August 27, 2019
Victoria Beach has always been such a special place to me. I grew up going there with my Step-Mom (even before she was my Step-Mom). Earlier on, Gina would bring my older sister and I down there to help my Dad (who was essentially raising four girls on his own). She would always have so many activities planned for us. Like, making moss gardens, painting rocks, taking day trips to the sand cliffs and Elk Island.
But what I remember most was lying in bed with her and my sister and she would read to us. I can still hear her soft, gentle voice. I can still feel her chest rising and falling as I rested my head on her. I remember what the room looked and smelled like and what her inhales between sentences sounded like. That is hands down my favourite memory about Victoria Beach and Gina. But a close second might be when she woke me up one night to have a dance party! We ate popcorn, drank Earl Grey tea and danced around the coffee table to the Beach Boys. It was amazing!
Gina passed away on August 27, 2004 after a six month battle with brain cancer. Before she was no longer able to walk/talk, my Dad took her to Victoria Beach for what was her last time there. Because it was her favourite place on earth, it became that much more special to everyone who knew and loved her.
When I was pregnant with Elliot, Gina gave me so many signs that she was watching over me and protecting my baby girl. From me craving her favourite tea before evening knowing I was pregnant, to my first fetal assessment being scheduled on her birthday. And with Elliot being born on the 27th, I just knew that Gina was and is my baby’s guardian angel. I will forever be grateful to Gina for many things in my life, but that is the biggest.
I always knew I wanted Elliot to grow up knowing Victoria Beach. I knew that we wouldn’t be able to have a cabin of our own there, but I still want her to know it. So, in 2017 my husband and I took her down there when she was only a few months old. She put her feet in the same sand and on the same beach that I did as a kid. Now that she’s a bit older and can appreciate things more, we decided to rent a cabin for a week. This was our first real family holiday together and it was so so fun!
We spent our days going to the beach, making sand castles, riding our bikes and going for lots of walks. Even though Elli was sick most of the time we were there, she still had a blast! As challenging as it can be to take pictures of a very fast moving two year old, I am so glad I did. I will honestly treasure these photos forever and I’m so happy to be able to share them with you here.