Through my mother I inherited a book of my grandfather’s called Life and Adventures of a Pioneer by Hugh A. Campbell. My mother’s Caswell family — my great-grandparents and their son, my grandfather — were indeed pioneers and the book is, in part, a tale of the kind of experiences they faced in Northern Ontario over the last century as the north was “opening up.”
I pulled the book off the shelf last week to show something to Oliver and it opened to the epilogue, which I’d never read before; I struck me both as the saddest epilogue I’d ever read.
Just as this manuscript is completed, Flossie and I have been on a two week trip beginning with the wedding of our adopted granddaughter. We motored through Northern Ontario visiting old friends at Cochrane, Kapuskasing, Matachewan and Elk Lake.
On Friday, August the twenty-second, we arrived at our son’s home in North Bay to spend the week-end and had intended to leave on Monday for our home in Newmarket.
On Saturday, Flossie was feeling fine and as my son’s family were going to Trout Lake to swim, I decided to have a sleep but Flossie said she was going with the family for an outing to the lake. All was well and she enjoyed the outing but on her arrival home, she took a heart attack and died five minutes later.
Here is the sad ending of our fifty-seven years of married life. She lived a full and active life but now we must part and I realize and know that I will have many hurdles to cross without her love and encouragement.
As it is God’s will that she should leave me, I will carry on and endeavour to do my best, as we both did over our long and happy years together.
A sad ending to the story, yes, but ending with a note of resigned hope. The book is an interesting read if you every come across it.