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“Oh ye of little faith.” — A saying Cynthia Drake lived by.

Cynthia was a woman of few words, with a “look” that spoke paragraphs, and a kind, giving essence that made you feel seen, heard, and loved. 

In fact, if you ever visited Cynthia and her husband John on their 52-acre farmhouse in Portland, Jamaica, you were fed until you couldn’t move and left with the food you couldn’t carry. Fruits, vegetables, meat, plants—whatever you wanted, it was yours to take.

Cynthia firstly met John at church, where they quickly fell in love. Married in 1953 with just a single gold band, they were the epitome of true love. Every morning they would spend the first hour in bed listening to the radio, talking, and laughing. They would drink coffee on the veranda with crackers and jam, feeding the birds before retiring to the dining room for breakfast. They lived for each other, they loved each other, and although John was the head of the house, she was the neck that made the head turn.

Cynthia’s purpose in life was caring for others. She was a nurse, however, her husband wanted her to be a stay-at-home mother. As much as she honoured and respected her husband, she honoured and respected her purpose more, and sped down the streets of Portland to work every day. She loved and cared for others at work, and came home to love and care for her husband and five children. 

Cynthia spends her remaining years in Portland with her husband, tending to the farm and caring for her plants and animals. Restoring faith in those who have lost it, calming their panic with her words: “Oh ye of little faith.”


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“Asshole!”—If Violet Hughes calls you this, she likes you. 100%. Welcome to Memoir Monday and senior story time with CareStory!

Vi was known for three things—loving her family, chewing gum, and being the life of the party. Vi loved to dance with her stiletto heels and red lipstick. In her younger years, you could find her at a local dance every Saturday night. In fact, this is where she met her husband, Doug. Truth is, she was dating someone else. But Doug apparently swept her off her stilettoed feet, and they were inseparable ever since.

From 1947 to 1949, Vi was the mascot for The Arcade Ladies softball team, winning the Maritime championship in 1947 and 1948. In four years, they won 90 out of 98 games, with a winning streak of 60 games in a row. This is still believed to be unsurpassed in Canadian softball, which landed them in the Nova Scotia Hall of Fame in 1999.

Vi was a stay-at-home mom to her five children until her youngest went to school. In 1971, she left Nova Scotia and uprooted her family to Toronto. She worked as a secretary for De Havilland Aircraft by day, and a supermom by night, driving her kids to and from activities and sporting events. She missed a lot of games because as she always said,

“By the time I dropped the last one off, the first one was ready to be picked up again.”

Vi returned to the Maritimes in 1975, where she worked for the Department of National Defense until she retired in 1992. In their first year back, they decided to build her dream home as a family, next to a quiet little lake in Lower Sackville. Working full-time during the day and until midnight, Vi and Doug, with their kids, finished the home in 1976.

Violet spends her remaining years watching the sunrise and feeding the ducks. She also waits for Doug to put in a pool because she is afraid of the lake critters nibbling on her toes.

Leaving you with her final sentiment: “Thanks for reading, assholes!”


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“Never pick a fight with the ocean. The ocean will always win.” 

Doug Hughes loved to cook. His dream was to be a chef in the Navy. Young Doug waited in line for what seemed like hours to apply to be a chef at the Navy Recruit Centre. But when he got to the front, he realized it was a line for deep-sea divers. Doug looked to his right and saw the line for chefs. It was even longer. So—this is the story of Doug Hughes, a deep-sea diver for over 35 years. Welcome to Memoirs Monday. 

In 1971, he left Nova Scotia and moved to Toronto. Then he worked with the Toronto Bomb Squad Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) and become a member of the Experimental Diving Unit. This is where he developed and worked with the hyperbaric chamber to provide treatments for gangrene and diving ailments; for example, decompression sickness, or in other words, the bends. Yes, he was, for lack of a better word, a guinea pig who voluntarily got the bends hundreds of times to ensure that the hyperbaric chamber provided adequate oxygen therapy treatment. 

As the years went on, Doug felt that although he was friends with the sea, he wanted to be acquainted with the sky, too. He went in for a physical, one of the requirements before becoming a pilot, and they found a large tumour behind his heart. If it wasn’t for his physical, he would have been dead in six months. After open-heart surgery and three months of recovery, Doug was back at sea with a clean bill of health. 

Back at sea

He returned to the Maritimes in 1975, and was coxswain of the HMCS Cormorant from 1981-1986. One day, while the McKay Bridge was being built, Doug and several other divers were using a large vacuum to remove boulders from the ocean floor. Tragically, before his own eyes, one of his friends got caught in the current and was killed after the strength of the vacuum disfigured and dismantled his body. From then, also battling extensive arthritis, he became chief instructor at Fleet Diving Unit training school and remained in FDU(A) until his retirement. 

Doug spends his remaining years with his wife Vi on a lake in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia where they raised their five children. Water, as he said, a friend and foe, surrounds him always. 

Leaving you with his favourite saying;

“See you on the bottom!”

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Happy Monday! It’s Senior Story time again!

Rain or shine, snow or sleet, if you were inside, Mary Shute told you to “get out”. I don’t blame her—she had 11 children.

Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mary was the glue that held her entire family together, catering to her husband, Ralph, first. She made sure that he came home to fresh, hot food and busy kids, after a long-day’s work.

Had a sweet tooth? No problem. You’ll get your fix anywhere in the house, with numerous selections of Robertson’s Candy, popular in the Maritimes around Christmas, such as chicken bones, ribbon candy, and clear-toy suckers, displayed beautifully in crystal bowls.

Every year on Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, Mary would fry you up some delicious pancakes stuffed with coins (wrapped in wax paper) to sponsor your trip to the local convenience store in search of penny candy.

At Christmas, she would stuff her husband’s woollen socks filled with fruit, nuts, and candy, for each child’s stocking, and hand you the Sears catalogue to choose one toy.

Mary was kind, and giving (what she was able to give) and was very much stubborn… in all the best ways. One year, her son and daughter-in-law gave her a scratch ticket inside her birthday card, and she won $500. She thought it was only fair to split the winnings with them, as they were the ones who purchased the ticket for her.

Mary was dependable, protective, and family-oriented: a woman who got things done.

She spent a number of years after Ralph’s retirement at their lakeside cottage, before her battle with Alzheimer’s. Rumor has it, she’s currently telling other seniors at the nursing home to go out and play.


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Happy Monday every CareStory reader! Today is senior story time and we’re here to tell you the story of Ralph Shute.

You knew where you stood with Ralph Shute because he would either meet you with a smile, or call you a moron. “You moron!”

Above all else, he was a kind man with a purpose. Those who have met him, remember not only his generosity, but also moments that make you chuckle and shake your head. 

If you couldn’t find him, he was probably at work. And rightfully so, as he had 11 children. Five girls and six boys, the man had many to provide for. 

So where can you find Ralph?

Ralph would be gone before the kids woke up and home after bedtime—six days a week. He was a hardworking man who took pride in his work, working as a longshoreman for 45 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was dedicated to his family, and his wife, Mary, who held it down at home.

On his day off, you would often find him working on the house, asking for “help”, although he would end up just doing it himself. You would somehow find yourself holding a board steady for him, helpless, only for him to come and push you out of the way. He was a perfectionist and would marvel at the imperfections of his construction. “Hey! Come look at this—look at how f***ing crooked that is!”

Every summer, he would often take his family to the cottage and stay there for a month or so, commuting two hours to work each way. He loved taking the kids water-skiing, for boat rides, and apple picking, despite catching the odd rotten apple in the thigh after getting caught in the crossfire of a rotten apple fight. 

He spends his remaining years at the cottage, lakeside, with his wife Mary, tinkering around the cottage. 

A man with a quiet interior and a depth that he kept to himself, Ralph Shute was no moron.


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Today, CareStory would like to take you into the senior story world and tell you the story of John Drake.

In Portland, Jamaica, you might know John Drake. So who is John Drake? John is a very well-respected businessman and visionary. In fact, he built the Drake legacy from the ground up.

Community Contributor

Passionate for law and politics, John had a lot to say. Because of these passions, John is deeply involved in his community, and he is also an active member of the church.

Moreover, John was very popular and a busy man, working, inspiring the community, and hosting social events. He spent time as a Justice of the Peace and enjoyed being a member of the Freemason Lodge.

Besides these activities, John also had a large appetite for life. He loved going to the horse races at Caymanas and watching cricket matches at Sabina Park.

Successful Investor and Provider

Everybody knew John as a hardworking man and a great provider. He invested in businesses and real estate and his driving force was to support his family.

John owned a number of businesses, such as a hardware store, bar, restaurant, etc. The 52-acre farm is his prized investment. There, you would see cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese, along with gardens, an abundance of fruit trees, and a farmhouse filled with love.

Inside, he raised five children with his wife Cynthia, who he loved and respected dearly. John met Cynthia in church, and married her in 1953 with just a single gold band. They made commitments to each other, and they were partners in every sense of the word.

John was known for his kindness and giving nature, along with his firm hand. Johnny Walker was his signature drink, and he could make a mean Rum Punch.

John spends his remaining years in Portland with his wife Cynthia. Currently, he is still active in the community and taking care of others. If you’re from Portland, you know the name Drake. And if you know the name Drake, you know a good man.



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    Contact us


    Call us

    1-647-243-2981


    Visit us anytime

    294 College Street, Toronto, ON, Canada


    Send us an email

    info@emersewell.com



    Subscribe


    Sign up for Medicare newsletter to receive all the news offers and discounts.




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      #CareStory_ca


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      Copyright by Emersewell Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.



      Copyright by Emersewell Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.