Thanks to many for their crucial support

It was good to hear the strains of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to know that last year was well and truly over.

I seldom quote the Queen Of England, but 2018 was really an ‘Annus Horribilis’ for me. My wife Susan died in Nanaimo hospital a year ago on Jan. 10, just five weeks short of her 82nd birthday, and my own health challenges seemed to follow one after the other all year.

Had no idea that grief could be so painful, now in the process of building a tougher shell around myself, although the feelings of loss, loneliness, lethargy and listlessness still linger inside, probably forever. Having no family of my own, except a 101 year-old aunt in UK, I would like to publicly thank those who have helped me survive.

Susan’s extended family has been wonderful; communications from nieces and nephews in UK and U.S., and especially the frequent phone chats from those nieces and nephews in her homeland of Trinidad, have kept me going. My good buddy Patrick has been a rock in driving me to hospitals in Nanaimo and Port Alberni on several occasions where all medical personnel have been so caring and sympathetic, and Patrick helped me navigate through some treacherous shoals in the grieving process.

The wonderful gesture from Cathy and Peter for the use of their boat to scatter Susan’s ashes at French Creek will never be forgotten.

So many cyber-friends who keep in constant touch by email, and so many cashiers at businesses in Parksville whom we have come to know over the years have been so very empathetic.

Outstanding among them is Lois at Quality Foods, who took it upon herself to give me frequent helpings of her homemade soup to sustain me; what a wonderful gesture from a wonderful lady.

I appreciate this opportunity to thank all those who have helped me during this most difficult time, and must include my little macaw Chico; if it were not for his raucous calls there are many days I simply wouldn’t have gotten out of bed.

Bernie Smith

Parksville

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