I've been a little absent from the blogging world and social media lately. A few weeks ago, Brian's beloved mother, Rose, passed away very suddenly. I'm sure you can imagine the toll it's taken on everybody: lots of time has been spent at Brian's place, supporting his family through this difficult time, later nights, lots of food and family present, and the occasional glass of white wine in ode to Rose (Barefoot was her favourite). I took some time off work to help the O'Neills out and have just been starting to get back into a "regular" routine this past week. This whole time has felt very surreal for all of us who knew and loved Rose. Brian and his family are very lucky for all the support they have received from family and friends and I know they are all extremely grateful for it.
Rose was a wonderful, one-of-a-kind person. She was one of the most generous people I ever met, never letting me pay even for a cup of coffee, and one the scariest drivers I've ever been with (as Brian said in his eulogy, she'd drive 100 mph on all streets except the highway!) I admired Rose in so many ways: she was hardworking with a great career, she always put her family first, and she got things done quick. Unlike me where I sleep in late on my weekends and take my time getting errands done, Rose always got up and out the door early. She'd get her errands and everything done by the early afternoon so she could come home, perch a seat on her favourite part of the sofa, and she'd read a book by the fireplace or keep her mind busy with her many adult colouring books. In those moments, she always looked content and at peace.
Everything she did, it was for her family, supporting them no matter what. The same applied to her family's friends and in my case, as Brian's long-time girlfriend. Brian and I were friends long before we started dating so even back then, I knew and saw Rose quite a bit. In our university years when I worked at our local grocery store, she came in at least once a week, and she always came down my line so we could have a quick chat. I'd ask how her day was going, how Brian was, how work was. Many times, she came in with Brian too. Every Saturday, the two of them had a routine where they would do some shopping together and sometimes go visit his grandparents afterwards. It always nice to see them, and I was always so grateful to Rose for - shall we say, trying to play "match-maker" during that time. Brian and I may have been "friends", but Rose always knew there was something more going on. Right from the get-go, she seemed to "support" us, so that when things were eventually official, her reaction was, "Well, it's about time!" I couldn't have been more grateful for her continued graciousness towards me. It can be a scary thing when you meet your boyfriend's parents for the first time, but Rose was always super stoked from the start and treated me with nothing but the upmost respect and support. She loved to shop for others almost as much as for herself, and she never missed an opportunity to spoil you when it came to your birthday or Christmas time; like I said, she was without a doubt, one of the most generous people I ever knew.
I'm so lucky to have known Rose for all these years, and I can bet she's looking down on her family with the up-most of pride. She raised two beautiful, hard-working and generous boys, and I know they will continue to honour her every day of their lives. She had a wonderful relationship with her husband Joe, having met at just 18 and enjoying over 30 years of marriage. She got to enjoy a bit of her retired life and did some major travelling recently to Italy and Ireland, further encouraging Brian and I to take our own European trip.
She was someone to look up to in so many ways, and I can't thank her enough: for bringing Brian into the world, for treating me as if I were a daughter of her own, and for supporting us no matter what. And I know she'll continue to so for the rest of our lives.
I lifted the privacy setting off the blog so Brian's family and friends could read this tribute. The blog may remain on public for the time-being.