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"McBR" 2003 Obituary


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McBRIDE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-24 published
Charlotte Isabel GROVER
By Kathryn STORRING, Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - Page A20
Woman of words, lover of cats. Born September 25, 1953, in Toronto. Died October 1, of cancer, aged 50.
You may have noticed my cousin on one of her regular tours of Toronto's Eaton Centre. A large woman -- a side-effect of medication she may have been somewhat dishevelled, depending on the day. You may have also noticed how her purposeful stride was interrupted by a limp, the result of a hip problem. It's unlikely she returned any glance you cast her way. In middle years, she wasn't out to seek your acceptance or the approval of the so-called normal world.
Charlotte GROVER did not have an easy life -- not one most of us would choose. She had schizophrenia coupled with mild autism, after all. But how do we measure happiness or define achievement? In the end, is it not about being cushioned by love, living in a supportive home, knowing you've overcome incredible challenges?
Raised by doting parents and living for the past eight years with Pilot Place, a residence for schizophrenics, Charlotte was gentle, endearingly polite and keenly curious about her interests: words, animals, history, droll jokes. All of this made it easy for me and another cousin, Holly McBRIDE of Peterborough, Ontario, to accept a request from Charlotte's mother that we be future co-guardians. In retrospect, my acceptance may also have been an attempt to settle the past -- all those years when Charlotte's name evoked profound sadness in our extended family; those years when few of us knew what to say or do.
Charlotte's father, John, an accountant who loved art and poetry as much as numbers, died in 1993. Her mother, Rachel, whose remarkable intellect fuelled a career at the University of Toronto's rare books library, had a stroke last spring that has left her partially paralyzed.
As a child, Charlotte was healthy, bright and cheerful, but her behaviour was decidedly unusual. I remember her standing apart, watching, as her cousins played on my family's farm near Peterborough. It was more than the awkwardness of a city kid visiting country cousins. Often she would retreat to the house and read a dictionary, emerging to recite definitions in her measured tones. There was also her obsession with our Siamese cat, Simon. Insistent, predictable questions would start with, "Do you like Simon, Kathy?" and progress through a stream of comparisons to other, lesser felines.
Still, her behaviour did not attract labels. If anything, we looked upon her as an intellectual in the making. However, in teen years, schizophrenia overshadowed her life. School marks plummeted. Attempts were made to find specialized education and, later, suitable lodging -- fresh starts and new disappointments for parents who were steadfast in their love and support. With visitors to the family home, Charlotte was distant. Conversations would pull her in, but she would quickly disengage. Often, making tea was her easiest social connection.
This all changed in recent years with improved medications and her move to Pilot Place. She still visited her mother regularly, but her life found a new rhythm in a mix of independence, support and routine. She took pleasure in visits to the Eaton Centre or the library's history section. She had setbacks, including a vascular necrosis, which affected her hip, but she never complained unless you made specific inquiries. Instead, she filled conversations with questions about family, jobs or hobbies -- and, of course, Simon.
It seems unfair that during this period of calm, cancer was silently stalking her. By the time it revealed itself, with painful blood clots, Charlotte had only one week to live, spent in St. Michael's Hospital. We gathered there -- family, my aunt's Friends, a compassionate medical team and Pilot Place staff. If it had to be, it was the best it could be.
Kathryn STORRING is Charlotte's cousin.

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McBRIEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-03-05 published
MacBRIEN, Ann Elizabeth (née NICHOLLS)
Following a valiant battle with cancer, Ann left us peacefully on March 1st, 2003, at home with her family beside her. Ann will be greatly missed, in particular by Joe, her loving husband of nearly 50 years, her children Jennifer, Marian, Julie, Susan and Bill, and her grandchildren Megan, Mallory, Meredith, Martin, Steven and Lauren. Cremation has been arranged. A Memorial Service will be held in the chapel of the Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, on Thursday, March 6th at 11: 00 a.m. A reception will follow at the funeral home. The family wishes to express heartfelt thanks to the Hospice Palliative Care Network personnel who were all so very helpful and supportive. The family will appreciate donations in Ann's memory to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.

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McBROOM o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-06 published
McBROOM, Dr. George Lindsay
September 11, 1921-September 7, 2002
In loving memory of my husband, who died September 7, 2002. Every day in my thoughts and forever loved, Dor

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