Sunday, April 29, 2012

In Memoriam

This week Living Loreto lost one of its most loyal readers - in fact I can say with certainty that she read my first posting in November of '08 and never missed one until last weekend.  My mother Alison passed away last Saturday at the fine age of 96 and her life ended with the gentle grace with which she had lived.

Alison loved Loreto, I happy to say that she visited me there twice.  She was our first visitor, along with my wife's Mother, at Christmas 2005, within a month of us taking possession of our home when there were only a couple of neighbours surrounding us in the first homes to be completed in the development.

Some of the highlights of that first visit was one of my first trips to San Javier, a sightseeing trip to Puerto Escondido spending time on the beach and around the pool at the Inn at Loreto Bay.  There were restaurant dinners in town and even the wedding of two friends from Calgary, on their first stay in their new home, the first Homeowners wedding to be celebrated in Loreto Bay!

On her second visit in February of 2009, accompanied by my sister Janice and her husband Tom, she marvelled at how much had changed in the four years since her first visit.  What had been a small cluster of completed houses, surrounded by the dust and confusion of construction had literally blossomed into a beautifully landscaped oasis with almost 400 homes connected by winding pathways and populated by hundreds of Homeowners and Visitors.  A vision that was held by a few hardy pioneers had turned into a real community that was continuing to evolve.

The scantily furnished house that we had just moved into for her first visit had become a comfortable home and almost all surrounding construction had been completed, so that the peaceful days were not interrupted by the noise and dust that had been part of the environment for the first few years.  As exciting as that first Christmas had been, it was gratifying to be able to show her what the (almost) finished community looked like - what had started out as our dream had become something even better in reality.

On her second visit I was now a "resident" and now able to show her "my" town of Loreto, taking her to my favorite places and introducing her to my growing circle of friends who live there; as opposed to the "tourist" I still was on her first visit.  Another big difference was the growth of the plants and trees
in the gardens and courtyard -but even more impressive was the growing landscaping bordering the homes and pathways stretching for acres around us.

I know that some of Mother's strongest impressions of Loreto were from the skies above.  I remember walking from my house down to the beach with her at sunset one evening when there was some high cloud cover and the entire sky was pastel pink from the light cast by the sun setting behind the mountains.  It felt like we were standing inside a giant Conch shell, bathed in a pink mother of pearl glow.  She could never get over the night sky in Loreto as well.  She had never seen so many stars so close before, so much so that it was almost frightening to her - if it hadn't been so breathtakingly beautiful!

I remember taking her whale watching to Magdelena Bay on that second trip - this was a 93 year old woman out on an open panga boat on a windy day chasing whales and watching the mothers play with their babies just feet from our boat - with a smile on her face as she was sprayed with seawater.

With all the memories of my Mother's visits to Loreto, what stands out most to me is that, having been there, she understood why I loved it so much, and why I wanted so much to call it my home.  Even more importantly it was OK with her that I have spent most of the past five years thousands of kilometers away - as long as when I wasn't in Loreto, I was spending time with her in Calgary.

So I am dedicating this Blog to my Mother Alison, my first, and always most loyal reader - I phoned her on Skype every Sunday morning, right after I published that week's posting, and usually we talked about what I had written, but I tried to keep some of the story back so she could read it fresh, which she did every week when that call was over. 

I won't be making that call this Sunday, so I am dedicating this Blog posting to her memory -

Via con Dios, Alison