Cole is in LOVE with his Uncle Jay. Don't get me wrong, I like Jay too. What's not to like? He's fun and he gives great airplane rides and he cooks bacon like nobody's business and he loves to shower Cole with attention. But at the cottage this past weekend, Cole would always be chirping up with "Hi Unka Guy! Hi Unka Guy!" cheerily, be it at brunch or lounging on the dock or during croquet. "Hi Unka Guy!" in joyous surprise as if he'd just happened upon Uncle Jay in the market downtown as their paths crossed. Like they'd just bumped into each other at the corner store while picking up some milk for their respective families. If he was a bit taller, he'd pat his Uncle Jay on the back and add, "So nice to see you again!" or "Fancy meeting YOU here."
On a more somber note, we took the opportunity this weekend to spread my grandma's ashes in the forest behind the Loftus cottage. Laying her to rest near my grandpa's ashes was a family event. We all tramped off over an overgrown path, my dad in his tilley hat, ever the biologist and bushman, looking up at the trees to remember which one was "the white pine" marking Grandpa's resting place. It was my dad, with two dogs in tow, me with Cole hiked up on one hip, Mark behind me, all six feet seven inches of Connor (possibly more) wearing his big sun-shades, Diane casually carrying her cooler in one hand, Mary, Ben holding Isaac who was supposed to be napping, Frisbee racing circles around us, Aunt Jo, Uncle Rod, Kevin, Sara, Liz and of course, Uncle Jay. The biggest congregation of Loftii the cottage had seen in some moons.
Suddenly, my dad stopped and said, "This is the place."
We were standing in the middle of the forest. It could have been any place. And what a big faux-pas it would been to sprinkle grandma's last remains in the wrong location. Near the "other" white pine. But as we all gathered around, Uncle Kevin (or was it Rod) agreed, "Yup. This is the place."
Then Uncle Kevin, who had the of ashes asked us to kindly take a few steps to one side as we were standing on grandpa.
I guess we could call it a ceremony. That's what we'd been calling it up until then. Everyone who wanted to, took a handful of ashes and sprinkled them on the forest floor, and Aunt Jo said Grandma liked Silent night, so we tried to sing it, but most of us got choked up. But nothing formal or forced, just a nice moment for Grandma. No words needed to be said. Except, just as we were winding down, and everyone was feeling a bit heavy-hearted.......
Cole chirped up, "HI UNKA GUY!"