This past four months have been a most intriguing time in my life when I got to say an earthly good-bye to my mother and stepdad. Last week a number of the family travelled up island for Doug’s funeral. While I never really got to know him as anyone more than my mother’s second husband, I found the man to have some very redeeming qualities. For instance, he stepped into my  mother’s life after the death of my dad and gave her twenty-five years of loyalty and emotional support. For this arduous commitment, he got a little  love in return from a woman who, on any given day, could exceed the extremes of narcissistic behavior. What Doug did in taking over the care of my mother was free me from the heartache and futility of trying to do it myself.  On the whole, he did a good job keeping it together till the end. As a person interested in the history of western Canada,  I found another side of Doug’s life very commendable. Born in St.Paul, Alta, to a pioneering family at the outset of the Great Depression, Doug grew up loving rural Canada.  Testimony to that love was the fact that his great-uncle, the ornery General Middleton, played a key role in quelling the Northwest Rebellion. There were times when I saw that Middleton edge come out in him when he talked about his numerous disputes with the local minions over traffic tickets. Doug was definitely a fighter which probably allowed him to outlive my mother, albeit by only two months. The day was great because we were able to draw together on both sides of the family to pay respects to a man who left a decent mark on all of us. The only challenge of the day was having to help lug a heavy casket over 100 meters to its final resting place.