Ethel Bernice THOMAS

April 25, 1931 – Jan. 15, 2011

Bernice Thomas (nee. Bellamy), born in April 1931, on a small farm near Viscount, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Passed away Jan 15th, 2011 of heart failure at the Chilliwack Hospital, British Columbia.

Bernice was born, at home, in a small farm house near Viscount, Saskatchewan. The last of twelve children, she was not expected to live and spent the first three months of her life in a sling in front of the wood stove. As a result she grew up tough, a child of the prairies, resilient and resourceful; like the trees of that land that manage to resist the frigid winters and ever persistent winds.

Those winds can be gentle and caressing, providing a great relief on a hot summer day, but determined enough to drive a snow laden blizzard. And like a prairie wind, Bernice was strong. Our mother’s strength sustained my siblings and me throughout our childhoods and laid the foundations for our own familial beliefs and values. Even in tough times she held us together, reminding us that the strength of a family lies in its close bonds. Bernice was our foundation, the strength at the base of our pillar. We stood on her shoulders to achieve things she could have never imagined for herself; without her, all we have become would not be.

As I worked in my garden last summer, a gentle wind blew out of the west and I was reminded of the ties that bind and of all the possibilities that could, but never will be.

Bernice is survived by her sons Tony, Kelly and Ted as well as her daughter Patti; grandchildren Adam, Jocelyne, Michelle, Sean and Ryan.

We will miss our rock.

We miss her.

Goodbye Mom, safe journey.

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