Family Ties

Parenting, Personal / Thursday, December 6th, 2018

When my daughter was born she had three great-grandparents and four grandparents ready and excited to meet her. She had a Great-Grandpa Joe and a Grandpa Joe and her Daddy, Joe.

She had two Grandpas, one whose given name was Thomas but he always went by his middle name, and one whose middle name was Thomas and that’s what he always went by.

Her Grandpa Tom was born on December 6, the same day as the Halifax Explosion, which her Grandpa Joe spent the majority of his career studying. Her Grandpa Tom was an engineer, on his birthday in 1989, 14 women were killed for being women in a man’s place, at the engineering school in Montreal’s École Polytechnique.

Today would have been Grandpa Tom’s 72 birthday, but he died on December 3.

He is the third death in the family this year, and just like that my baby girl is down to one great-grandpa and two grandmas to love her.

It had been, as the Queen would say, an annus horribilis. There is no recovery here, there is only moving forward, remembering. There is no normal this Christmas, there is only family.


One Reply to “Family Ties”

  1. Hello Amy,

    This will come as a bit of a shock, but I believe my Nigerian father (also called “Joe”, short for Josiah) was classmates with your granddad at Carleton University, Ottawa in 1955-1956.

    He was actually the first Nigerian ever to attend Carleton University, and he often spoke about his dear friend Joe Scanlon. I’ve spent today trying to find and connect with any of Joe’s family members, and I believe you might be his granddaughter?!

    Please let me know, and my sincere apologies if it turns out I’m wrong.



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