A gentle rain falls as I write this, after a string of bright blue days, yellow leaves underfoot and raining down with every gust of wind.
Restless geese assemble and quick juncos flit through the trees, pointed south.
Au revoir, Jean
Over 200 people gathered in Forest Grove to remember Jean Reynolds who passed away recently.
Jean moved to Canim Lake in 1972 with husband, Don, and two wee children, Barbara Jean (BJ) and Gordon. She helped operate the lodge (Reynolds Resort) they had purchased, taught kindergarten in Forest Grove, and raised the children in the close-knit Canim community of the day.
Margo Wagner organized and MC’d the event. Jean’s friend Joyce Bradshaw shared stories about their early days at Canim and subsequent adventures.
She was “game for anything,” said Joyce. “It was a privilege to be her friend.”
Marion Thorne and Tedha Babuin taught with Jean and shared their memories of the care and kindness with which she treated people “whether nine or 90.” “All you really need to know (in life), you learned there in kindergarten,” Tedha said.
Colin Nivison, who often passed by the lodge, spoke of Jean’s unremitting hospitality, her habit of remembering birthdays, and the New Year’s dinners that became a treasured part of life.
Anna Frank from the Canim Lake Band spoke of the care and sensitivity with which Jean taught her son, and of Jean’s respect for the dignity and needs of all the First Nations children. Later Elizabeth Pete and Marcella McGrath gave the gift of two songs with the drum, to comfort Don and to “ask the Creator to take her by the hand.”
Heather Van Osch read a story and recited a poem she had written for Jean, her “second mom.”
Gordon and BJ also shared stories and personal insights into their mom. BJ said “she taught me to be at peace; we were just enjoying our time together.”
Everyone stood to pray the Our Father together, and then retired to enjoy a feast laid out by the good women of the Canim Lake Community Club.
Jean Reynolds, a woman who enriched others in life, and in her manner of leaving it.
That’s all for now. Until next time, here’s wishing you many blessings.