Laugh and love

by Carlie Kearns

My first thoughts of Auntie Doris are her smiling face and laugh. For me she was a bright light and a loving presence. I would often walk over to visit Catherine after school or on a Saturday and Auntie Doris was always there, and I always felt welcome. When I was a young girl, I would attend church with their family. I was squished into their car along with their 6 children (or perhaps Tan wasn’t born yet) and I never felt I was an imposition.

I remember riding Champ (an ornery Shetland pony we were boarding) and happened to be just past their house when he bucked me off. I guess I was knocked unconscious, but I do remember seeing Uncle Jim jump on the horse to teach it a lesson about how it should be behaving and Aunt Doris checking me over and taking care of me for the day. They were both
very concerned and caring in their own way.

I was over at their house when Auntie Doris came home from Vancouver after being away for weeks -perhaps it was when she was having thyroid problems. Uncle Jim had put a toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom for her. It was a metal dispenser of little squares of thin paper. She was laughing and appreciating his effort to get something finished while explaining maybe toilet paper rolls would be better. In that instance what I remember most was her warm laughter and the love between them.

When I was having some health problems in my 30’s, Meighan and I were visiting my parents. Aunt Doris invited us for lunch and because I was avoiding gluten, she made buckwheat pancakes for lunch. They were delicious but what was even more nourishing was the love at the table and the grace she and Uncle Jim said before the meal. I will always have heartwarming memories of both Auntie Doris and Uncle Jim.