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Thursday, December 4, 2008

As soon as Edna's obituary was published in Thunder Bay this week, I began to receive email from people who fondly remembered Edna, or were moved by her poetry on this web site. So I have decided to share some of those messages below. Please feel free to write me at edenmuir@yahoo.ca. Let me know if I can publish your name, address and/or email.

Eden Muir




Subject: Thank you
Date: Friday, December 12, 2008 2:58 PM
From: "Barbara McMurray"
To: edenmuir@yahoo.ca

Hi Eden - I'm another "Miss Aedy" kindergarten grad from Francis Street School, 1958-59. I now live in West Vancouver and through a client found that Edna lived in Victoria . This only happened this summer. I was able to visit her on October 6, the day before her birthday. I knew her immediately - that beautiful smile and those very kind eyes. I had not seen her in almost 50 years. She said to me, "You've grown."

Eden, she spoke so fondly of you - thank you for all you did for her. I had never forgotten her. She was a remarkable human being and phenomenal teacher. I did not know she was an artist until I visited your site, at her request, in August. I feel blessed to have spent some time with her before she passed. My little story will be read at the service, by Ann Tasko. I am one of thousands of small children whose life she touched with her magic wand. We were so lucky! Many wishes to you for a "Merry Christmas".

Sincerely,

Barb

Barbara J. McMurray
Territory Manager, Western Canada
Amoena Canada Inc.



Subject: Thank you
Date: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 7:39 PM
From: "Barbara McMurray"
To: Ann Tasko

Hi Ann,

Judy called me today with the news of Edna's death. She did also let me know when you contacted her about the awful fall. I had hoped to visit her before Christmas. I am sad but not sorry for her - she would not have been able to live in an incapacitated state. May God Bless her wonderful soul.

She spoke often of you. I guess you heard the story of how I found her. She was my kindergarten teacher in 1958-59 in Fort William , Ontario, at Francis Street Public School. In all these many years, I had never forgotten her. She was the most marvelous teacher. My memories of her are of a joyful, kind-hearted person who genuinely loved small children. She was never cross with anyone, nor did she belittle anyone. Learning was an adventure under her guidance. I remember her class being fun and full of music and laughter. She played piano and we often sang. She read us the best stories, including "Winnie The Pooh". When I recently mentioned how much I enjoyed her reading to us, she replied, "Winnie The Pooh?" She took us on outings and praised all of us frequently. No matter how pathetic our artwork projects, to her they were grand.

I remember her reading us a story about a ship some kids had made from a tree trunk. She then made us a ship out of some huge moving crate and we played in it.

I realized in later years, how important someone like her is in a developing life. I did well all through school and I credit her with pointing me in the proper direction. She made me feel school was a wonderful endeavour.

I hadn't heard about her all my life since, but every once in a while, she'd cross my mind. I had a foggy image of her smiling face. The thought of her presence always gave me strength.

Last spring, in speaking with a client in Richmond , we discovered we had attended the same public school in the same town. I've known Victor Perry for 11 years and that had never come up before. We began talking about teachers and I told him I loved my kindergarten teacher. He said, "You mean Aunt Edna?" Edna was not a relative but a close family friend of the Perry's. Victor said he had lost touch with her but understood she lived in Victoria & might still be alive. I had no idea of her age at that point.

Indeed I found her in the phone book & knowing she wouldn't remember me - she taught thousands of kids in her career - I dropped her a note. Only a few days later, I received a call one evening with a lovely, soft voice saying "This is Edna Aedy". It absolutely touched my heart.

That was over the summer. In our short time, we had many lively conversations. At one point, she said to me, "I'm not as important as I used to be." I reminded her she was very important to an awful lot of lives. This is a woman who dedicated her life to helping others - who gave of her time and more importantly, her heart with generosity and gentle love. She said, "I loved all my children", and I believed her. I knew that was why I had remembered her all my life.

And when I saw her the day before her birthday, I recognized her immediately. Yes, she was older, but when she smiled, the beautiful face was the same. Edna apologized to me sometimes, for being forgetful with details. When I went into her apartment, she apologized for it not being very tidy. I said, "I came to see you, not your apartment." I had found a few old pictures of the school and as she looked at them, I could see her mind wandering back to those days. The afternoon I spent with her was magical. I hope you were able to share her chocolate cake - she liked chocolate, so that's what I brought for her. (And, flowers. I used to bring her flowers from our garden).

Isn't it fitting that I was able to comfort the vulnerable person leaving this earth, who comforted me when I was small and unsure. I hope it made her feel important. I will cherish those memories forever.

I am so sorry, Ann, that I cannot attend the celebration of her life next Thursday. I know you brought her companionship and joy. Thank you for that. Thank you from all of us, her kids, who have the honour of saying she shared some of her life with us. She was an angel on this earth, so I imagine her wings were waiting for her last week. No explanation required. I look forward to seeing her one day, again.

All my best to you,

Barb

Barbara J. McMurray
Territory Manager, Western Canada
Amoena Canada Inc.



Subject: Edna
Date: Saturday, December 6, 2008 1:15 PM
From: "Catherine Gordon"
To: edenmuir@yahoo.ca

Hi Eden,

My name is Cathy Gordon my mother is Vilma (Wilma) Gordon. I don't know if Edna spoke of us to you but she was our family. We have asked my childhood friend Grace Atkinson to speak at the service on behalf of our family. Auntie Edna, I last saw her with my Mom several years ago when we were out to visit family she had not changed. I am sending you what we wrote for the service. We have been in touch with Ann Tasko as well as Grace to see if we can do anything. Due to distance we are unable to attend, however Grace is finding us some wild flowers to bring to the church. She will certainly be missed, especially those early morning phone calls we would get. My deepest sympathy to you and your family as I do know she cherished your family as her own.

"What beauty more enchanting
What beauty more sublime
than the sweetness of a friendship
that will not fade with time"

Edna was my friend for many years. Our friendship started when Edna began teaching at Ogden school in Thunder Bay. She taught kindergarden and I was the grade one teacher. She loved those little children and they loved her. She believed the innocent heart of a little child with all it's encompassing mirth was nearer God's heart by many a mile than anything else on earth.

Edna loved nature and flowers and tenderly looked after them. Even at her cottage on Lake Superior she gave clear instruction to everyone to keep on the path for fear of stepping on the wild flowers that bloomed everywhere on her property.

When my friend Helen and I were visiting the cottage Helen noticed some beautiful white violets growing profusely and wanted to take some home to plant in her garden Edna allowed her to take some but not too many. To this day they are still growing in Helen's garden. When Helen noticed some lovely needlework Edna had created Edna commented to her not to look at the back of the sewing as she didn't care what the back looked like as long as the front was appealing.

When Edna and I were looking for accommodation and we decided to rent a house together some people were aghast that I would even think of moving in with her. We got along famously. To share some of the responsibility of our new abode Edna became the cook and I did the housekeeping, I was given strict instructions not to tidy up her bedroom just in case I misplaced anything. This was fine with me, I would have one less room to clean

My friends and family became her family and she welcomed them all. When I married and moved to Nipigon I brought 4 of my family to attend a wedding in Thunder Bay Knowing Edna's home was full of her treasures we decided to bring sleeping bags and pillows and we settled down in her living room. We were very comfortable. When Uncle George decided he wanted a little drink before the reception he looked for a place on the counter to do the honours. Instead of trying to clear the counter I pulled out a drawer and put a cookie sheet on it and made the drinks. Edna was not offended and we all laughed about it.

Edna often visited us in Nipigon and my 3 children considered her to be Auntie Edna. She was and always will be family. Edna re-defined the meaning of family.

When Edna moved to B.C. we still kept in touch and the early morning phone calls from her were always a delight always ending with I love You. We are most grateful to family friend Grace whom we introduced to Edna on one of our visits to B.C. Grace managed to keep us apprised of Edna's comings and goings which made us feel closer to her from such a great distance. To Grace we are eternally grateful.

Cathy and Vilma Gordon



Subject: Miss Aedy
Date: Friday, December 5, 2008 6:23 PM
From: "Allyson Sovereign"
To: edenmuir@yahoo.ca

I was very sad to read of Miss Aedy's death. I often wondered what had happened to her. She was my first teacher in kindergarten at Francis Street School. I'm sure her kind and gentle manner had something to do with me also becoming a kindergarten teacher and oddly enough to begin my career at Francis St. school also.

We moved to Chilliwack over 2 years ago. I wish I had known that Miss Aedy lived on Vancouver Island. It would have been neat to reconnect after all those years. She must have taught me in 1957.

My deepest sympathy to all those who loved her and will miss her. It sounds like she lived and full and rich life.

Allyson (Gray) Sovereign



Subject: Miss Aedy
Date: Thursday, December 4, 2008 8:54 PM
From: "Tracey & Terry Hill"
To: edenmuir@yahoo.ca

Hello Eden, Miss Aedy was my favourite elementary school teacher (grade 3)... one that I never forgot! She helped me make a "hardcover" book (about getting my tonsils out!) that I still have in my possession today. I have often wondered what happened to her and where she had gone.

Although 37 years have passed since I had Miss Aedy for my teacher, there are just some people you don't forget. She was a very special lady - very gentle and wonderful with children ... especially children who were quite shy! I'm sorry to hear that she is gone, but am happy to see that she lived a very long life ... a life filled with poetry, art, flowers and good friends. Sincerely, Tracey Hill (formerly Tracey Tilson)

Tracey & Terry Hill
247 Newcastle Drive
Thunder Bay, ON



Subject: With sympathy in your loss
Date: Thursday December 4, 2008 3:23 PM
From: This sender is DomainKeys verified"M C"
To: edenmuir@yahoo.ca

Hello!

For some reason...no logic involved, I was drawn to Edna Aedy's obituary in the Chronicle Journal this morning. My sincerest condolences. Thank you for guiding friends -and strangers - to know more about her through her website. I wish I could have met her!

You must have been wonderful friends. She sounds like an amazing woman, and she certainly has left a unique legacy.

...I'm always searching for ways to express what is happening in life, from authentic and "not the usual" perspectives. Her approach to worries through Haiku is fascinating.

I will be making a donation to an arts program for our schools in Thunder Bay in Ms Aedy's name.

Respectfully,
MC
Thunder Bay, Ont.



Subject: Edna Aedy Date: Thursday, December 4, 2008 3:41 PM
From: "Mama Bear"
To: edenmuir@yahoo.ca
Message contains attachmentsBackGrnd28.jpg (5KB)

Thank you so much for the web site. Edna's demise was in today's Chronicle Journal. I have thought of her many times. A wonderful patient teacher she was truly appreciated as my son did not want to go to school, I still have notes from her saying there was progress. My daughter also enjoyed Miss Aedy and asked her to wear her shoes for the afternoon kindergarten class instead of slippers. She got such a kick out of the kids. My kids are now 48 & 39 years old, Edna Aedy left her mark.

Sincerely, EG

Clayte Street
Thunder Bay, Ont.



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Website contact: edenmuir@yahoo.ca