Both of my intelligent, creative, beautiful, sensitive, caring daughters wandered with their mother and me when they were young but it was my youngest daughter that had the most urge to wander. She came with me, when she was nine, to visit the native ruins in Mesa Verda, to backpack to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, to travel to the west coast and up into British Columbia, to camp on Vancouver Island, and to climb mountains in central British Columbia.
In later years, after her mother and I had gone our separate ways, my youngest daughter, in her late teens, stayed with me and then wandered into Africa for a photographic safari, climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, and visited new friends in England, Belgium and Germany.
On her own, my youngest daughter worked on a project in the Dominican Republic, was one of the youngest teens to ever tour Europe with the Hamilton Youth Orchestra, travelled and worked in Germany for a year and then went to Australia as an exchange student working on an environmental science degree.
She claimed to be the only "true Canadian" in our family as she was the only one born here while the rest of us were born in the U.S. That being said, it was cruel irony that brought me the message, nine years ago today, on the Canadian Thanksgiving, that my daughter had been killed in a traffic accident somewhere in the wilds of the Simson Desert in Western Australia. My memories, tears, and this blog are my tribute to my daughter Dawn today. I have many, many good memories of her life but on Thanksgiving Day it is her death that yearly almost overwhelms me.