You Don’t Seem So Far Away

Patricia Colleen mum

Patricia Colleen Dougan…my mum

Miss You Forever

She was a Dougan…a Ferguson..a Rafuse. Daughter, sister, wife and mother.

She was half of all that I am.

She loved to dance, finding her way across a dance floor where one day she found herself in the arms of a soldier, a man she waited for. With the end of the Korean War Colleen and Eddie were married and had a son. Colleen, my mother, stood beside me through all my foibles and successes. She knew when to sing or knew just what to say, and though the years took my parents on separate paths and far apart she eventually found her way home.

When she came home, she was tired and frail. For the last few years Parkinson’s claimed her vitality and yet she fought back day after day. If one could only be so strong…and though I desperately wanted to save her, all I could do was let her go…perhaps on another path…where she might sing and dance again.

As I flip through image upon image of our family, her siblings and parents, nieces and nephews, she loved all. And then I find the one image that captured the heart of my father and here it sits before me. Mum…though for the last year you did not know me, speak or open your eyes…when I look upon you now…you don’t seem so far away.

Love you…miss you forever.

Patricia Colleen Rafuse (formerly Ferguson, nee Dougan)
August 1937 – June 2016

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


7 Responses to “You Don’t Seem So Far Away”

  1. Shannon says:

    Beautiful tribute Paul.

  2. tracy says:

    Paul, that was beautiful. I always loved & will miss my Auntie Colleen. She was always so supportive of me. When I was in Job’s Daughters, she came to everything.. even dragged you along a couple times! I will love her always & will always remember her voice & laugh. Good bye Auntie Colleen. Lovey, lovey, lovey you. Tracy xoxo

  3. Eddie Ferguson says:

    Colleen…I don’t know what to say…a wonderful tribute to an outstanding woman. Will be missed by many but will never be forgotten. The tears are real…miss you forever.

  4. Lisa says:

    Beautifully written Paul. Auntie Colleen was such a lovely lady! I was always so excited to see her when I was little…maybe because being so far away made her a little exotic. Our trip visit her in Nova Scotia when I was 8 is a favorite memory. First plane ride, getting my ears pierced, first lobster… She did a lot of different things in her life, and saw many places. The last years were tough, for her and for you, of that I have no doubt. Being robbed of memories and abilities is such an awful journey. I will always remember how much fun she made everything, how much she loved her family, and how much she missed her home. Accept my condolences on the loss of your mother. She has surely joined all those who have gone before, and is once again full of the vitality that was so much a part of who she was.

  5. pferguson pferguson says:

    Thank you everyone for offering so many kind words at this time when the band seems to have stopped playing.

    My mum would expect me to carry on, always supportive – always encouraging. She will always be in my heart and though I can close my eyes and see her again and again, it is comforting seeing her here, anytime that I wish, and anywhere that I am.

    “Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, its learning to dance in the rain.”

  6. Darlene Rafuse says:

    I had been trying to track Colleen down. I lost her phone number quite a while back and had not been able to find anyone who seemed to have her address or number. I stumbled across this last night and i am just heartbroken that she is gone. She was a beautiful lady she will be missed by many.

  7. pferguson says:

    Nearly five years passed and yet today you seem to visit again, always knowing when…always knowing…thanks for the recent dreams of Zweibrucken. Love you miss you forever.

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