Thursday, March 18, 2010

When F-A-M-I-L-Y unites...

aka; When impromptu visits with visiting relatives can be within our grasp....let's make every effort to unite! And as always, there is always something to celebrate in life, so indeed we did just that.

My cousin Bernard is currently stationed at Base Borden in Ontario and in the midst of his specialized training, in the Canadian Air Force division, after having already completed his basic training at St. Jean, Quebec before Christmas.

Bernard is my baby cousin, the one I used to get annoyed at for cheating when I, the older cousin used to play card games of "go fish" with him. Always a jolly little guy, he grew to maintain a lovely disposition and patience for life around him.

Older than most recruits, he awaited until age 39 to enter the Canadian Air Force, always a dream but never a reality, that is until now.

Much sacrifice and a whole lot of lifestyle change has transpired for both he and his family, as he continues to walk the path toward a lifelong goal no matter how late in life it has all occurred for him.

His father would be so proud of him! His father, my uncle was a very senior RCMP pilot who had the honor of flying every royal and important dignitary throughout Canadian skies. He was the man called upon for years to tackle this important task. He died five years ago.

On the day my cousin began his next training step at Base Borden, he was more than ready, eager and performing well with 100% on his exams.

The same day he stepped on the base, it was both the anniversary of his father's death and the anniversary of his own father's entry into the RCMP upon his graduation. It's been difficult for my cousin not to think of his father these days.

The path, the journey if you will has been laden with incredible and notable small miracle happenings. I've loved being kept in the loop and viewing his every entry and photo from him.

I am so proud of my cousin and thrilled not only to reconnect this past few years, but also to meet his family AND have the opportunity to take a drive to the base he's currently living on, for the express purpose of visiting in person and bringing him over to our home for dinner last weekend. It was his first time in eleven weeks he was off the base for such a time.

We had such a great visit together, he and my husband and I, along with our family. It's also not every day we can explore and have reason to drive onto a large Canadian armed/air force base such as this one. A learning experience awaited us this day.

Before picking him up, we had warned our children he would be in uniform but soon found out Air Force personnel are not allowed to wear their uniform when off duty or they are subjected to a large fine.

The base was also bustling with activity, that is people walking about, though they were dressed in civies. The funny part that made them all stand out was the fact they were all marching, arms swinging up and down in stiff action, all the while in their civies, some with ipods in their ears.

Bernard filled us in again; no one is allowed to walk the base without marching at all times. And we also learned so much more about the Canadian Air Force in general, first hand yet, and details of his work portfolio soon to come when he returns back in Chilliwack, B.C.

After the initial constant chatter for a while, my husband was honored to play chef while we all continued to visit together while hanging out around our pool table (no more fish for us! LOL).

Reminiscing and enjoying hearty laughs together over times passed was wonderfully heart swelling to be sure, even when my husband remembered he also cheated while playing the all important rounds of BINGO at my Grandparent's hosted Christmas gatherings, yes, we soon realized we had so many common family stories to tell, to share, to recall together and to secure in our memories.

This is what family is all about, it's our family ancestral heritage to be sure and the reason why all F-A-M-I-L-Y truly does matters!

Congratulations a little in advance on your upcoming graduation Bernard.

We've been witness to your entire walk up to this point. It's been so great to see you well on your way to your lifelong dream and the best part for you is knowing Paulette and Sophia are waiting for you to return with arms wide open. So happy we were able to spend time together cousin.