for example, when my ever-young and achingly cool uncle james (he's 9 yrs younger than my dad, and wore a leather jacket and drove a motercycle when we were kids) married that dirty pirate hooker, maggie, choosing her out of his seemingly endless parade of relatively awesome girlfriends, we assumed, however grudingly, that her and her awful horseradish carrot dish were here to stay. to everyone's shock and no one's dismay, after ten years of marriage and three kids, they divorced last year. a break-up of a marriage is unutterably tragic, especially when children are involved, and while we all wept for james and the three young ones, none of us were sad to see the back of her; still less after she hired a private investigator to sniff through my grandma's affairs and find out how much my uncle would be worth if my precious granny died.
i don't know why we thought we were impervious to divorce. probably because it had never happened to us. apparently, however, divorce was just waiting for an in, because a very short time later, my beloved uncle dennis left my darling auntie sylvia. it is way harder to choose sides in this event. dennis and syl have been together since before i was born, so, even though he's not blood, he belongs in our family. except that he's gone.
dennis and syl lived on a beautiful estate in kamloops, in a sprawling, cheery house chock full of syl's crazy art. dennis is a lawyer, and he let his artsy wife run wild (in a creative sense). their house was always the favorite gathering place for thanksgiving and easter and whatever else excuse we could muster to congregate there. and no wonder. this is the backyard.
this is another part of the backyard.
this is the house, as seen from pictured yard.
not pictured: the tennis court, the pond with the rowboat, the other three sides of the house, the trampoline on which we used to play 'ninja worms' (a game where you pull your sleeping bag up to your neck and cinch it tight, and then jump around trying to knock everyone else in their sleeping bags down/off the trampoline. many injuries were incurred before the game was discovered and kaiboshed by the grownups), the tiny pond with fountain surrounded by life-sized statues (which i DID take a picture of but which wont upload), and the ever-changing interior of the house. all of these things are covered with the sticky handprints of childhood memories.
some things you know will pass. leaving cbc and my mt waddington girls was hard, but i saw it coming. marrying off my best friend (and in a sense, losing her, too) was hard, but these things happen. i never thought i'd see the day, though, when i'd say goodbye to the kamloops place. syl can't afford to keep it without dennis' income, and so she's sold the dear thing off. this weekend was our last family bonanza at the old place, one final hurrah. i'd planned on blogging all about it, the rockin good times and all (my family is a non-stop party), but i can't just now.
nothing stays the same, it seems. even the face of my family is changing. this has been my book of lamenations. my psalm of praise will come tomorrow.