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.