Like many of us, when vacation rolls around, it’s a time for fun, relaxation and enjoyment; whether you travel to far off places or stay in your own backyard, it’s a time to rejuvenate and re-energize yourself.
For me, vacation has always been a time for family, whether it’s been discovering places together or just hanging out. It’s a time to just be together.
My vacation last year was spent with 2 of my sisters and their families in Nova Scotia, the land of my ancestors. Following a difficult health crisis that hit our family quite hard last year, I felt that I needed to be there.
Now I’m sure many of us have had our share of bad news with the big C….and my family is no different. I’ve lost both my parents and countless aunts and uncles, but when 2 of your siblings are diagnosed within two months of each other, it really opens your eyes as to what is important in life.
I come from a family of 6 siblings from 2 different marriages. Being the youngest always had its advantages. Although I didn’t find out that I had 3 older sisters until I was 10, it was one of the best things that has happened to me. So, when the thought of losing not one but two was in front of me, I decided to travel to their homes to spend time with them.
Now I’ve been to Nova Scotia several times in my lifetime. And anyone who’s travelled
there knows how beautiful that part of the country is and how wonderful and friendly the people are. From Halifax along the south shore to Yarmouth and back towards the Valley, there is so much to do and see and it’s rich in culture and history. My Mom was from a family of 15 and I have cousins galore in Nova Scotia. So, you can find some member of my family along the way.
That vacation was spent relaxing on the porch telling yarns, watching my great niece and nephew play ball and traveling to the local beach to name just a few. But the best part for me was being there for my sister through her cancer journey. Now I’m sure you’re thinking how much fun could that have been, sitting through a chemo treatment and watching her get her head shaved. But as I said before, the experience opens your eyes to its importance. Nova Scotia will always be there for me to visit again. The time spent with my sisters is priceless. I’m so grateful I had that opportunity.
Now being from Acadian ancestry and from such a large family has been its own
experience. A good one no less. A few of the cousins decided last year that we should get together on an annual basis rather than at funerals, which are happening more often at our age. So this August I’ll be travelling to Nova Scotia once again for the Pothier family reunion. Every time I go there, I always seem to bring back a piece of my heritage. Something that I can now pass along to my granddaughter.
Have you visited or travelled to a place that was part of your ancestry and heritage?
(And in case you are wondering, thankfully, both of my sisters are doing very well.)