Uncle Ron and Aunt Gerri at Ron's retirement dinner in June 2009.

After another epic journey with very little sleep and bad plane food, I made it back at home in Regina. I’ve been back for a week and it is glaring how different life is here than in Sri Lanka.

Some things I immediately noticed:
-There are no stray dogs or elephants on the streets.
– It seems eerily quiet.
– I’m not taking my life into my own hands every time I walk across the street.
– I’m not covered in a layer of sweat.

Some things I’ve really enjoyed since arriving:
– cereal and decent coffee for breakfast
– curling up under a comforter in a large bed
– running outside in the fresh air
– having a couple Crown and Coke’s (special thanks to Rene for making sure these were immediately available to me)

This trip back home is one full of emotions for me. My aunt Gerri has been fighting a battle with ALS for the past two years and yesterday she passed away. The whole family is in town and there is no place I’d rather be right now. We have been so fortunate to have Gerri in our lives. She truly was one of those people who radiated kindness towards everyone. Even throughout her illness, she was upbeat, showing her compassion for others and keeping her sense of humour. I was lucky enough to visit her every day since I’ve been back. One of the days when I had my dad with me and he told one of his infamously bad jokes (this one featuring a “buxom blond”), she gave a big thumbs down! Don’t worry Gerri, I have only allowed my dad the use of 20 puns during my entire trip home and I plan to keep track on a huge checklist posted on the kitchen table right next to his 13 other “to do” checklists.

Death is not an easy topic to address and most of us like to avoid talking about it at all. We don’t know what to say or do in these delicate situations. To be honest, I don’t think there really is a right thing to say or do, but I’m so thankful to have such a close family that supports one another. Through teary eyes and laughter, we will help one another through this.

We all love you Aunt Gerri and will always carry you in our hearts.