Some of you may have known Grace from what you saw
Some of you may know her from what you heard
Some of you may know her because you spent time with her
So to all of you how ever you know her, … how ever you, remember her now, Picture her.
As I tell you a story, it is a story of adventure, it is a story trust, it is a story of love.
It is a story about frogs and princes.
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a young girl.
Despite a tough early life living on small Canadian prairie farmstead in the dirty thirties, this girl learned to treasure a sense of humour, believe in the wonder of life and to find the magic around her.
She grew up, with those cold north winter winds that dig deep into your bones, and the whispering warm lazy golden summer breezes that waved and spoke to her as they passed on their way, over wheat fields and into the distance.
The winters made her tough, the summers, filled her with the desire to find out where the winds could take her.
When she turned sixteen, she went to an early summer picnic with her friends and other young people, down by the river in Edmonton.
As she recounts the story of that day, you feel the excitement in her voice, you see the glint of a smile in her eye. She tells how, she walked up from the river bank, her hands in her coat pocket, towards a group of her girl friends who were standing around talking to a couple of cute boys….
“What secret surprise do you think i have in my pocket?” she said, peaking the interest of the girls and catching the eye of the boys.
..Waiting for the girls to insist on knowing what her surprise was, with her perfect timing.
Imagine the look of mischief in her eyes at that moment, as out of her pocket, she pulls a large frog and holds it up for everyone to see. All the young girls fled.
One young man stayed behind, impressed with the beautiful uncommon girl, with the sense of humor and adventure.
That was the day that Grace picked up a common frog and found a handsome young prince. (I am sure there was a kiss at some point soon after because from that day forward the young man and this beautiful girl would spend the rest of their lives together).
Now, fairy tales are more than just good times and fancy castles. Because, for you to have a real true fairy tale, you need adventure; You need challenges; You need to conquer the unknown and after many challenges if you are lucky you get a fairy tale ending.
Following her prince, so charming,
She set off to foreign lands. It was no longer the Canadian prairies. From Peru, Colombia and Argentina to Costa Rica, Spain and France, she had many adventures. she tells of Raising four children, of having to explain to her bewildered seven year old what rain was, of raising ant eaters and monkeys as pets. There were castles and parties, as well as bandits and many challenges.
She would do what others would not. She understood and was comfortable talking to the poor and the disadvantaged. She was never afraid to discover something new, she was never lost and she never worried where she went or how to get to her destination because she trusted that wherever she was was where she was supposed to be.
She believed that There is always something worth seeing wherever you are.
She taught us all some simple magic, by encouraging us to believe in more than what we were told and to find out for ourselves what is real. To believe in people for who they are and not by the opinion others have of them.
After a life of adventure and many challenges this fairy tale story leads us to England. And It is no coincidence she ended up in the magic little village of Burley, where people understand the adventures of life, and what it takes to make a good fairy tale.
Of all the places and adventures this was her finest hour. She loved her home, the people and the life that she made here.
Grace lived a charmed life, she worked hard for it and she knew the value of what she had and she cherished it and all the people that surrounded her.
From frogs to princes Grace ended her days happy in her domain after a good life that no one could say was anything less than a true fairy tale.