Yesterday we were saddened to hear that Lucretia Jones (or Lou) passed away. Corey and I were lucky enough to spend time with her on three different occasions, both at her home in Lady Smith, B.C. as well as in Chicago when she came out for our wedding. The last time we saw her was two summers ago when we spent several nights at her place. She was an incredibly gracious host, a sharp wit, and a strong but gentle personality. Besides hanging out with Lou, we also got to know her children, sons and daughter in-laws, her friend Roy, and granddaughter Mariah (who is almost exactly Henna’s age). David (Mariah’s father) and Mariah were especially nice to us and showed us some great local sights and some killer hiking trails. One morning while Lou was making eggs for us, I wrote the following passage. I showed what I wrote to David, saved the draft, and then did not look at it again until yesterday. I hope you enjoy this brief description of a special person. It was a real shock to hear of her passing and we will miss her greatly.
Everything in this apartment/ island has a story. That is what I was thinking this morning as our host, Cousin Lou, described a pretty harbor picture hanging over her fireplace. Lou talked not of the picture itself, but the artist who had first come to the island fifty years ago. He had eventually become a highly regarded architect as well as a friend to Lou and her husband and they had tried to purchase other paintings but he would not sell them.
Yesterday we were lucky enough to be given an impromptu tour of Ladysmith by David (Lou’s son and Corey’s second cousin) with him pointing out landmarks every few blocks or feet, depending on where one was. There was the Chinese restaurant that used to be a candy store owned by David’s grandfather. A park that Lou knew as an unkempt play area now has kayak rentals and a nice stage with stadium seating built into the hillside. David used to party there as a teen and Lou told of days in her youth when her and her husband would picnic there. Lou takes her dog there daily via the tunnel that brings one safely under HWY 1.
I am jealous of it all. Not the lovely Pacific Northwest details but the familiarity of it all. I grew up in a Chicago suburb and live but a few miles away in Edison Park. Nothing though is as familiar to me as that park (or the town square in Lady Smith or the whole wonderful island that sits across from mainland B.C.) is to Lou. Lou, David, and Mariah cannot walk a few steps without tripping over their memories. I cannot think of a better way to live.
Lou you will be missed. Rest in peace.