Happy Times Together

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Some of my best memories with the kids are of bringing Maxandre and Zackaël (and eventually Adélie) to museums.  Living in Ottawa, we’re fortunate to have so many good museums at our disposal, and I found it to be a great way to get out of the house and do something interesting and educational with the kids.  

I started bringing Maxandre to museums when he was young and when Zackaël was born, he would tag along with us.  As he got older, he started to become more interested in the displays.  Like most kids, the Dinosaur exhibits at the Museum of Nature were among his favourites, and when the Museum of Science and Technology re-opened in 2017 it quickly joined the ranks as one of our favourite destinations.  The Aviation Museum rounds out our top 3. 

Zackaël always brought enthusiasm and excitement to everything he did.  He never complained and was as happy-go-lucky as a kid could be.   I could have brought him to watch paint dry, and he still would have been happy if it meant he was spending time with us. His enthusiasm was contagious, and one of his favourite expressions when he was excited or impressed by something was to exclaim “WOW!” or “WHOA!”

Because of COVID, visiting museums hasn’t really been an option since Adélie got out of the hospital. Closed during lockdowns, the museums re-opened in September, and again last week, but we generally avoid non-essential visits to indoor places.  

Like so many other things since the accidents, I now have very mixed feelings about museums. There are so many places in this city that I love bringing the kids (Rideau Falls, the Parliament Buildings, the canal, the list goes on and on).  These places bring back so many memories of happy times together. However, these happy memories can’t be separated from the inescapable reality that doing activities together will now never be the same.  Often, just driving by places we enjoyed together can cause memories and mixed emotions to come rushing in. 

This doesn’t mean we won’t go back.  The accident took so many things from us, it would be counter-productive to allow it to rob us of doing the activities that Zackaël used to be a part of.  But it does mean that happy family outings will now be mixed together with some sadness, and a feeling that something is missing.  I hope at least that going back to these museums with Maxandre and Adélie will allow us to feel connected with Zackaël, and feel like he’s with us in some small way.   

That’s it for now!
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11 responses to “Happy Times Together”

  1. Elaine Shepherd Avatar
    Elaine Shepherd

    I love these photos Carl and getting to know Zachael. You are an amazing Dad!

  2. CMH Avatar

    You are an amazing mom and strong woman. 💚

  3. Margaret Lesarge Avatar
    Margaret Lesarge

    Even though Zackael was with you for only a few short years you certainly filled those years with fun and great experiences. Wonderful pictures show the enjoyment the boys felt doing those activities. As you say, happy memories.❤️

  4. B Avatar

    Beautiful family moments

  5. Denver Avatar

    You can really see the enthusiasm and excitement Zack brought with him in the pictures at the end…Zack is smiling so big that his eyes are almost shut 💚 I hope when Covid is over we can all come down to Ottawa and be there to support you if you want to go to a museum again. What wonderful memories you created with Max, Zack and Adelie which you will have forever.

  6. flintoffmikegmailcom Avatar

    Thanks for your notes and pictures which bring back so many great memories. I remember taking Maxandre and Zackael to the Aviation museum on a Friday PD day off from school. I was getting heck from a mother because Zackael was intensely riding the Go Cart planes in your picture and outside the designated area. No doubt to show off for his brother. I chose to ignore the unsolicited feedback and was actually proud of the coordination and enthusiasm that Zackael was showing. I remember topping the special morning off and meeting with Carl at Big Rigg for lunch.

    Such special memories to share.


  7. flintoffmikegmailcom Avatar

    I remember taking Zackael and Maxandre to the Aviation museum on a PD Friday day off from school. A mother gave me heck as Zackael was happily showing off for his brother and was enthusiasticly riding the Go Cart planes (in your picture) and was also outside of the designated area. I chose to ignore the unsolicited feedback as the boys were being boys and I was proud of his coordination and endless energy.

    We top off a great morning by meetings with Carl for lunch at the Big Rigg restaurant. Some great memories we share.


  8. Kristy Avatar

    Zackael is and always will be with you! He will let you know in his own way and these signs will reinforce that he wants you to continue doing activities he was once physically part of. It’s all about making memories and spending quality time with your family! 💜💚💚💜💚

  9. Judy Avatar

    You have always been an amazing dad, and you created so many good memories that you will be able to cherish your whole life!

  10. Veronica Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your Happy Times Together at the museums Carl. The pictures are heartwarming and yet hearbreaking at the same time. Words can’t express the sorrow I feel for your loss and the courage you have to move forward to a time when you will be able to take your family to museums again.

    1. Renee Avatar

      Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos and memories. Miles loves the photo of the boys in the Dino head. We miss Zack so much and these posts help bring us closer to him, thank you!💚

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