Canadian cousins coming out of the woodwork

I love that Mum’s blog is still doing what she set it up for, three years after she died.

Mum wanted a place to share her family research publicly, so that it would be immortalised and be there for generations to come. She wanted there to be a place for her family to go when they were interested in particular members of the family, to find out what their special place in our family was.

She wanted stories that were buried years ago to be brought in to the open so we could all learn from them.

How fantastic that in the last couple of weeks two separate cousins via our fascinating Canadian Connection, have been researching Crout’s and been led to me, via Mum’s blog.

The photo above is of Leslie Eden Crout (Les).  He was one of the half brother of my Grandad’s, same father, different mother.

The two people who contacted me are both connected to Les.

One lives in Brooklyn and is Les’ grandson.

The other one lives in Canada and is the descendant of Andrew, Les’ wife’s brother.

Both of their heads are spinning now I’ve told them how Les had a half brother, Harry Scarborough Crout, who was for years older than Les and lived in England with his mother. He then went to Australia when he was 16. and stayed on after his mother passed away three years later and then ended up marrying my Nana. It is taking a while for it to all make sense to them, which is understandable. As I said to them, I’ve had years of processing, to get to this point.

Geez, it’s a bit scarey that how these Canadian Cousins all fit together is making so much sense to me now. I really am turning in to my mother! I know she’d be rapt.

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Stace – two years without you

My friend for almost 38 years, my partner in everything hilarious for the last three of those years, you have been gone now for two.

So much laughter and happiness left my life the day I said my final goodbye to you.

I am lucky to be able to still hear your laugh when my mind is still and I concentrate.

So much has happened and so much is different now. I miss your family who I also saw regularly over those last three years. I imagined that I would still see them, except for Glenn and very occasionally Jess and Jayden, I don’t. I hold Glenn’s friendship close and make sure I keep in contact with him. I’m really glad that my friendship with him has grown from just being about my bond with you. We are bonded by Jay and Bruce now as well as our own long history, thanks to you.

Thanks to that phone call you made to him in high school, pretending to be Allison Hayes asking if he liked you. Thank God you made that phone call and brought him in to my life.

Jayden is working and Jess has gone out on her own, standing on her own two feet. I know you would be proud of them as you always were.

Vikki and Adam have moved in to a great little place – you would be so happy to see her so happy there.

Your Mum and Dad are moving to Victor. A massive thing for your family, leaving the family home (finally) and moving somewhere that makes them happy. I’m so pleased for them.

Glenn is working – too hard. He needs to keep busy, to keep moving to keep his mind away from thinking too much and getting too blue. He’s finding his way, in his way. He’s about the only one that I feel like I am able to keep my promise to you to look after for you.

Rachel and Jim have been travelling a lot and loving it by the looks of the photos.

The rest are finding their own way to look after themselves.

We all miss you. The void you have left is huge and the glue that held us all together – you – is gone. Things are very different.

I remember Stace. I remember all the fun, the laughter, the happy tears streaming down our cheeks, the sad ones occasionally escaping, your octopus arms, Sandra being too nice to strange people in the hospital.

I have a new person who has come in to my life who kept throwing me the other day by saying “REALLY?!” in EXACTLY the way you said it – over and over. It made me smile, but it made me ache inside.

I love you friend.

Kathleen Mary Crout – love you Nana

Ten years ago today, I lost my very much loved Nana and my Mum lost her much loved Mum and became an orphan.

Mum and I sat with Nana and held her hand as she passed away peacefully, in my mind. Mums experience was that it was a terrible passing – that Nana wasn’t given sufficient morphine to keep her fully sedated.  That always made me uneasy that our experiences and memories were so different. It made me sad that it tortured Mum so much and I never really knew how to discuss it with Mum without feeling as though I was challenging her.

Three years and two months ago, I then held my Mum’s hand as she took her last breath. Hers was not a peaceful passing, lung cancer will do that. Struggling to get sufficient air in to your lungs is scary and trying to find a comfortable position is exhausting. Thankfully it was quick, but Mum was nowhere near as settled as Nana was and it plays on my mind that if Mum thought Nana’s passing was terrible, I really hope she wasn’t tortured in her final hours.

One VERY big difference was that Mum was not deserted in the years leading up to her death by her closest family. She was the lifeblood of our family, right there in the centre. She knew it and she loved it. Her kids were her greatest achievement, her greatest joy and her best friends. She had a deep and loving bond with her son and daughters “in-love” and she was adored by all of her four grandchildren. And we were all there in the room with her in her final hours (except for Lisa who was overseas) and most of us were in the room when she took her last breath. She made sure of it –  she waited for my husband to make it from the other side of town and 15 minutes before her last breath when Cullen and I were out if the room, she knew her time was coming and she called for us.

I tell myself that wasn’t a tortured passing. She was able to be conscious right up to the last moments – so she could wait for Bruce and call for her kids when she needed to. She was in a lot of pain and had been for hours, but she had found a way to transcend the pain, so she chose not to ask for drugs. I have wondered why we didn’t push for morphine to make  her difficulty in breathing less traumatic for her, but things happen the way they should and she wanted to be present in mind and choose when to go, which could be quicker than if drugs dulled her senses.

This was going to be a post about Nana – on the 10th anniversary of her passing, remembering her and what an amazingly strong woman she was and how she influenced my life. I miss my Nana, but bloody hell I miss my Mum more. I guess this was supposed to be a post about both of them and how 10 years ago we had to learn to live without Nana and then seven years later, I had to learn to live without my Mum.

I wish I had’ve talked to Mum more about her experience of losing her Mum. How difficult it was for her and how she felt.

But then again, maybe I didn’t want to face it. Now that I know how painful it is to lose the most important person in your life, maybe I actually couldn’t have coped with what she would have told me back then. I think she knew that and that’s why she didn’t talk to me about it.

I love you Nana and I love you Mum.

Two amazing women.

Much loved, and greatly missed.