Two Tournaments and a Funeral

It’s only Tuesday and has been quite a busy week already. Makes me think of the John Lennon lyrics “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”

My mind has mostly been on my mother-in-law, who passed away last week after being in the hospital almost exactly 6 weeks. She rallied a few times, but didn’t make it. We used to joke with her that she had “9 lives” like a cat ever since her heart attack 20 years ago. A defibrillator was implanted back then and allowed her to function independently for those 20 years.

Carol was such a beautiful woman. Her intelligence and wit matched her beauty. She was a very accomplished woman in her own right. One of the best things about her was that she never judged and was supportive in following your dreams, bumps and all.

She’s always wanted to live on a sailboat and made the right plans so it could happen at her retirement 10 years ago. Carol and her husband Bill bought a 40ft. Island Packet sailboat and practiced on Lake Michigan a few years before setting out to sail. Once retirement hit, they sailed through the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway (Canada) to Nova Scotia, and then along the Inter-coastal waterway of the U.S. to their final destination in the Caribbean.

Carol was also a great writer. There are a lot of fantastic stories she wrote about their adventures living in the Caribbean on the sailboat for 7 years. Their boat was appropriately named “Hope” that survived two different hurricanes, most notably Hurricane Ivan that hit Grenada. Their boat “Hope” was one of three boats that was undamaged at the Grenada marina that night in 2004. You can find her online journal at for more stories.

When Carol was a younger mom like myself (ahem…), she was busy with work, school and her sons activities, especially hockey games and practices. I am sure she would get quite a kick knowing that her funeral (Celebration of her Life) this week is right in between two hockey tournaments for her grandson (my son Jacob) to end the season. Another adventure on our journey.


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