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Goodbye Mary Ann

September 11, 1960 to April 19, 2023.

Yesterday my best friend Mary Ann died of cancer. She had a remission a few years ago, then in the fall, on her last test to see if it had returned, another more lethal form of leukemia appeared. It would not go into remission and she died at 63.

I met Mary Ann when I was a trustee on the Waterloo Region District School Board in the 1990s and we became fast friends. If you are reading this and you say to yourself, “But I was Mary Ann’s best friend!”, you are right. She had several best friends, was close to her three sisters and had many regular friends and acquaintances. A wise, listening ear, she should have been a social worker or counsellor. She was a fantastic school board trustee, one of the best.

For her obituary, I give you her own words.


I was here

I had a very ordinary life that, on reflection, feels extraordinary

I was born a Scottish girl and I worked hard to become a Canadian (Go Leafs go)

I had young parents who moved continents to better their girls lives

I was here and I was a daughter and a sister. I was blessed to move from sister to best friends. My story only works with Elizabeth, Maggie & Jacquie. They enriched my life and gave me 2 more brothers and amazing nieces and nephews

I was here and I had true love. There were bets at our wedding that we wouldn’t last 5 years…those people hadn’t seen Dave in white painter pants. Getting a big brother and a sister out of the deal was a nice bonus, as was another brother and 3 awesome nieces and a nephew

I was here, and I was a friend

If you were my friend, it likely happened the day we met and lasted forever. If we don’t talk in ages, we pick up like it’s been a minute

I was here, and I was a mother

There aren’t words for that gift. Every minute with my boys has been life altering. My love for Dave was strengthened by watching him as a father. Seeing him in our boys has been wondrous. I am always going to be here in them

How blessed am I that I get weeks or months to say goodbye… I fought as hard as I could to stay but leukemia got through two different chemo protocols. That means I’m palliative…and that means the time I have left will be a gift every day. I’ve been able to laugh with my boys, plan my non funeral, teach Dave how to use the banking app. People are drowning me in baby and cat videos (THANK YOU). I’ve been able to cancel apps and try to off load Royal Doultons (no takers)

I’m very much at peace

I have the easy part and hopefully everyone will help Dave and the boys through the sad part