published in Beauty, Family, Gratitude, Photos, Travel by Maryanne | January 13, 2016

 Bride, Baby & Beauty Abounds in Banff


Pope gang the night before Ky's wedding

Front: Valina; L to R: Baby Liam, MA, Pat, Mary & Doug

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”

– George Burns

Hahahahahaha…just kidding!

Actually, that is kinda the truth – but I mean that in a good way. I don’t live in the same city as my large, loving and caring family. But that doesn’t mean we’re not close.

In fact, I would venture to say that I am closer to my family since I moved away from my hometown. Because now, when we do all happen to get together in the same geographical area, not only do we appreciate each other more – and our time together – we also have an awful lot of fun.

Case in point was the recent family wedding in beautiful Banff, Alberta. In early January, my niece, Kylie, married her Irish sweetheart, Colm. Their 5-month old son, Liam, was pulled down the aisle in a sled by one of the bridesmaids. It was a hoot!

Kylie and Colm live in Australia, so their special day was both a celebration of marriage and a reunion of family and friends. That the wedding was held at the stunning Banff Springs Hotel meant it was also a winter wonderland vacation for all of us.

Here are a few photos:

Banff springs hotel

Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, AB

Blue sky and mountains in Banff

Rocky Mountains, view from Banff Springs Hotel

MA & Emily at Banff Springs

MA & niece, Emily

George, Donna, Em & MA Banff 2016

L to R: George (MA’s bro), Donna, Em & MA


Doug & Ky walking down aisle

MA’s brother, Doug, walking his daughter, Kylie, down the aisle

Tracey in chair at Ky's wedding

Mother of the bride, Tracey

baby Liam in sled

Baby Liam being pulled down aisle in sled by a bridesmaid


MA, Ky & Cholm wedding day

Colm, Kylie & Auntie Maryanne

Mellie and baby Liam

Auntie Mel (Kylie’s sister) and Liam


Lesley, MA & Mary skating

L to R: cousin Lesley, MA & sister-in-law Mary, skating

MA on the x-country ski trail

MA on the x-country ski trail

Over the three days, we all kept saying to each other how much our Mom would have loved the wedding and staying at the Banff Springs. That sort of thing was right up her alley! But perhaps because of this, I could practically see her, in my minds-eye, around every corner. She was there in spirit.

And even though my Dad is still in the land of the living, he wasn’t at the wedding. He simply wasn’t in good enough shape, cognitively, to have enjoyed himself. I did, however, have a fun visit with him afterwards. But if you want to read the sordid details of that, check out Pussies & Erection Day – Hard of Humour Hearing. Yes, you read correctly 🙂

On a more serious note, I recently came across this passage about the importance of family:

“There is a transcendent power in a strong intergenerational family. An effectively interdependent family of children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins can be a powerful force in helping people have a sense of who they are and where they came from and what they stand for.”

– Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

After the Banff wedding, my brother George commented that another reason why my Mom would have loved the wedding so much was because then she could see that her greatest wish – that all of us kids got along and stayed close after she was gone – had come true.

Indeed, I think that is a tremendous legacy my Mom left: a strong and effective interdependent family who has an awful lot of fun 🙂

Related blog by Maryanne:

Even the Best Parties Have to End

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here.


  1. Kylie Pope on January 13th, 2016 at 12:33 pm:

    Awesome photos Auntie MA. It was a hoot, and a good reminder that good friends and family can always just pick up where they left off, no matter how far away or how long apart we are xxx

  2. Deborah M on January 13th, 2016 at 4:45 pm:

    Looked like an amazing great, fun family time. So many memories to add to so many others you’ve been collecting.

  3. Maryanne on January 15th, 2016 at 12:24 pm:

    Agreed!! Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family, Deborah 🙂

  4. Maryanne on January 15th, 2016 at 12:26 pm:

    Totally, Ky!! It was SO awesome seeing you again and meeting Colm & Liam…and all of Colm’s family, too! I am VERY proud of you and so excited, too…it’s a very special time for you, Colm & Liam 🙂
    love Auntie MA

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