Being Sarah’s Niece

My Aunt Sarah was a real gem. She passed away on Maundy Thursday, after a four year journey with ovarian cancer, and she is going to be SO missed.

To be a niece of Aunt Sarah was a gift. She loved creating and sustaining traditions for us as a family, like getting all ten nieces and nephews to squish onto one couch on Christmas Eve (even when we were in our teens and twenties) to hear her read 1950’s copies of The Night Before Christmas, and a couple of other family classics.

She oversaw Easter Egg hunts (ensuring they were fun and very fair,) pulled us kids around on a tube behind a seadoo, hosted innumerable family gatherings, invited my sister and I to Toronto during March Breaks for urban adventures… the list could go on.

While I am so grateful for all of the experiences, memories and traditions that she provided for me and my family, what I will remember most is the atmosphere she created wherever she went. She exuded a sense of being at home in her own skin, which inherently invited everyone around her to feel the same way. When you walked through the door she would say a great big “Hullo, [insert your name]!”, and made sure you felt right at home.

Aunt Sarah had a way of drawing people together, making each one of us feel like we were truly “part of the gang.” This way of being in the world is the teaching from her that I most want to carry forward, in my work at The Dale and in the rest of my life too.

Thank you, Aunt Sarah, for welcoming me and so many others into your warm circle of belonging.



By joannacatherinemoon

I am the Lead Community Worker at The Dale Ministries in Parkdale, Toronto, ON. The Dale seeks to create safe welcoming spaces in which all people, particularly those on the margins, are encouraged to participate fully, to the best of their abilities and journey together toward a deeper experience of the life God has given us. This blog is meant to help keep my supporters connected with life at The Dale.


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