Beloved aunt’s funeral a day to remember


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My aunt Claire, Mom’s sister, was a beautiful, vivacious woman with a sense of fun and adventure. That is, until an accident several years ago changed her life forever.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/09/2015 (2820 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

My aunt Claire, Mom’s sister, was a beautiful, vivacious woman with a sense of fun and adventure. That is, until an accident several years ago changed her life forever.

She passed away last January, and as per her wish, her ashes were to be buried next to her parents in Ashern. The day of the service and burial, Aug. 28, started out with a thunderstorm that gave way to a beautiful, sunny late summer day.

My parents had driven to Winnipeg from Edmonton a couple of days earlier, and when it was time to make the drive to Ashern, Dad handed my husband the keys to the Cadillac, and off we went.

And then it happened — the Caddy died. Right there on Route 90.

My husband steered the car into the driveway of a business, JCV Mechanical, and that was it. Kaput. Nothing. The car would not start again, despite leaving Edmonton with a clean bill of health.

I entered JCV to ask to use their phone book so I could call our mechanic. The fellow behind the desk was kind enough to look up the number online for me. Our mechanic had taken the day off, so he wasn’t available to help us. Dad couldn’t get through to CAA on his phone, and it appeared we were not going to make it to the service on time, if at all.

Just as we were standing there trying to figure out our next option, Wayne Gerry, an engineer with JCV, stopped beside us and asked about our dilemma. Still feeling the effects from his own recent loss, he took pity on us and offered us his truck to go to Ashern.

“And take your time,” he said.

As he was taking out a few essentials from his truck, the aforementioned fellow from behind the desk offered to drive us to our destination. Then a motorist, another stranger, pulled into the driveway and asked if we needed help. There was also the gal who helped push the car. This was all in the span of 10 minutes.

We made it to Ashern a half-hour late, but the priest, having heard of our predicament, sent a message saying he would defer until we arrived. All went well; it was a lovely service. Then, we headed back down to Winnipeg under the light of a blood-red sun later replaced by a red, full moon. We parked beside the Cadillac, and just as we were dialing Wayne, he showed up seemingly out of nowhere. He had also figured out what was wrong with the car, and we were able to get back home.

A big thank you to everyone who helped us on our eventful day: the fellow behind the desk, the motorist, the gal who helped push, Rev. Darius, and especially Wayne. Hugs to all.

And to my aunt: Tante Claire, we felt your presence on that day and couldn’t help but smile and think you may have had a hand in the day’s events so it would be one to remember. Nice one.

— Claire L. Corley

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