Justin lived in our house on Maplewood Avenue the first six months of his life, where Diane, his grandmother, and I watched Kirsten, his mother, bathe him in our kitchen sink.

He always had a special place in the heart of his grandmother. When he was a few years old the two of them would close the curtains around our four-poster bed, crawl in and put on puppet shows.

He had a special place in my life, too. Early on we used to go shopping for a Christmas cake, bring the ingredients home and make the best dark Christmas cake ever. We would cut off a little piece to taste it, then wrap it in cheesecloth and tinfoil to let it age until Christmas.

I took him on a trip to see snowy owls in the Whiteshell and asked him to come to the Symphony. Then I wrote stories about our escapades and published them in whatever column I was writing at the time.

Everyone in our family loved Justin. We watched him graduate from elementary and high school, and then university. He got his degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Manitoba, and wore his ring with pride.

He met Emily, a welcome addition to our family.

Now they have little Chloe who is bringing us as much joy as Justin did.

What would we do without him? We can’t imagine that! I am so proud to be his Grandpa. Now I’m watching him in his new phase of life – fatherhood.

He and Emily are having fun raising an energetic little girl that at nine months (at this time) is going to walk and talk soon.

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