Making the most of her life–Annie Searam

July 9, 2013 at 1:16 am Leave a comment

Annie 2September 26, 1955–June 24, 2013

I met Annie and her family at our church when our youngest children—her son Matthew, and my daughter Sarah—were in Junior Choir together. Her daughter Rachel may have been in the choir at the time too, but I’m not sure.

There’d be a knot of parents standing around, talking, when our children had to be there a little early for service or when we’d be waiting for them after service was over.

Annie and I talked there a number of times before we actually began visiting in each other’s homes. Sometimes it was only a phone conversation to stay in touch when we couldn’t fit in the personal visit, then a promise to get together again.

A busy life turned upside down

In 1998, when Annie was working part time, raising a family as well as studying to be a registered nurse, she had a medical emergency while working at the hospital one day. After bypass surgery and a lengthy recovery period, during which she had to relinquish her goal of nursing, she decided that she still wanted to use what she had learned. She began to volunteer with hospice a couple of days a week. Even though she had limitations on her energy, she was still acting in the interest of others.






from Searam family photo collection



Makings of a friend

Annie and Liz


Annie and I thought alike about a number of things, and two of the most important were faith and family. Although we didn’t talk much about our faith, being in church was important to both of us. The other was family. We talked about what our children were doing, what pleased us as well as the things we didn’t necessarily agree with. Annie never seemed to dwell on what she couldn’t change, but one thing was for certain, she loved her children and her husband, and they stood by her through all the changes in her health.

Friends seemed important to her as well, and here’s an example of her friendship. I had asked people at church to refrain from wearing scent so my  family and I could continue to worship. Annie’s response was to put a note on her mirror that she looked in when she was getting ready to go out. She’d say to me on more than one occasion, “I was getting ready to go to church and remembered that Caroline and her family would be there, so I wouldn’t put it [perfume] on.” That was a reminder of her caring about me.



Annie and daughter Liz-photo courtesy of Annie’s family

One time in particular, when I visited at her home, I’d just come from challenge testing for asthma that day and my hands were trembling after the dose of inhalants I’d had to take. Annie greeted me with a smile and made no big deal about my shaking hands though she noticed and asked how it went. I told her about the technician wearing scent and how that was affecting me.

She had a large tray of fruit sitting on the table and invited me to have some. The tray was a piece of art in itself with many colours and textures, a great variety of fruit, and in the centre was the top from a pineapple. I’d never seen the pineapple top used as a decoration before. I asked if she had created the display, but she said she had ordered it from a store. I have always thought of Annie when I see a pineapple and I wondered if she had ordered it specially because I was coming.


Photos from family, used by permission

to be continued…


Entry filed under: entertainment, faith, family, friendship, lifestyle, photography, writing family stories. Tags: , , , , .

Halifax in June–after conference Port Dover Harbour Museum

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