Missing marriage licence needed after death of spouse

In Ontario, Canada before one is eligible to collect Canadian Pension benefits after the death of a spouse-one must fill out an application and submit the death certificate of the deceased as well as the marriage licence to the government. My dear D. passed away near the beginning of May,  just shy of our celebrating fifty years of marriage. Over those nearly fifty years many things got misplaced or lost. It didn’t help that a few years previous we had downsized from a house to a condo. Our marriage certificate was one of those things that couldn’t be found. I didn’t realize it couldn’t be found until I started to look for it.I looked high and low and low and high–in cupboards, and drawers and shelves, and in D’s office that I had closed and relocated to our living room, and in our locker room and in box’s stashed from sight under our bed. But alas, to no avail.  It had simply disappeared.

Finally my accountant { a family friend} advised that I should apply for a copy of the  document. This proved to be a lengthy time consuming process and one that involved, after contacting the correct government division, filling out a long application and paying a fee for this service. Once the application was received it took 15 business days to process which translated into a little over there weeks. Finally at last it arrived. It was mailed back to the government  and I breathed a sigh of relief . Ah- at last one more thing I could cross off  my list of multiple tasks to be done after the loss of a family member.

That afternoon I was in D’s den or man cave, looking for a spot to store some memorabilia that I had brought home from his office. I opened a cupboard. There were some books and a smallish  plastic storage container labeled business papers that I had not bothered to open.I  don’t know why, but I decided to open it that afternoon. There nestled among some ancient bank statements was the elusive marriage licence. “Why- Me ?”  I am still waiting to see if I will receive any benefits. I now plan to put our original marriage licence in a safe and accessible place to trigger cherished memories of our fifty years together.


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We survived after eating wild mushroom puffball soup

E.p. Snider's photo.
The above is a photo of the little brother of the giant puffball mushroom that we picked and cooked at the cottage. It made a delicious mushroom stir fry and a mellow soup to feed seven.A Google research indicated it was an edible mushroom, but never the less we were all relived when we woke up the following morning alive and well.
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Spotted in cottage country in Ontario in January

Photo: Gibson Lake road sighting. Gorgeous

This Photo was taken in January by a neighbour near our cottage. Beautiful animal, but I wouldn’t like to meet one on a walk. I prefer my kittens a little smaller. I wasn’t sure exactly what animal they are but thanks to google I am pretty sure they are Canadian lynx {or is it lynxes?}


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Dear D.

It has been almost a month since your passing.  Writing to you is therapeutic for me. I have been experiencing so many different emotions. I am SAD, I am MAD and I am GLAD.

I am SAD that you are no longer with me. I miss hearing your voice. I miss seeing you sitting in your chair  in your man cave, watching television with a bag of chips at your side. I miss how you tried to hide your stash of chips from the grand children– they found it every time. I even miss wiping the bagel crumbs off the kitchen cupboard every time I walk into the kitchen. I miss our heated discussions as to whether the toilet seat should be left up or down. I am SAD that we will not be doing things together and if I travel in the future, you won’t be at my side. I am SAD that I am grieving and that  our children lost a father and that our grandchildren lost a grandfather. I remember when my father died when I was 16, everybody said that I had to look after my mother. I remember thinking “yes, but who is going to look after me?” I am sad that our friends and relatives are also mourning. You touched the lives of so many people .

I am MAD that you are no longer with me. I am MAD that I now have to pay the bills and mange household expenses. I am MAD that I am left to deal with all the everyday occurrences and I am MAD that I  have to deal with the “WHY ME—G-D ? occurrences. Yes there have been some. A little more than a week ago the fire alarms from the building were activated at midnight. A somewhat panicked voice came over the speaker system telling everyone that an emergency situation had occurred and to remain calm, stay in your suite and wait for further instructions. Further instructions were a long time coming. The sirens continued for two hours. I was glad that two of our neighbours called me for moral support. An announcement was made stating that all was clear. I was going to go back to bed when I heard noise outside our door. Two workman were there with a suction machine trying to dry out the wet carpeting. They told me that a pipe had burst a few floors up and that the water was making its way down. It knocked out the elevator closest to our suite, knocked out the communication system and set off the alarms. I was relieved that no water came into our condo. But wait– that’s not the end of the story.

The next evening I was at our daughters for dinner. I returned home at 9:30, only to find that the three  elevators were not working. Water somehow found its way into the other two working elevators. I walked up multiple flights of stairs to our place. The knees and lungs aren’t what they used to be. I was exhausted. Security checked to make sure I reached my destination safely. I became aware that several condo units in our line sustained water damage. I was told by management that they were going to check my apartment. Sure enough some of the floor boards were buckling.They removed some of the wooden  boards and ran blowers and a dehumidifier for three days in an effort to prevent mould and mildew from forming. it appears that all our floors may have to be replaced because they have discontinued our flooring and we will be unable to match up  the damaged area. It looks like there is water damage behind one wall. Management is planning to break open that wall to see what is going on. Our insurance has a large deductible and the renewal rates will go up drastically. But thankfully no one was injured.

I am GLAD  for the continuation of love and support that I  am receiving. I am GLAD for the memories and the stories friends and family tell of time spent with you. Nobody had a bad word to say about you. Interestingly, a number of your friends and buddies said they considered you to be their best friend.I am GLAD that you are at peace and that you went quickly and didn’t suffer. I am GLAD that you are no longer struggling to breathe. How hard it must have been for you to slow down the past few years. You were always so active and on the go and took advantage of what life had to offer. I no longer  check to see if you are breathing. I no longer am in constant fear that you will suffer a heart attack or stroke. I am no longer in fear that death will find you. The worst has happened. Rest in peace my soulmate.

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What a beautiful day :)The view from the “office”! What a beautiful day :

The view from the "office"! What a beautiful day :)





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MY DARLING D –I miss you so

The past few years I have been focused on your health. I was always conscious if you were experiencing shortness of breath and concerned if you would have enough energy to carry through the days  agenda. I know you thought I was a nudge, a nag and carrying on like an over protective mother hen. You were right. Yes–I was so focussed on your health issues that I lost sight of what a truly remarkable person you were. Your unique qualities were rekindled in my mind from the outpouring of love and the abundance of  comments, emails, telephone calls and posts left on the funeral chapels web site, all extolling your virtues. Everyone has their special fond memories about you. You touched so many lives–the old , the very young and everybody in between. Even dogs gravitated to you. Your warm smile, your mischievous grin, your infectious laugh, your trusting non judgemental nature, your empathy, were qualities that were reiterated by many.

Oh sure; you weren’t perfect. You loved to kibbutz and you were a bit of a bluffer and an instigator, a little stubborn and you chose to be ignorant about your health issues and how a washing machine works. I think these imperfections made you even more endearing.

We had a good life together along with our children, adored grand children , relatives and friends. D., I cancelled the venue that we had booked for a very special party that was in the planning stage. No, there won’t be a big bash celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, However we will be celebrating together in my heart. D. we will never be apart, because you will always be in my heart. I love you .


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   Once we were snowflakes. We spent many years flitting in and out of the usually sunny state when we visited my husbands parents. Gradually as our children grew older and we had more spare time, we vacationed for longer periods of time in Florida. Now we are officially snowbirds. For the past two years we have spent the winter months down south.
   A snowbirds life is a good life. This year was an exceptionally good life, because we birdies escaped the record breaking horrendous winter conditions that hit Toronto and much of North America. Conditions were so bad that many of our friends and relatives who normally cocoon for the winter in Canada became snow flakes and flitted down for a week or two. We birds welcomed the flakes with open arms or should I say wings. When snowbirds have guests, we play the role of tour guide and do touristy things, even though we may have done them multiple times before. It is a special treat when our children and grandchildren come to visit. We look forward to their visits with abated breath. When they arrive we abandon our usual routine and our time is devoted entirely to our family. When they leave we collapse from exhaustion. The exhaustion lasts for two full days. You have to be young to have kids.Hopefully our family will visit again next year, even though it will probably take us three days to recuperate because we will be another year older.
    People often ask us what snowbirds do in Florida for such an extended time. A lot of time is spent driving on I-95 {a dreadful highway in my opinion } to visit snow bird friends and relatives who stay in other parts of the state. I -95  is the quickest route to get to Boca, Boynton and Beyond from where we reside near Fort Lauderdale. We have learned the Florida custom of honking ones horn and using hand gestures when driving. It is interesting that many of the cars appear to be driverless. This is an illusion. It is just that many of the drivers are very short. They probably have difficulty seeing over the steering wheel and thus honk their horns to warn the other drivers on the road to get the hell out of their way.
     We do much of the same stuff in Florida that we do in Toronto. We do laundry, shop for groceries, tidy our condo or apartment and nag our husbands to dispose of the garbage and recyclables. Those early risers who walk or work out in the morning at home tend to do the same when they are in the south.Those who normally play golf will play golf. We go to movies, the theatre, museums  galleries and concerts. We also play card and board games, attend lectures and many take courses from a Florida University. We attend religious events and sporting events. It is fun to attend a Raptor game or a Maple Leaf game, especially if our home team wins. A bonus – tickets are easier to obtain and cost a lot less. In the past we have attended the Blue Jays spring training sessions in Dunedin Florida.
     The weather is much more user friendly. We enjoy the luxury of sunbathing and swimming in a heated pool. Dips in the ocean are fun and walks along the beach are wonderful, as are the sunsets and sunrises. There are outdoor art festivals or antique shows nearly every weekend.
   Then there are the casinos. Unfortunately some of us are getting addicted to the penny slot machines.The name penny slots is misleading, because most machines require you to play a minimum of 40 lines which costs 40 cents every time you press the play button, This makes them more costly than the quarter machines. Shopping is another addiction. How can one resist the temptation to buy when one is inundated with sales, coupons, promotions, tourist discounts and more. We are lured to designer outlet stores and flea markets, My husband is known as the coupon king. We can’t understand why the more money we save, the more money we spend.
    We meet and converse with interesting and dynamic people, who have travelled or moved to Florida from different parts the world. What a wonderful way to broaden our horizons. It is wonderful to have the luxury of being a snowbird. The very best part of snow birding is coming home and being greeted warmly by family, friends and neighbours. Yes -home is the best place to be.
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