Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"This is not the End"

Autumns are often the time for funerals it seems.  Statistics (which can prove just about anything to anyone) point out that it is in the very early hours of the morning, the darkness before the dawn; in the autumn of the year as the daylight fades; and in the spring -- before the leaves return, that seem to be the times when souls move on.

I don't know.  My father died in late September, his funeral was on October 4th, with the autumn colours at their most glorious, the air crisp and clear, the sun hot during the day.

This autumn however, we have had our fair share of good-byes.  Many of our Bondi family will have known these wonderful people, too.

Mildred Long passed away Sept. 15, jut shy of her 94th birthday. Now, if you didn't have the chance to know Millie, you missed out.  Millie and Alf raised their four children here at Bondi, for several weeks each summer when the kids were young.  We didn't have a cottage big enough, so Paul built a cottage just for them.  It's called LONGSIDE, and I remember this family every time I see that name, see that cottage...  Our memories of the Long family are so thick, so layered and so numerous I couldn't begin to list them. I do have an enduring mental picture, however, of Millie, driving the hotel shuttle bus at Norman Wells, NWT, perched on a stack of phone books so she could see over the wheel. She was in her 80's at the time, and indomitable.  She was the best of friends to my mother, Rosemary, ensuring that she sent a long newsy letter every week to the nursing home. Mom looked forward to those, and enjoyed them thoroughly.  Ed, Don, Russ and Marty -- you were blessed to have this mother, this Life Force.  We were honoured to know her -- and we are honoured to count you all as part of our Bondi Family.

We lost two of our lake neighbours this year as well, with the passing of both Norman and Lois Retallack.  Their cottages were just down the bay, and their lives entwined closely with ours. Every autumn, when I look at the crabapples hanging heavy on the branches, I recall Lois coming for baskets of them to make her famous crabapple jellies.  For years, Paul and then Brian looked after their cottage for them. Their children were our contemporaries and friends, and Don, Peter, Sue, Gail and Jim -- you are all in our hearts and prayers. We think of Lois and Norm every time we pass that point of land with the magical historical stone boathouse, and every time we see apples on the tree.

Last week, Mary Elder, one of the great lynchpins of the local community, passed away, at the age of 98.  She planned to live to 100, and almost got there. The funeral at her beloved little St. James Church at Port Cunnington was packed. This is the church Mary's family built, her church, if you will.  Port Cunnington is one of the iconic resorts on Lake of Bays -- in fact, in Muskoka. Mary's parents were the Cunningtons who put the Cunnington into Port Cunnington. This was their place.  Mary was so involved in the community that one is at a loss to begin to talk about what she accomplished over her well-lived, well-travelled, well-enjoyed lifetime. The entire Lake of Bays, and certainly the community of Port Cunnington and Fox Point, would have been infinitely poorer in spirit without her.

It cannot come as as an enormous shock when people in their late 80's and 90's move on to the next great adventure, but it does come with sadness and a sense of loss. We celebrate their well-lived lives, we cherish and bring close our memories, and we say good-bye.  But it is never truly good-bye, because those we love live on in hearts and memories.  "In this place, immortal means remembered."

So thank you for sharing your lives with us, including us in your extended network of family and friends, making our own spirits richer.  As Mary was fond of saying, This is not the End...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Nancy, on behalf of the entire Long clan. Oh, the Bondi memories . . .