Week of Baydas

12 04 2010

Hello again digital world!  I seem to have been missing for the last week.  What a week it has been.  I like to call it The Week of Baydas, so filled was it with my huge, loving Bayda family.  We all had so many highs and lows this week, it’s left me exhausted and realizing that I have barely touched my computer all week to answer emails, respond to comments, blog, or do anything school related.  I’ll explain myself.

The Week of Baydas began on Good Friday, when we received the call that my Grandpa, Edward Bayda, had passed away in Turkey in the midst of his vacation.  I think I’ve scarcely been so shocked before.  In the middle of trying to understand what had happened and accept it and trying to be there for my Dad and cleaning bathrooms and calling friends, it took me a few hours to realize that everything was going to be just fine, because the Baydas were on their way.  No matter what had happened, it could only be understood and healed by the presence of family, because family are the ones who can understand you even when you don’t.

When I say they were on their way…I mean all of them!  My Dad has 5 sisters (THE sisters) and there are 22 of us grandchildren as a result, and 6 (soon to be 7) great grandchildren to boot.  Our house became the headquarters for tons of people as preparations for the funeral were made and everyone tried to grasp the situation.  I slept in at least 6 different floor/couch/trailer/bed places this week and scarcely had a moment to myself.  It dawned on me as we stood and sat around the kitchen table one morning eating breakfast in our pjs what a blessing the gathering had become.  Again, as I spent the first 2 hours of my early morning day drawing with chalk and attempting to ripstick with my three younger cousins, I felt blessed.  Again, as all the lady cousins and my Dad’s 5 sisters broke out dancing in the living room to old music and again as we sorted through boxes of old pictures and I got to see, for the first time, pictures of my Grandmother standing and dancing before she got MS, I felt blessed.  Over and over again, amidst pockets of feeling sad and terrible, I felt so blessed to be part of such a big, supportive and compassionate family.  Because when you feel sad and terrible and there is a crowd of people you love waiting with kleenex and hugs and laughter, it becomes something different entirely: it becomes healing.

This week I got to sing and play music with my family on several occasions, which is rare at the best of times.  I got to dance with my family.  I got to eat breakfast, lunch and supper every day with cousins from across Canada who I don’t see often.  I got to listen to James Taylor and Fleetwood Mac with my aunts while sharing memories and stories of growing up.  I got to make a slide show about my Grandpa and in doing so learned so much about his life and my Dad’s life.  A rare blessing for the family of someone who has passed, I got to see video footage of my Grandpa on the news and see him move and talk and laugh his signature laugh again and again.  I heard the stories of the many people who called to share their moments with Grandpa, and I got to walk into a church full of more than 700 silent people paying respect to someone who meant something in their lives.  I cannot believe what has happened…and yet I cannot let this week go by without thanking my Grandfather for bringing us all together.

As the week is coming to a close and another, neglected-school-work-week is beginning, I’ve been through so many emotions but one that really sticks out to me is pride.  I am proud of my grandfather and of the legacy he has left, not only legally, but in his family.  As the former Chief Justice of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, he was entitled to a State funeral, a rare honour.  I was able to see the difference he made legally in Canada in his career, especially in writing much of the Saskatchewan jurisprudence for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  He was best known across the province and country for his egalitarianism, intellectual curiosity, and outstanding humor (i.e THE signature laugh).  Of course what I remember most about him is the signature laugh and the humour that was a constant in his life.  One of my favourite quotes from the news during the week is by Stuart Cameron, who said that, “He could talk with equal ease to the Chief Justice of Canada, the Prime Minister or the person delivering his newspaper.”

It was a Week of Baydas, and for me, it was a week of healing.  I am still not okay with my Grandpa’s passing, but what I know now is that no matter what crazy loops life throws my way, with a family like mine I can get through anything…we can get through anything.  What I also know now is that a life is never black and white.  In talking to people who had different perspectives of my Grandpa and who he was and how he lived and what he accomplished, I learned to know him in a much deeper and more integrated way then I ever had.  And I learned to know my family in a much deeper way, across generation gaps and in close quarters.  As the cars and planes rolled out yesterday and the crowd dispersed back to their own corners of the country, I felt nostalgic but also more connected than ever.

As I dive into the heap of homework that will take me to the end of my University life (this time around) in just a few days, I will do so with no regrets for my procrastination, as it was procrastination well spent with family in a time when we needed each other.  What a strange feeling it is to begin a new era in my life as another era is so shockingly ended.

So thank you Baydas, for the week and for everything.

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Leader Post articles:

Chief Justice Edward Bayda remembered as a compassionate jurist at state funeral Saturday in Regina


Retired Chief Justice Edward Bayda Dies in Turkey

Edward Bayda Obituary

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8 responses

13 04 2010
Jill Aasen

Morgan,
Once again I am deeply sorry for your loss. Thank-you for sharing this with us, your healing and also the blessed week with your family. I loved your line “No matter what had happened, it could only be understood and healed by the presence of family, because family are the ones who can understand you even when you don’t.”- this is so true and very well written!
Thank-you for this powerful blog post.
P.S. Good luck with the last week:)

13 04 2010
mbayda

Thank you Jill!

Have a great last week 🙂

12 04 2010
Sue Davis

Truly enjoyed your blog and it got me thinking about how important family is in nurturing the soul. Perhaps you were not procrastinating this week, you were re-connecting, re-energizing, and remembering the best of what your family brings to your life. What better learning experience could this be! Sometimes we need to stop the day to day “routine” and move from human “doing” to human “being”. My condolences on your great loss and a huge BRAVO for this reflective post!

12 04 2010
mbayda

Thanks very much Sue,
I love what you said about ‘being’!

12 04 2010
Amy Singh

I’m truly sorry for your loss Morgan. Thank you for sharing this piece of you.

It’s really nice that you are able to be thankful for what you do have in this time. You really created a beautiful slide show, and it is clear that family is the important part here.

Stay strong.

12 04 2010
mbayda

Thanks Amy

12 04 2010
courosa

Morgan, I’m really sorry to hear of your loss – please accept my condolences. It definitely sounds like your grandfather was a great man, and your family has many things to be proud of. And, I am sure already, you have done him proud with all that you have accomplished so far.

All the best.

12 04 2010
mbayda

Thanks very much Alec

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