for me, “Are you sure you mean cold liver?” I asked. Oh yes. Cold liver. Just when you think you know your Mother.

During this time, I also wanted to reach her as the son who loved her very deeply. I told her of the great gifts she has left behind her, and the great gift for her that was yet to come. The greatest gift she imparted on me, I told her, was teaching me how to love. A love with strength, endurance, patience, and humility. A selfless, insatiable love. A love that knew its own value but was never proud. A love that placed itself second, and never looked for reward or reciprocity at the end of the day. It was enough just to love.

The great gift ahead, I said, is her place in heaven. With Jesus, by grace and through faith. And there she’ll see her own mother, I’m sure, and so many others near and dear to her. She nodded, knowingly. I asked her if, lately, she had been thinking about her mother: “Oh yes. A lot, actually” she managed…… I know that I will be doing the same, if I’m ever in the same situation.

Hours after her 50th anniversary, my Mother, like the ultra-marathoner, collapsed in her triumph, fatigued from a race well run. Cancer didn’t beat her, she let it finally win, on her terms, because she already had won her race. “No Surrender“, my Dad would say. And no real surrender it was. But surrendering to God is the loophole. That’s not defeat, it’s a blessing, and she was ready for heaven.

So as we mourn for my Mother, Shirley Lewis, let us also celebrate this wonderful, selfless, beautiful life today. Celebrate a full life well loved, well lived. 

Marriage June 25, 1955

Now I can expand on a few areas, two weeks after we were married I was off to
Valcartier Camp getting ready to head out from Pier 21 in Halifax. Shirley followed
three months later.

FAMILY TREE MAKER - LEWIS, John and Shirley - Marriage June 25, 1955

Sunday, January 8, 2006 

This is the beginning of a Fifty year marriage plus about seven weeks. I
guess it all started in April 1955. I was stationed in Camp Borden with the 1st
Division Provost Company with my future bother-in-law Arthur (Art) Moodie. One
day he asked me if I wanted a date with his wife’s sister Shirley. He and his
wife June lived in Shanty Bay just outside of Barrie Ontario.
This was new territory for me. It did not take long for Art to take me out to
his apartment where I was introduced to his wife June. Shirley must have been
out working at the Bell Telephone office in Barrie. As usual I ended on the
couch and fell asleep, that’s where Shirley first saw me. No question about it
over the course of our married life I spent a lot of time dozing on
chesterfields or couches. 

Time in 1955 was very compressed after meeting we were married in six weeks.
Two weeks later I was off to a posting in Soest, Westfalen, Germany. By this
time Art and most of the Divisional Provost Company had been sent to the
military summer camp in Gagetown, New Brunswick. All that was left in Camp
Borden was the advanced party for Germany, a few cooks, bottle washers and
administration staff.
We were married in the Saint Thomas Church in Shanty Bay, Dr. Lightburn was
the minister, this was a dry wedding. My mother’s husband Mike Sweeney had a
bottle squirreled away somewhere, some of the guests would get a nip now and then. We had the reception at the village hall. 

After the wedding, June had loaned us Art’s car. Off we struck up some
highway. I had twenty dollars in my wallet which I forgot so we had to turn
around and go back. I have been chasing money ever since. Once we got on a road
to nowhere, we stopped at a dance hall which was just wrapping up. It’s too bad,
we were told if we had have come earlier they would have taken up a collection. Too
bad so sad. We finally found a motel and spent the night doing what comes
naturally, sleeping. 

We still had a few days embarkation leave left. New destination London, home
of my mother. In Saint Mary’s I missed a turn, pulled into a driveway to turn
around. Wouldn’t you know it, bang, the left rear bumper struck a tree stump
causing some damage. I guess Shirley had me all excited.. Somewhere along the
line we paid to fix the car. 

The place we lived in Barrie was owned by a couple, I can not remember their
names, June Moodie Shirley’s sister would know. This was a common law
arrangement. Shirley would meet these people again in of all places Wawa, where I
was serving on the Michipicoten Township Police Force circa 1960-63 . Shirley
and our son Scott spent one Sunday morning in Church. Knowing the people from
Shanty Bay were in Wawa, she decided to pay them a Sunday visit. Well they turned
out to be bootleggers. Guys were coming in picking up their bags of beer and
away they would go. Shirley wanted out and when and the time was right away she went. I
did not do anything, time was on my side. In a town with a population of about
5000 there were about sixty registered cabs. 

Keep in mind the road construction crews, native Indians, and CBC tower construction workers, hunters and fishermen there was always an increase in
population. Welcome to my world.
February 13, 2006
SUBJECT: Repent / Saved
I have no hesitation in stating the following, the problem is the wording so
there is no confusion.
Your mother and I both believed in the Ten Commandments, I still do and will
continue to do so. We went to Church in Wawa when we lived on Station Road. I
cannot remember which one, when we moved to Nyman Street we tried the United
Church for reasons we did not like certain areas, we stopped going. (this was in
the early 1960's)
After I retired and moved to Barrie , a Pastor came to the house on Miller Road
(can not remember the Church) both your mother and I were saved. (We came
to Jesus Christ), the time would be early to mid 1990's. I was sick all of the time with
lung infections, this was one of the reasons we moved back into the Brampton
area. Plus your mother wanted to be close to Rhonda. It was also easier for
Scott and Brent to visit us.
As a result of being hospitalized with a lung infection in Brampton I met a
Baptist Pastor Bill Wright. He came to the house on a regular basis. On one of
his visits, he prayed with us and we were saved again. Your mother tried various
churches including the Bramalea Baptist Church. Your mother did not like it.
After the service the congregation would split up men, would go to one area and the
women to another.
I do not have the date, one day Pastor Maureen Lewis came to the house. Your
mother was very impressed with her, so was I. Much to the pleasure of Shirley
Anne, Pastor Maureen visited her on a regular basis.
Your mother’s memory was failing a bit, so I am not sure if she told the
Pastor that she had been saved. The Pastor assured me Shirley was now in
Pastor Maureen asked me on one of her visits (after your mother was in
heaven) if I had been saved I told her yes. On one of her first visits to me the
Pastor gave me some notes your mother had asked to record and give the notes to
Scott, Rhonda and Brent. There was also a letter for me requesting that I read
her Bible before I passed it on. I am doing that with great blessings, what a
wonderful book.
Repent and Saved. I most certainly have repented my sins. I am wondering if I
have really been saved. My understanding is that when you are SAVED you must
tell another person in order to make it binding with Jesus Christ. I am not sure
if your mother did this or not, did she tell any of her children or any one

Jan 7, 2007.  A Grandfather’s Challenge

“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit
who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely
given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human
wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual
truths in spiritual in spiritual words.” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13)

The grandfather’s eyes filled with tears as he looked around the circle of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They had all gathered for their holiday meal and exchange of gifts. The rest of their evening focused on their traditional sharing of the year’s blessings and their hope for the New Year.

He remembered a time when he would have depended on his wife to speak for him, but he was a changed man now. When it was his turn, he leaned forward and spoke confidently.

“I wasted so many years as a Christian. I wish that I had known what I know now…so late in my life. I was saved, but I didn’t read God’s Word. I didn’t think I could understand it because I’d only had schooling up to the seventh grade. Now the Lord talks to me as I read. He helps me see truth that He wants me to know.”

He made eye contact with each family member as he continued.

“God wants to talk to us. The conversations I have with Him have changed my life. Everyday I read His Word and ask Him questions. I wait before him, meditate on a verse, and then we talk about how it relates to life. I am praying for you to discover the wisdom He wants you to have…the secrets and mysteries on His mind. Don’t miss this special relationship with Him. It is the only way you are going to know His peace that can guard your heart for the future.”

There was an awkward moment of silence when he finished, but he trusted God to use his testimony to affect the lives of his family. He had faith that if they chose to study God’s word and hide it in their hearts, the Holy Spirit would disclose to them the mind of Christ.

Knowing Jesus brings our souls into union with God and we are made alive in Christ. He is present within us—so we can practice His presence daily. Jesus said, “All that belongs to the father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” (John 16:15)

Paul said, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. The Holy Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. He reveals the nature and will of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, 12)

The story of the grandfather is true. The transformation he experienced didn’t happen until he was in his seventies. The family watched a shy, quiet man, who attended church with his wife on Sunday, become a strong spiritual leader that looks for opportunities to share his faith.

He experienced the truth that Paul revealed in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 when he wrote, “There is nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”

For years, he kept emotions locked tightly, but as a grandfather he expresses genuine love and frequently weeps as he talks. He loves to discuss God’s word. The Godly character and fruit of the Spirit he exhibits is the evidence that he has become a partaker of God’s divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4)

This Week
Will you accept the challenge of a grandfather who believed what God said and gained not only personal intimacy with God but also a renewed mind with Godly insight?

“Lord, I want the new life You gave this man. I want the joy of intimate fellowship with You and the fruit of Your Spirit. I believe that I can have Your mind in me as I hide Your Word in my heart.”

A Passing.

Shirley as a great poet as were some of her anceters.

Let me tell you a true story.I suppose this is a Belive it or Not. A while before Shirley went to join Jesus in heaven. I was sitting in the TV room, Shirley had gone up to bed. As I sat there my focus changed from the TV to the back room, as looked I saw a figure cross the doorway and walk towards the bar. my mind said whats Shirley after, I waited but she did not come back, a least I did not see her. naturally I checked the room out with nil results.

Moving ahead to the day Shirley Anne passed on., around seven o'clock in the morning I was awakened by two jars on the bed, one was at the foot the other on my right side by my legs. No doubt about it, the striking action woke me up. I did not see her but I knew it was her. Within a day or two I woke up ..... Shirley was laying be side me, I could see her. I had been sleeping on her side of the bed, Shirley was laying on air no support.

Other happenings have occurred, I wont go into them now. I will mention pets, on one of Shirley's visits she had two pets with her one was a German Sheppard who placed his/her legs on mine at thed same time a cat jumped onto the bed.

Someone asked me if I was afraid ...... absolutly not...... I fear the Lord. I do not fear death its just getting there, once you arrived you will be greeted by light. Your mother would have experienced what I tried to convey.

I will place this on Shirley's memory page.

Have faith Charlie, God Bless.

God will fight for you
Are you in need of renewal?

For the Lord has driven out great and powerful nations for you, and no one has yet been able to defeat him. Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. So be careful to love the Lord your God.

Joshua 23:9-11 NLT

Click here to see Shirley Lewis's
Family Tree
Tributes and Condolences
I'm Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Year   / Rhonda (Proud Daugher )
I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below,
With tiny lights like heaven's stars
Reflecting in the snow.

The sight is so spectacular
Please wipe away that tear
For I'm spending Christmas
Continue >>
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
Her legacy
example of the compasion of Shirley Anne  
Monday, August 31, 1998, Shirley A. LEWIS rented a car and drove to London to look after her husband’s mother Hilda Charlotte SWEENEY (nee Taylor), who had a pre-op appointment with an eye specialist, Doctor WILLIS. It was not known how long Shirley would be away, I, John Trevor LEWIS, needed the car as I had several Doctor appointments in Brampton over the following weeks. In turn Shirley required a car to drive to London Ontario, also to
transport her mother-in-law about. The appointment with Dr. WILLIS was kept.

NOTE:- Michael SWEENEY a son was working in Toronto that is why Shirley LEWIS his sister-in-law went to London. Michael returned to London Saturday, Sept. 5, 1998, for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 2, 1998, Dr. WILLIS operated on Mrs. SWEENEY’S left eye. Medical treatment consisted of drops for the eye four times a day. Understandably mother, Mrs. Sweeney aged 92 years could not administer the drops herself. Shirley had to be there to do this task. As Shirley was renting a car at considerable expense and Michael had to return to his job in Toronto, Shirley drove mother up to Barrie so that she could be cared for here. It was the intent of the family to have mother back in London for a scheduled Brain Scan, Friday, Sept. 18th, at the Victoria Hospital, London. Due to circumstances as shown in the copy of a letter delivered to Dr. Sharma a different course of action had to be taken.
CPMFA --- Satellites  
August 27, 2004

Charlie: You will always be welcome in this household, the same as a lot of our other friends, this also applies to you Cathy and Blair as well as my brother. He and his daughter don’t have to feel like strangers. It is a good idea to call first we do spend at the doctors offices, if you come and we have to rush out that would be a shame.

I try to make a point of getting out of the house every day, even if its just to the plaza to do a little shopping and have a coffee, the life blood of coppers. Years ago I conducted more then one officer evaluation in a coffee shop, its not so informal. I don’t know how its done now., but I hope its mean full and informative. If I don’t go to the plaza I spend a lot of time at the nurseries (the place where they grown flowers, not herd children) RONA is a very large building supply store and nursery (flowers). A couple of days ago I was in RONA when this man in his mid-forties employed by the store came up and said do you remember me, I certainly recognized him but I could not put him to a name, my brain started going through a lot of police officers, military types, vets and what ever else. How far did the clock swing back, certainly a few decades. It was at the time that I founded the Central Peel Minor Football Association. This man had been a member of the Satellite Junior Football Club. Fond memories of this time, Brent was age about 9 years and played nose guard of Ronald McDonald’s team of 13 year olds. Pete Martin who had been a linebacker with the Argos had formed the Mississauga Minor Football league, Scott my eldest played in that league, I figured why not Chingucousy and Brampton for a minor football league (not soccer or as it was called way back when round ball) That’s how that league was born. The senior Satellites were still playing at Etobicoke, to make a long story short the team folded that’s when the the Brampton Satellite Junior Football team was formed, the organizational meeting took place a Jeff Orr’s.

My total family was involved in football, Scott played for the Satellites, Shirley my wife was secretary, Rhonda my daughter was a cheerleader (she still has her uniform) and I looked after the physical fitness of the team. We were a family unit, and when the going gets tough now the ranks close.

I will not give the name out but I will tell a little story, maybe Charlie, Blair or Scott might recall this incident.
The Satellites practised at Bramalea Secondary School and used the small cement block building at the Club house. We practised five even ning a week and play on the weekend. Mr. Fred Chalk was the principal of the school. One evening a call was received that a group of teenagers were painting the stands at Bramalea SS, in the colours of Central Peel Secondary. I was on Desk duty at the Chingucousy Police Station as a Desk Sgt. It was not long after the cars were dispatched to the School that a group of teenagers arrived at the front desk among them was this man from RONA, I maintained a very stern attitude but I was a busting a gut inside. Fred Chalk attended at the station in a very angry mood, he wanted these criminal teens locked up for the night. That would have served no useful purpose, arrangements were made for this group to repaint the sands in the Bramalea Colours ..

These were fun times no doubt about it. The Bramalea Satellites did not win many games if any at all, as a team they lost but they never lost their enthusiasm in my mind they were not losers but young men growing up having a good time. Scott can speak for himself, I know Shirley and Rhonda enjoyed themselves I think Scott did as well, when we had home games we had quarterback clubs and once in a while Sports Celebrity Dinners. Brent enjoyed himself in the minors and later played for the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Argo’s. All my children were athletic and school smart (we are lucky parents) all our grandchildren are involved in sports or heading that way. Brent and his wife Karin climb rocks, glaciers and run marathons. Shirley was the one who got up took the children to various sports games and practices, I spent most of my time working, I got used to noise about the house during the day, today I sleep with the radio on.
Thank you Charlie. John/ JTL
from Charlie Trimble  
August 21, 2004
Hi Shirley - Hi John
Shirley - John has been keeping me posted on your progress and sending the occasional photograph. You have had a rough go of it but, as I understand things, are on a break for the time being. I certainly hope the treatments are doing what they are designed for and you feel up to seeing your family. I really wish you well and I hope to travel down that way some time in the next month to visit. It will be brief as I tend to visit all over the place when I go to Brampton. Of course I always stop in at "work" to visit old acquaintances and then get stuck there for hours (I love it). Keep on working hard to get better Shirley - the old boy needs someone to keep him in line. Hugs and kisses.
John - Thanks for all the updates. I feel a bit useless to your situation and never quite know what to say. I send along the odd joke here and there just to let you know that I am thinking of you guys. Life here has been treating me quite well - read: I have my health! Phyllis is still working and I am doing little part time jobs here and there when asked. Work with Bill Law on a horse farm that he is the property manager at; a bit of haying with my brother-in-law; painting wit a neighbour plus volunteering with Victim Services and now Hospice. Lately there has been little part time work but hospice has been calling me. Of course there is always some chore to be done at home and both my parents, who live here in town, are slipping quickly health wise (they are both 85). Dad still drives but probably shouldn't. He knows it and is very safety conscious. Still;law, refusing to give up his independence without a fight, is very reluctant to call for a driver. He works his butt off to look after mother who is in very poor health. Although I no longer "work" I still don't spend enough time looking after them. (It's a long story).
John, I know you love your partner dearly and feel an obligation to look after her, but, you can't do it all yourself. I know you are having people come in to assist around the house and I am glad that you are willing to do that. You should also consider "ME" time for yourself. If Shirley is able to be left on her own for a bit - go out. If she is not then arrange to go out when someone is coming in. Look after yourself in other words. Like the advice we used to give to the rookies heading to a major call - drive carefully, you can't help someone if you don't get there.
Take care of yourselves, both of you. Hope to visit soon.

Shirley and Great Grandmother Sweeney  
AUGUST 19, 2004 from Michael Sweeney.

Shirley and Great Grandmother

Once upon a time there was a Great Grandmother who lived all alone in a far away place called London. She lived in an old brick house on a street called Mt. Pleasant Avenue. Since she lived alone she need a lot of help. There was this nice lady called Shirley. (Shirley was Great Grandmother’s daughter-in-law.) Anyway, Shirley was just about the nicest daughter-in-law you could ever have. She was always around to help and had a great sense of humour – Great Grandmother’s frequently need a funny and helpful person around!

Now this daughter-in-law, Shirley, would come to help take Great Grandmother grocery store, to the doctor, to the hospital, to the bank, to the flower store, to the clothing store and to the wine store. (Great Grandma loved her Sherry so much.) Great Grandma and Shirley would sit out on the porch at Mt. Pleasant Avenue and read and talk and drink coffee and tea and drink Sherry and that special Gingerale. They would read together, tell stories and look at the young fellows walking by – even though neither would ever admit that activity. Sometimes they would go out to MacDonald’s for Cheeseburgers, Coffee, Tea, ice cream and French fries. When the place needed cleaning Shirley would pitch in and clean everything up.

Now Shirley would come down at the ‘drop of a hat’. Once she took grandma in for two operations and then drove her back to her place along way away in a place called Barrie. And when Great Grandmother went to the hospital Shirley would be at the hospital sharing her time and her sense of humour just about every second weekend. This made Great Grandma feel very happy. Frequently grandmother’s needed support as other folks tried to take advantage of them. Shirley was there for that too. She made sure that Great Grandma had everything she needed and that no one took advantage of her Now, when Great Grandma was in the hospital Shirley would help to look after the house and Great Grandmother’s cat Tigger. MS.

Don't remember too much about the period after David died. Mother and Shirley both mentioned that they wished that they had died instead of him. I felt the same way.


August 17, 2004
JL - advise your bride you are in the thoughts of two families spread between Sicamous & Montreal - hopefully she's resting well and having quality time with her loved ones. Best regards to you both. Bob & Shirley and no doubt from Ian & Carol.

Hello Bob,
Shirley's Photo Album
Mom & Dad on their wedding Day June 25, 1955
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