1. Paula Courage
    January 3, 2018 @ 11:04 pm

    Dearest Lori:

    I remember you wearing that full length pale blue corduroy skirt with the white lace trim when we were in grade 7. I remember it mostly because I was wearing it too. Furthermore, as if it were only yesterday, I recall your voice through the receiver as we studied the pages of the Sears catalogue over the phone. “I’ll order the blue plaid shirt and you order the pink one,” you said, “so we don’t look exactly the same.” How I chuckle at that today. As if the same shirt in a different shade worn with the exact same skirt on the exact same day was going to differentiate us. But we didn’t care. We ordered them, they came, and boy, did we wear them proudly and justly. At lunchtime that afternoon we rode on skateboards belonging to the cute guys. I am thinking they had a thing for the twinsies look!

    Some 30 years later, at your house in Ottawa just a few years ago, we got to go shopping with our daughters. That night the four of us dressed in our new spaghetti-strapped black dresses with denim jackets. We laughed and took photos and commented on how we can still dress alike together. Together, still, 30 years later. A little more tattered, a little more worn at the knees, but still pretty darned spiffy. Like an old favorite most-comfortable-ever-will-never throw-away sweater, you are a treasure to me. Here’s to matching granny gowns in our 90s! I love you.

  2. Jacky
    January 4, 2018 @ 4:24 am

    This will surprise you: one of my fondest memories of you is actually of your British Tank Corps leather vest. Remember that? I guess you would, since you packed it among the few things you were able to bring to Canada.

    It was brown and thick, dark and tough like your own skin. Sneaking into your bedroom closet to admire it, I inhaled the smells of leather…. and sweat and oil. Folded it to feel how thick and heavy it was. I loved its big flat round buttons.

    By the time I was tall enough and strong enough to have worn it, I was too busty to fasten those buttons. I was jealous of my brothers trying it on.

    Bet you never guessed that!

  3. Julie Tennis
    January 4, 2018 @ 6:51 am

    I remember you wearing a white suit with a white canvas hat like an inverted dog food dish. But I think that’s from a photograph. I don’t really remember what clothes you wore when you and your sea mates crawled out of the hatch on the back of that giant black metal tube floating in the water. What really sticks with me, the faintest of memories now, is of your green sea bag. I see that bag tossed onto the pier (is that a real memory?) and then I see it again at home, squishy with its own form, like a pillow. It’s full of your dirty laundry and it smells like “Daddy.” And daddy smelled like diesel and body odor after three months at sea, stuck underwater for weeks on end with several hundred other men, little ants busily milling about, keeping themselves alive in a submerged, oval, opaque ant condo. I still feel nostalgic at the smell of a diesel engine. The wafting fumes remind me of the magic of daddy coming home.

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