My family lived on a Ranch full time from 1993 until 2015. We were a 5th generation family farm.
I am writing this blog to share my experiences living there. It is best to read the blog chronologically by going through the archives, starting with the introduction in January of 2010.
The blog starts with the arrival of my great-grandparents to the farm in 1947 and will follow the families to the present.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Happy Ending


I am starting on the fourth year of writing the story of my life on our family ranch. That seems like a long time to me, and I have covered a lot of ground over the years and have many more stories to tell.

I choose the title of the story, Edmond's Bastion, as a way of recognizing the strength and courage that my father imparted to my family when we lived on this farm together. Those were really the "good old days". My children have a deep understanding of family and friends and holding on tight to values and integrity when life pulls you down into the deep waters of grief. I consider them all young adults now and their beauty and goodness is testimony to our lives together. A bastion is also a fortress, a refuge, and for many years, our ranch, in the shadow of Bastion Mountain, has been that. Family, friends and our volunteers from Willing Workers on Organic Farms all have commented on the serenity and welcoming nature of our home.
Very tragically it is no longer a bastion, a refuge, for me. I don't feel that sense of peace as I approach what I always considered the start of the farm, with the hills rolling down towards the lake. I have become a refugee in what was once my home.

The beginning of the farm, the view that I would see and feel intense joy. We used this image for our wedding invitations.

I had discussed possible endings for this tale with my father's sister, Michele, a couple of years ago. She asked that I create a fictional ending where everyone lived happily ever after as I think she already sensed that the reality of our situation would be very challenging to endure.
I didn't agree with her at the time but now I see the wisdom in her suggestion and have decided to end this story in her words, with the last letter she wrote to me.

A portion of the letter that I have translated below;

Hermance, February 03 2011

Dear Caroline

When your parents came to Geneva I had the good fortune to see my brother arrive at the hour of breakfast. It was the only real moments of intimacy between us to share all that had filled our lives. I heard all his worries about the price of cattle and the state of the machines. The strongest memories were hearing him speak of his children, their progress in their studies - he was so proud of your both. He hoped that David would finally be in a good situation because of his diploma and you he always knew you would be there with a solution, to bring relief and help. At your marriage he took Brent into his heart. He believed in your love for each other. I was at the farm a few times before the death of your father and I saw how precious you were to them and how much they relied on you both - how thankful that you were there.
I saw also that your father had confidence in Brent, that he was reassured to know that Brent was learning more and more about farming and was committed to the farm.
This period of sadness at the end of your father's life was also a time where love will help overcome your trials.
You are a strong family.
Dear, I hope that good things will arrive, that your children are happy, and your friends bring smiles and that Brent is kept warm.
I love you, Michele.

Our wedding day - walked down the "aisle" with both parents.

Eddy and his granddaughter, Marlee, 1997.

May everyone be happy.
Remember it is just a story.



Grant J Venables said...

There's a wonderful sadness, there. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful...eloquently written with both a sadness & an honour in the landscape of words left here. I look forward to the next chapter of your metaphorical pen to paper :) Alex