Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Harrison Five, Good Times and Hardships

I'm fairly certain my parents didn't PLAN to have five children, but that's what they got. And what would we have done if our "little" Jane hadn't come along twelve years after I was born? She was my real live doll, I carried her everywhere.

The photo shows us all in happier times, at a reunion at my home in Muskoka. Jane is far left, the youngest, then Dale who was born after me. Kim was the second son, born after Gord the brother with his arm around me, now the matriarch of the family. Why does that word make me feel ancient? We were all getting ready to say good-bye, my husband was taking the last photos of the day.

My sister Jane, Kim and Gord plus his wife Pat all had a 3 hour drive home ahead of them while my sister Dale lived just around the corner from us. We had a weekend full of good food, lots of laughter and perhaps the odd drink or two...who is counting? That was about four or five years ago.

Time marches on and not always with the beat we want, but sometimes with much joy and excitement. Jane and I purchased properties in Prince Edward Island and plan to retire there. We are so anxious to live out the rest of our lives on the island our hearts have grown to love so.

Our brother Kim, unmarried is a wonderful artist. But between the rest of us siblings, we have 7 grown children and 5 grandchildren. Plus I have two step-children, one of whom has given us our dear granddaughter Claire and her brother is getting married in September in Victoria, B.C. And before I forget, sister Jane has one step-son.

So one can imagine with a family of this size many happy and unhappy occasions can occur. University graduations, new jobs, new apartments, moving to different countries, cities, all happy occurances. But also with this many siblings and off-spring very unhappy things happen too.

My step-daughter was involved in a horrendous car accident 12 years ago this August. She survived thankfully but has some memory issues..My own daughter was involved in a car accident when she was 21 yrs. old, had a closed head injury and has memory issues. Other members of the family have had minor car mishaps and thankfully are fine today. Now we watch anxiously over our grandchildren.

But this past Sunday a mishap happened with my sister Dale's son Jonathon that has turned our world upside down. He was involved in a terrible motorcycle accident and was air-lifted to a hospital in Toronto. I know he will get the very best care there,  they will do all that is humanly possible for him as that is where Jim's daughter was taken and we witnessed the wonderful care she received.

Jon as I call him has a long road of recovery ahead of him, a broken hip and femur on the same leg, broken ribs and two vertabrae in his back. After a ten hour operation, he has a pin in his hip, a metal plate in his lower back, a metal rod fixing his femur.  Yesterday a Halo Brace was installed on him. This brace I believe will remain for 6 months. He is still heavily sedated although they are cutting back  but he has yet to speak to anyone. It is a day his parents, his only brother and all of us are waiting for with much anticipation.

His parents and brother are staying down in Toronto at this time and the rest of the family waits anxiously for updates on his recovery. There is much prayer being said on his behalf and we so appreciate it. I find I'm having to unclench my  jaw every few minutes, the strain and tension of waiting to hear what the next report will bring.

Little do we know what each day will bring us. We go along our merry way perhaps taking for granted many blessings we have in our lives, perhaps leaving quite a length of time before we email, phone or get together with family members. A tragedy like this always links us all closer together, we stand united behind the injured person. We wait with baited breath for some word about our dear loved one.

Jon is a strong and determinded young man closing in on forty years of age. He has a young teen-age son he wants to guide through life so we are all rooting for him to make a full recovery, to walk out of that hospital one day ready to get on with his life. It's all we can ask for.


  1. Lannie, I heard about this accident through Jane and I'm thinking of all of you at this time. How wonderful that your nephew has so many people who care about him so much.

  2. Try carrying me around now - hah!
    Heard some positive things from Dale recently - Jon will be much happier when he has that ventilator removed from his throat and can finally communicate!! Poor guy - I hear he doesn't remember anything which is a good thing I imagine. Bits and pieces may come back in time. I hope all gets resolved in Gavin's best interests regarding where he'll live and where he'll go to school!! That's a real concern I'm sure for Dale. What a time! If I can swing it I'll pop up for a bit of a visit before school starts.