Comments from Friends and Family

Karen Lizon

Another angel to watch over us… Lola has joined our family in heaven… while this has been one of the hardest times in my life, I’m also so grateful… my Lola was one of the most remarkable women I’ve ever known… strong, loving, adventurous, wise, and every other fantastic word you can conjure up… she was an amazing role model. I’m so glad I was able to spend a few of her last days holding her hand, and feeling her love…

Lola’s life wasn’t always easy… in fact, it was often hard… but she always persevered any hardship, rising above it with strength and dignity and knowledge of lessons she’d learned… you couldn’t hold her down…

I’m often told by friends, how lucky I am to have such a tight family unit… they’re often in awe of how close we are… that is my Lola’s legacy. She instilled that in my dad, my aunts and my uncles and in turn they’ve instilled it in all of us…

I’ll forever remember our family gatherings… there wasn’t a holiday where the family wasn’t together and Lola made them all special… some of my earliest memories were baking cookies and perogies on ferndale with her… it was such an honour to help prepare the best meals in the world… and then, when she wasn’t looking… I’d sneak off into her bedroom in awe of all the fancy jewelry and makeup… my Lola was beautiful, like a beauty queen… her bedroom was like a museum of everything fashion worthy… I wanted to be just like her when I grew up.

Every holiday was an excuse to show more love with family get togethers and joy and always a meal that could feed an army. With Christmas, then New Years and all of those January birthdays including her own, we’d celebrate so frequently, never tiring of one another. Even Ukrainian Christmas didn’t sneak by uncelebrated.

Easter was always filled with excitement as I collected tons of goodies… always having way more than one basket.. spoiled much? Haha advantages of being the first grandchild…

Thanksgiving we’d enjoy another amazing dinner… the family would play hearts until the wee hours… sometimes I got to sit on a lap and throw some of the cards down before I lay on the floor at their feet, comforted by the adult chatter around me…

Halloween was always amazing… stopping at Lola’s was a must – she would have special goodies set aside for us… and ALWAYS be dressed in a costume… often she’d have me fooled and although I was at Lola’s house, I’d still be terrified of the unknown person answering her door.

Although in the last few years our family has scattered across Canada… and Lola to Mexico… we all find a home in one another… miles are unsuccessful at creating distance between us… our hearts keep us strong and forever together… thank u for teaching us that Lola… u made that happen, u created that unity and unbreakable bond.. we inherited that from you.

Lola touched so many people, everywhere she went, lighting up the room.. she was the type of person people gravitated to.. although I have never met her friends in Mexico, I’ve heard stories and see the pictures and Facebook… she was well loved. That looks be kept her going back year after year. She loved you like her own.

I’m happy that Lola had everyone with her in her final days… although things were tough on her physical self, I really do believe she was holding on for those special moments she shared with my uncles and my sis and I who travelled down… I’m also very grateful that Lola had her special girls, auntie Lori , auntie chicky and jamie taking such amazing care of her when the rest of us couldn’t be there, you showered her with so much love and care… I’m thankful uncle rick was there for her last moments… uncle don and uncle Larry, she waited for u as well… I’m glad u had that time…she was filled with so much love and that surrounded her in her final days…

It hurts so much to see you go… although u fought to be with us over the last few months, I just wasn’t ready for this. I still wanted, needed more time. I wish I had more time to be a better grand daughter, to hear more stories, to learn so much more from u. I wish I did that more.

Im so thankful for the time I had with her…one of the days I was leaving the hospital, all tho she was terribly ill, I leaned in, and asked her if there was anything else she needed… although very weak and having difficulties talking, she was able to reach up to stroke my face and very clearly say… just be you… that’s Lola. Not wanting much from anyone, just love.

On our last day together, as my sister and I held her hands…she was again able to speak so clearly to the both of us. She told us to look up at the moon and know that she’s there and pointed at her heart and said she’s also there and told us she loved her ‘two babies’… I’ll never forget that moment…

Lola hated goodbyes… she’d angrily tell us, ‘ITS NOT GOODBYE, ITS SO LONG FOR NOW’ ( I really did think we made her angry haha)

😘

So Lola… I promise to look up at the moon often… (remember… I love u to the moon and back!) i know you’ve found peace with dad, and uncle jimmy, and Babi and grandpa and all your friends and family that have begun their next journey. Thank you for all the memories and the legacy you’ve left behind… your family, our family. I love you – so long for now… Rest In Peace xo 

Love,

Movpa

Jessica Boittiaux

18 years ago I went to Mexico on my very first trip ever. My Lola (grandma) took me through the jungle, to the ocean, on boat rides, to local restaurants and to remote beaches. She’s been a travel addict as long as I’ve known her, and when she retired she decided that out of all the places she’s been, Guayabitos was where she wanted to live for 6 months out of the year. Since then, she offered her home and I’ve been lucky enough to invade her space a few times. She was hilarious, beautiful, articulate and so full of love. She woke up every morning, carefully selecting accessories and an outfit, preparing adventures for me. She spent her nights telling me tales of being stranded in countries where she only knew 3 words of the common language, or the latest climax in her current read. She told me things about my dad that have really shown me just how much I’ve grown to be just like him. She claimed herself an artist every time she saw me doing my make-up, stating, “what a masterpiece I’ve made”. I’m humbled daily by just how special one person made me feel. Forever encouraging my writing, the trips I take, my opinions, my words.

Growing up in a huge family meant huge Ukrainian dinners at Christmas time. After dinner all the kids would be in the basement watching Christmas movies. When we would hear loud stomping on the floor above and bells jingling. Somehow, we always missed Santa, but gifts would be lined up along the fireplace for all of us.. coincidentally Santa seemed to get us gifts from our Lola’s last travel destination. She was sooo good at being a grandma, because she was so playful. She dressed up on Halloween, she pranked us during sleepovers, and as I grew older, she played darts with me, taught me card games, and told me jokes over beers and appetizers. She never stopped playing.

Although we lived in different cities in our later years, we found ourselves reuniting, and laughing like we’ve never missed a day together. It was unreal. How did she do this to us?! How did she fill us with so much love?!

My sister and I were able to spend the last week with our Lola, surrounded by family and love. As she became ill, she weakened but the fire in her eyes didn’t die out. She placed her hands on our cheeks, and with every bit of strength in her, she told us, “My darling babies, always look up at the moon, and I’ll be there, and right here”, gesturing to our hearts.

Whenever we parted she would tell us to say hi to the moon, because she too, wherever she may be in the world, was looking up and saying hi to the same one.

I urge you to say hi to the moon tonight, and every night, because this fabulous lady is saying hi right back.

I love you forever, mi Lola. Rest peacefully.

Susan Da Silva

My very good friend, Jenny Morris, has died and I’m very sad. I loved her tremendously.
For the last 23 years Jenny was among the women who were surrogate mothers to me. Jenny believed in angels and she surely was one. She listened to all our stories and gave the best advice always with a touch of humor. She was a sharp game player and not afraid to beat the pants off anyone at poker, backgammon, Mexican train, or just about any other game. 
Jenny was extremely hard of hearing ever since a huge trauma almost a couple decades ago. The last couple years she was also blind. Being blind and nearly deaf did not stop her from traveling to her beloved Mexico and living as independently as possible. The last couple years, several
of us spent many happy hours reading to Jenny in her seat by the beach or at her dining room table. What a joy to be able to give her a small bit of enjoyment.
Jenny buried 2 of her 7 children, but she never felt sorry for herself. She would always say the it was time to “put her big girl panties on.”
I will always love Jenny. My heart goes out to all her children and family. You all treated her like the queen she was. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Chicky

Always in my heart Mumsie! So fortunate we travelled all over the world together. When I look up at the moon, I know you’re sending me your love “To the Moon and Back!” You’re gone from me now but in spirit you’re always by my side and I know you’ll support me always through every life decision I make going forward. Rest in peace Dear Mom. Duermes con los angelitos! (Sleep with the angels) Tu Hija…Chicky