I was a teenager the first time I met Anna in her St. Famille apartment in Montreal, just a bit south of what is now the trendy Plateau area.
She accepted my offer to babysit her three young children so she could teach a night class at McGill.
With a background in English and Philosophy, she cobbled together teaching contracts to support her family as a single-mother. She was tall, slim, blond-haired and beautiful with a laugh that sometimes verged on cackle. Our decades of friendship began on this night.
Before meeting Anna, I didn’t know mothers who:
Over the years she had other homes in Montreal and I was given a key and a bed anytime I wanted to overnight. I spent most of my time at her Prince Albert street, Westmount home.
Anna passed away this week in PEI, surrounded by her adult children and Jacob, her long time partner and more recently husband, who came to Canada from Holland. He took exceptional care of her these last years and months.
She had COPD - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe and which gets worse over time. She had been tethered to an oxygen pump for over a year and continued smoking right till the end.
Last summer, believing it might be the last time we would see her, my husband and I drove out to her farmhouse that overlooks St. Peters Bay. Over twenty years earlier she bought a broken down old building and turned it into an exceptional home with beautiful grounds: gorgeous garden and vegetable beds, surrounded by trees she planted from seeds.
At the dinner table, Jacob asked us both – “how come the two of you have remained friends for all these years?”
We looked at one another, not sure who had the answer.
I said, “It’s a good question. We appear on the surface to have nothing in common don’t we Anna? We are so different in temperament. I think the glue that binds us has been deep acceptance for one another. And love. We have never tried to change or adjust the other."
Anna added, “We are both curious about people. And, I think we both believe it is sinful if you are not true to yourself."
Anna befriended almost anyone. She believed in personal freedom and choice. It didn’t matter if she agreed or not with your beliefs or ideas. She might even find you more interesting if you held a different point of view. Anna was generous particularly in that she accepted you just as is.
And, generosity is one quality I love.
With love and admiration,
Coach Minda - provides confidential coaching services in Montreal, and internationally by telephone or by SKYPE. Coaching focuses on life-work issues.
I love to help procrastinators, perfectionists, self-doubters and decision-dodgers experience quick wins, work through roadblocks and stay motivated. All this can apply to your work life, home life or a specific project.
Visit www.coachminda.com for more on my approach and background, or to review client testimonials. To know more about my services, simply call or write.
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.