A few weeks ago we travelled to Manitoba to say farewell to my grandmother, Baba Coulson. She passed away last December but wanted to be buried in the summer. So on the September long weekend, her family gathered in Sandy Lake to give her a final send off.
She was an amazing woman and had a big influence on my childhood. My cousins and I (pictured above) spent every summer vacation with her on the farm, having a blast, helping her with the gardening, and growing strong on home cooked food and fresh country air.
It was great to have all the family get together to tell stories about Baba and say good bye. It was like a family reunion, with relatives I haven’t seen in over a decade making the trip to Sandy Lake.
But a key part of my mom’s family was missing. Auntie Laverne (who everyone affectionately called Weiner) was sick in a Winnipeg hospital and sadly passed away on September 12. We were prepared to say goodbye to Baba, but no one was ready to lose Weiner.
Weiner was the most joyful, fun-loving person you could ever meet. You usually heard her laughing before you saw her and she always had a smile on her face. In a family full of jokesters, she was the Queen of Fun. When you first arrived at the farm, Weiner would often be found leading a band of kids banging spoons on pots to welcome you. At Christmas, her and Uncle Uke gave out the loudest toys as gifts.
She taught us all to enjoy life to the fullest and always have fun. She left this world too soon and I miss her a lot. Astrid never got to meet her, but I hope she carries a piece of the spark that made Auntie Weiner special. If I ever see a mischievous look in her eye or hear her give a hearty laugh, I’ll think she got it from Weiner.
Here’s my mother’s obituary for Laverne Lewandoski (aka Auntie Weiner).