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Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Skipper

Steve's grandfather died two days ago. He had been sick for months, and at the end was confined to bed, barely eating and never moving. Steve's mom rushed back and got there the day before he died. Steve and I talked seriously about going back but decided against it.

We saw him three years ago, last time we were back. Everyone called him the Skipper. Steve says as long as he can remember, his grandfather worked in the iron ore mines in Labrador. We don't know how he got his nickname.

We don't have any pictures from then, but we found this one from the day we christened Michael.

Steve's grandfather was the one who came up with a scheme to re-name Michael with a less overtly Catholic name. (I still am not sure why Michael is a Catholic name, but he was adamant about this.) He asked if he could be the one to pass the baby to the priest. I thought this was sweet, and quickly agreed. I did not learn until later that he wanted to have Michael baptized under a different name - presumably we would then be forced to use the new name for the rest of our lives. I am still not sure if this was just a joke. The entire family was trying to convince us, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, to use the name William instead.

This christening gown is made from Steve's mom's wedding dress. I had never heard of this tradition but it is a nice touch.