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Love and Memory at the Lake

July 15th, 2012


My husband Jim and I met and married ‘up at the lake’ as we call our summer place in the Quebec Laurentians.  Jim’s parents met and married at the lake too.  Our grandparents were part of a group of friends, all english Montrealers, who bought property at the lake in the early 1920s and built houses that still stand today.  But the lake romances didn’t end with our families – my next door neighbour at the cottage married Jim’s next door neighbour too.  We joke about something in the water that makes us love-struck, but the truth is that we grew up in the days when we spent summer holidays as teenagers at the lake.  Summer romances sometimes blossom into something more, especially when courting in the canoe under the stars.  Jim and I had our 35th wedding anniversary this year.
I am writing this post at the lake – I wanted to write today about disability, but somehow I cannot bring myself to nudge my heart and soul out of the peacefulness that is here at a cottage full of memories and love.  The essence of this place is that memories of love and family are intermingled with being in the natural world.  We drink our lake water – the air is scented with pine.

Caregivers often wonder how to ease the stress and worries of caring for someone vulnerable.  People who give care need to cared for too and my experience is that finding a place where memory, love and nature converge is very, very comforting.

DONNA THOMSON began her career as an actor, director and teacher. But in 1988, when her son Nicholas was born with severe disabilities, Donna embarked on her second career as a disability activist, author and consultant.  In her book, “THE FOUR WALLS OF MY FREEDOM”, (McArthur and Co., September, 2010) available on Amazon, Donna examines her personal family experience through the lens of Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach and a wellbeing index created by Sabina Alkire, co-creator of the Bhutan Happiness Index.

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