Tag Archives: family

Memories of my father

Remembering your …

Voice when you would answer my phone calls from overseas
Smile and wave of the hand while running
Finger pointed at the ticker on the screen
Thoughts for cousins far and wide
Arm on the window while driving
Nicknames for those dear to you: chuffnut or bozo
Or politicians whose views you didn’t agree with: nut job or scallywag or scoundrel
Jokes: cheese, wit and oft-repeated
And scarfing down a bag of pretzels like no tomorrow.

These memories give me laughter.
I love you and miss you.


Antarctica travel blog: Expedition with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions

    You My mom joined me in Buenos Aires last night. Here we are at the Cesar Park Hotel about to set off on a trip to Antarctica with National Geographic. About to conquer my last of the seven continents! :) Onward ho!

Blog posts from this trip are tagged “antarctica” and you can find them by clicking here or browsing the keywords in the right-hand menu on the home page.

This morning my mother and I left from Buenos Aires, Argentina for our cruise to Antarctica aboard the National Geographic Explorer. The cruise, operated by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic, will run for ten days from 29 November to 9 December 2012 and take us by air and sea to several destinations. We will be accompanied by naturalists, historians, scientists, undersea specialists and photo/videographers. We are also lucky to have on board Don Walsh, a world-renowned oceanographer and deep-sea diver.

During the course of our trip, I will be blogging and posting photos about our experiences. Activities will include on-shore excursions and educational sessions on birding, local wildlife and photography. Some of the items on my personal to-do list include a swim in the frigid waters around the Antarctic Peninsula, a sea-kayaking trip, and getting a whiff of some stinky penguin poop. Friends and family have asked me to share with them my thoughts about the tour and its operator, more about the part of Antarctica which I am visiting and a photo of the Weddell seal. Someone has even asked me about how I am getting access to the web.  (The answer is that it is a satellite connection and we pay by the minute on board the boat. All my blog posts are written offline and quickly uploaded when I connect once or twice daily.) Is there something you’d like to see or learn about? Please let me know by commenting on this blog post and I will do the best I can! You can also follow the ship’s Daily Expedition Report.

One of my passions is traveling and I have a dream of seeing as much of the world as possible. With this trip I will have visited each of the planet’s seven continents. I was born in North America, and first visited South America in 2001, Europe and Australia in 2006, Asia in 2007 and then Africa in 2008. So far I’ve traveled to 45 countries and four “places” – those not technically countries (which include Hong Kong, Macau, the Palestinian territory of the West Bank and soon: Antarctica). You can see my travel map here.

I inherited the travel bug from my mom. Long before I was even a twinkle in her and my father’s eyes, my mother was traveling around the world frequently for work and pleasure. As I grew up, she often showed me photos of her visits to Ecuador, Hawaii and Thailand. My father, who came from a poor family and held a life-long fear of flying, preferred economising but never let that stop us from traveling. So, as I grew up, our family went on frequent road trips across Canada and into the USA, seeing lots for very little. In so many ways, this trip would not have been possible without my mom and dad; they have always encouraged me to explore, both at home and abroad.


What’s important to you?

Photo credit: Unknown

Disclaimer: I am not the author of this text nor the photographer of the image shown at right. This material was found circulating in the public domain. If you know who produced the text and / or photo, please let me know by commenting on this post.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Memorial Guest Book for Hugh Allan Rowe

This guestbook was previously hosted on Legacy.com for visitors to my father’s obituary. At the one year anniversary they request you to pay an ongoing hosting/storage fee to keep it online. Since I’m not sure how much I trust them as guardian of these tributes to my father I’ve decided to replicate here on my blog. If you would like to leave a message, please use the comment function at the bottom of this post.

Age 71, Hugh died peacefully on Saturday evening, 20 August 2011 at his home in Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec, surrounded by his family. He bravely battled cancer for twenty months. Hughie, as he was known to many of his childhood friends and family, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia to Retha Day and Jack (Eli) Rowe. He moved to Montreal in 1941 and grew up in Rosemount as a member of the 9th Avenue gang and then had a very successful career as a stock-broker, financial advisor and options trader. Hugh was the exquisite, darling husband of Maureen (ne Harrold) for the past 34 wonderful years, beloved father of Marjorie (Ralph), Corinne (Clive), Catherine (Paul), Ryan (Kun), Anna (Antonio) and Max (Greg), and grandfather of Alex, Melanie, Michael, Christopher, Lina, Brandon, Courtney and an eighth (a grand-daughter) on the way. He is fondly remembered by his first wife Lise Verret. An avid runner for thirty years, Hugh completed several marathons and was a champion of healthy living and an amateur body-builder. He was a decades-long member of the Libertarian Party of Canada, a member of the Mensa club, and he read books and newspapers extensively. Hugh loved to watch sports – particularly his beloved Montreal Canadiens. He was very proud of his extensive stamp collection. He had also conducted a large study of his familys history back to the mid-17th Century. In recent years he went on many amazing road trips with his wife Maureen and loyal dog Davey to explore different corners of North America and Europe. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Canadian Cancer Society or to the St. Marys Hospital Foundation. Many heartfelt thanks to Dr. Adrian Langleben and the wonderful nursing staff at the St. Marys Oncology Treatment Centre. Visitation will take place at Rideau Funeral Home (4275 Boul. Des Sources in Dollard-des-Ormeaux) from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, and 7:00pm to 9:00pm on Wednesday 24 August 2011. The funeral service will take place at the same location at 2:00pm on Thursday 25 August 2011.


August 28, 2011

Dad, you were a great father. You will forever be in my heart and my memories. I will love you always. Your daughter, Anna.

Anna Rowe,
Montreal, Quebec
August 28, 2011
There is no death….only a changing of worlds. May you and your family forever the presence of this man in your hearts and at your side.
Cathy McCarthy,
Durham, North Carolina——–

August 27, 2011

Dear Marj and Rowe Family:
May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared, comfort you now and in the days ahead.
Linda Martin,
Garson, Ontario——–

August 27, 2011

Thank you to everyone who wrote and for the love and best wishes. It is appreciated at this time. Dad was a huge presence in my life and it is with great sadness that I realize he is no longer a phone call away. Reading your words means a lot to me.


Marjorie Rowe-Callisto,
Laval, Quebec——–

August 27, 2011

mr rowe its your son in law anthony ,,just want to say that u were the best father in law any1 can ask for ,going to miss our nights wathing the habs play r.i.p
anthony mule,

August 25, 2011

Dear Maureen & family. My deepest & heartfelt sympathy at this time for such a tremendous loss. Hugh will be sadly missed but keep yourselves strong for future ahead. All my love. Pauline——–

August 25, 2011

Our hearts are sore to lose such a kind, gentle and humerous friend. We send hugs and prayers to Maureen and family. Rest in peace my friend Hugh.
Les Wilton (a member of the 9th Avenue Gang) & Ishbel Wilton
Lester & Ishbel Wilton,
Gananoque, Ontario——–

August 24, 2011

My deepest sympathy to the Rowe family
St Mary’s volunteer
mari arias,
montreal, Quebec——–

August 24, 2011

May his sole rest in peace – our deepest sympathy to the Rowe Family. Mubashir & All HEED Team
Mubashir Niaz,
Abu Dhabi——–

August 24, 2011

Our prayers, thoughts and love go out to Maureen and the Rowe Family. The memories of all you shared will always stay in your hearts.
Bob and Frances Cartman,
Montreal, Quebec——–

August 24, 2011

My deepest sympathy to all of Hugh’s family . May he rest in Peace.
Shirley Lane Halifax( Hugh’s cousin)
Shirley Lane,
RR#2 New Germany, Nova Scotia——–

August 24, 2011

Our deepest sympathy to Anna and Ryan and the Rowe family.
Linda Sneath,
Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec——–

August 23, 2011

My sincerest condolences to Catherine and her family.
Maria Candido,
Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec——–

August 23, 2011

Our sympathies to Maureen, Ryan, and Anna from your former neighbours on Oxford Crescent ….. the Rosenblums (Stan, Donna, Mike and Adam)
Stan Rosenblum,
Newmarket, Ontario——–

August 23, 2011

Our deepest sympathy to all the Rowe family. May the love and memories you shared help you through this difficult time.
Carol (Kerr) and Derrek Tutte

Carol Tutte,
Ottawa, Ontario
——–August 23, 2011

Dear Maureen,
Ever since we moved to Brockville, I have been reading the Gazette online. I was so sad to read of Hugh’s death. Deepest sympathy to you and your family. A friend from our Book Club days,
Rosemary McGowan
August 22, 2011

To Hughie’s loving family,
May it comfort you to know that we are thinking of all of you at this time of sorrow in Newfoundland. We are happy that Hughie had kept in touch with us all these years through letters, cards and phone calls keeping us in the Rowe family loop and updating us on your family in particular. Hughie was a favourite cousin of my late mother and her siblings. We are very proud to have known such a fine gentleman. We looked forward to his visits and conversation about family geneaology very much. We shall miss his reaching out to us with love and affection as his father, Jack, did before him. We will keep our memories of him burning in our hearts and minds forever. God bless all of you.
Carole Anne, Ken, James (Julie), Joseph (Sue-anne), Jeff (Susan) and Juliana Coffey.

Carole Anne Coffey,
St. John’s, Newfoundland——–

August 22, 2011

My sincere condolences Ryan. My prayers are with your family and you.
Raj Koona,
Wellington, New Zealand——–August 22, 2011

We say “May you be spared further sorrow”.

My sincerest condolences to you and your lovely family.
Carol Wainer,
Beaconsfield, Quebec
——–August 22, 2011

My heartfelt sympathy to you at this time at the loss of your dear husband. The two of you seem to have had a wonderful relationship- much to be admired & an inspiration to other couples….I hope to see you again soon at the MLUWC bookclub meetings

Carole Newberry,
Beaconsfield, Quebec——–

August 22, 2011

You passed away on Saturday evening Dad, after a brutal fight with cancer. You may no longer be able to speak to me as I am used to but your spirit is still with me. When I go out running, you’re with me every step of the way and it feels awesome. How about a race to the finish line Dad? I love you so much. Your Sonny Boy.
Ryan Rowe,
Chapel Hill, North Carolina——–

August 22, 2011

May you be comforted by the wonderful, happy memories and love you shared together.
With love, Janet and Brian Timms

Janet and Brian Timms,
Dorval, Quebec——–

August 22, 2011

My deepest sympathies to Catherine and her family, my thoughts are with you.
Lori Bradley,
pierrefonds, Quebec
——–August 22, 2011

May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Judy Andres,
Medicine Hat, Alberta——–

August 22, 2011

Sincerest Condolences
Rosa Verdecampo,
Montreal, Quebec

Watching over me :)

I’m in a taxi tonight winging my way through the dark and empty streets of Lilongwe. The driver’s name is Ben. He’s got a tuque on (its winter here) and he doesn’t talk much. His radio is tuned to a station playing American country music. I ask him if he likes this stuff. He grunts. I tell him I like it too, and he turns it up. I tell him it reminds me of my father. He grunts. Here’s the song he was playing. This would have been a song on my Dad’s playlist for sure… Feel like he is watching over me… Aren’t you Chief?

Don Williams – I Recall a Gypsy Woman

A memory of my Dad

This is my Dad, on a trip to Alaska with my mother in 2005. I find it really captures a peaceful feeling. With the flowers in the background and Davey in his arms, it really makes one look into the picture and get a sense of my Dad. His bulging muscles (I am certain that he is flexing for the camera!), his smile, his wild hair. My Dad passed away August 20, 2011. Love you man.


Dad with his dog Davey in Alaska in 2005


Tribute to my dad

On the occasion of Father’s Day, I wanted to remember my Dad who passed away on August 20 2011 after bravely battling cancer for twenty months. We celebrated his life with ceremonies the following week during which nearly 300 people came to pay their respects and countless more sent messages of condolences by telephone, through the post, and via an online memorial.  His obituaries were published in the Montreal Gazette, the Nova Scotia Chronicle-Herald, the St John’s Telegram, and Canada’s National Post.

My sister Cathy and I delivered eulogies which was a great way to share memories of our dad with others. Cathy’s is printed below, and I’ll post mine online in a few days. Continue reading Tribute to my dad