Sunny, cloudy, rainy. Temps 25
Pat and her dog Magic left today. Very sad. But we had a great time. After Sunday's Spa day (now look less like a lobster and more like a rose - a ruddy rose) we went to visit the abbey at Saint Benoit du lac. Benedictine abbey. Wonderful. I mention it sometimes in the books. Their vocation is to made cheese and sing Gregorian chants. Ironically, for men who chose to isolate themsevles from the world, they became world-famous for their chants and now people travel from all over to hear them. Eventually they surrendered to their success and have opened a little store, where they sell their cheese, as well as the produce from other Quebec monestaries - most notably the Trappist Brothers at Mistassini - whose vocation is....chocolate making.
Dear Lord! the best chocolate in the world. Yum, yum.
We spent 45 minutes in the shop, and 5 minutes in the chapel. Though, have to say, I really like the chapel. It's very austere and not every one likes it, but I find it restful. And when the brothers come in in their long black robes chanting, it's electrifying. But we weren't there at a service time.
Pat bought us salmon dinners from a local caterer and we had a quiet, relaxing evening at home.
This morning early, though, I had a call from our beloeved sister-in-law, Mary in Toronto with the sad news that her father had died.
Don Lingman - a gentle soul who'd suffered a stroke years earlier and struggled with that. Then was diagnosed with cancer. Still, his decline was so rapid it took their breaths away. mary called in torrents of tears.
So we're cancelling everything and heading to Toronto for the visitation Thursday and the funeral Friday.
So hard to lose a parent, no matter what age. And her children, Brian, Roz and Charlie (the guys who visit us) were so loving and strong. Hugging their grandfather, wiping his brow, whispering they love him. Imagine having the courage to do that at age 10, 12 and 13?
Remarkable kids - with an amazing mother. And father. And grandfather.
Am off now. Need to re-group a little. Had to cancel tea with Bal and Linda Mount on Thursday - but they're coming over briefly this afternoon with their daughter Bethany. So looking forward to seeing them.
Also needed to cancel lunch with Bernard and Pat Lemieux. Michael worked with them on the Neuroblastoma study. They invited us to lunch, then Michael was going to tour the lab again and talk to Bernard about the research...all in aid of Michael's book. So we're disappointed about missing that - but it can and will be re-scheduled. The main thing in our lives now is to get to TO.
have a phone interview with Chatelaine magazine tomorrow - but that's before we leave.