I have been told over the years that there have been many chapters of my life.
Silently I have agreed.
I have now reached my final chapter yet I would like to reminisce.
I guess you could say I am quite the adventurer and have always loved challenging myself on all levels.
I went by several monikers, Grumpa, Dad, Lawrence or Larry but I answered to all.
My soulmate Sue Lessard has always called me a romancer and dancer (Valentine’s baby) for as far back as I can remember, other names can sometimes get called into her vocabulary yet I shall not list in order to protect the innocent…me!
Rather than focusing on the jobs I have had over my lifetime which are merely tasks, I would prefer to talk about some but certainly not all of the adventures I have had that really speak to who I really am.
The jobs were merely a means to an end, it was the funding requirements for my many exploits and I have had a boatload of adventures.
My first true adventure at 19 yrs old occurred while working in the Arctic on the Dew Line during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early “60’s. Details of my youthful misadventure there involving overindulgence, jokesters, shaved head, and pride are Sue’s to tell.
In my 30’s I paddled the Moose River from Cochrane to Moosonee with a group of guys not once but twice. I need not remind anyone about the meat stash left hung overnight in a tree away from animals (which I was responsible for) only to remember it still hung there several paddling miles later…I must say I was not the most popular paddler on that trip…luckily this happened on the second trip.
In “79” I organized a 6-week summer camping expedition to Western Canada with 28 Nigerian exchange students and some faculty members from Northern College. What was I thinking?
I guess I wasn’t; however, we did learn a lot and so much so that we did another 6 week trip to the East Coast 2 yrs later.
What a great learning experience for all including the grey egg cartons boiling in a camp pot along with the breakfast eggs. I guess all were to go into the pot…YUCK!
My next great adventure in “94” was a 5 week South Asian Chinese New Year experience. The motorcycle adventure trying to get it into China was one I will never forget. My videos depict the excitement I experienced but does not bring forward the smells, good and bad. Sue encouraged me to go when invited and I am glad I took this great opportunity with close friends.
I so enjoyed visiting their families and friends throughout Asia who welcomed me as a member of their families.
In the mid “90’s I traveled to the Rocky Mountains with my new son-in-law Ron when he finally stated “ENOUGH”!
I guess my over-exuberance in regards to the many times doing this western trip was providing information overload to Ron in a confined car ride. Sorry, Ron…
For years I did catering after catering parties but the “coup de grassy” for me was catering the Macassa Mine 50th anniversary celebration and what a celebration that was. With most people in Kirkland Lake involved in some way or another, I bow to all for making this such an unbelievable event not only for Macassa Mine, the workers new and old, my family and friends, my catering staff and of course myself…what a great feat and feast!
There were years of camping trips with Sue across both coasts…it always amazed her how I could start a campfire in the rain or that the sleeping bag that had been saturated by the rain while stored in the Thule was always on her side…she never bought that story!
My many travels included the Arctic, the States, Europe, British Isles, Asia, and from coast to coast in Canada…I have been very fortunate to have had the adventure bug in me…” leave no roads unexplored” I always say.
I will leave my adventures and memories to those who have been along for the ride be it intermittent, short or with lifetime friends. When you think of me I will be wearing my overalls, flannel plaid shirt, cooking in the kitchen with the Toronto Star at hand.
Sue, who I have always loved and protected may our memories live as clearly today as they will tomorrow. Remember I will always be by your side… especially when you are blowing out “THOSE #@$%” underground garden hose lines.
My daughter Jennifer, I am so proud of you, take good care of yourself, your husband Ron, your children Ben, Alex (Bird), Aimée (Tulip) and your mother Lynne. I love you all.
To my family and friends that I have been part of or made over the years may you remember the part of me that was part of you, I will miss you all.
I am so glad I was part of this adventure and Sue I will see you on our next adventure…
I would like to thank family and friends who over the years have been there to love and support us.
A special thank you to Rae-Ann Bennett our physiotherapist, osteopath for bringing such care, compassion, and hope into our lives.
The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to Dr. Young, Dr. Doelman, Jennifer Ames, Stephanie Hargrave, and some of the nursing staff of the Owen Sound hospital for their care and compassion over the past several weeks… it has truly meant the world to us.
Celebration of Lawrence’s life will be held in the spring of 2022.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate that you remember Lawrence on your next adventure.