Saturday, November 25, 2006

Remembering Simon

Today is the 40th anniversary of my grandfather's death. He died too young, and many of his grandchildren never knew him. His was the first death in the family that I remember, and the first funeral I attended.
Grandad came from Holland to Canada in the early 1920's and his extended family suffered greatly in both world wars. He always appreciated the freedom we have in this country. Family members have told me what a congenial, fun loving man he was.
I have a fun memory of him sitting in an old wooden cradle outside his art and antiques store, his arms and legs sticking out at odd angles, with a big grin on his face.
He was an artist, but it was a difficult way to make a living during the depression and war years. I remember the store he had north of Toronto where he gave art lesson and sold picture frames and antiques. He painted this lovely winter scene that hangs in my living room.
In the Bible, forty years is considered to be a generation. It is hard to believe that one full generation has passed since he died. How do remember someone who has been gone that long, who some of the family have never met at all?
His three children who are living remember first hand growing up with their father. Their personalities and parenting skills were influenced by the way they were raised.
We have some of his art work and several of his descendants have inherited his artistic abilities.
One of my brothers has his hairline, face shape and body build. Family members see Grandad re-emerging as my brother gets older.
Grandad had a strong faith in God and that faith is evident in others as well.
What will people remember about us when we have been gone for a generation? Our past is an integral part of our present. How important it is that our attitudes and actions leave inspiring and positive memories for present and future generations.

In memory of Simon Tolman,
father of Melvin, David, Lois and Ruth
December 10, 1904 - November 25, 1966.

He is still in our thoughts and memories.


  1. What a lovely post. Your grandfather looked like a nice person...warm eyes, nice smile.
    One of my grandfathers died when my Mom was 9, my other one died when I was 9.
    I never knew the first one, obviously, but I missed my Grandpa K very much.
    You know what Alex Haley said, "When an old person dies, it's like a library burning down."

  2. Thank you Ruth for that wonderful tribute to a Grandpa you mostly knew through the mouths of others. He truly would have enjoyed and loved each of his grandchildren

  3. Family is so important, and so is family history, I soak up all posts (and photos) you make like this. thank you for sharing the history with my generation.

  4. Forgot to type in my last comment - so who is everyone in that last photo?

  5. Susan-I love the quote at the end of your comment! How I would love to access those libraries of memories...

    Oma- Thanks for all the family history you have shared with me and for the work you have done to record so much of it

    Jaspenelle- I could see you and the becka working with your great grandfather in his store. I emailed you some other information.


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