With great sorrow and sadness, we announce that Russia was taken from us too young and too soon on October 11, 2017 at the age of 23. She is survived by her loving family: mother Marilyn; sisters Naomi (Jamie) and Giselle; brother Edward; nieces and nephews; aunts and uncles and cousins. She was predeceased by her father Ed. Russia was a loving, giving and caring soul who enjoyed nature and life itself.
I can remember always wanting to have a little sister and when I found out my mom was going to have a baby I was over the moon excited… we all were. My mom never did find out what she was having, she wanted to keep it a surprise. On February 9th 1994 our family was blessed with the birth of another girl, making the female to male ratio in our family about 7:1 for the girls. My mom knew her baby had to have an original name, something unique and beautiful if it was going to be a girl. She had liked the names Asia; China and I think even Brazil but when the doctors announced that she was a girl the name came to her and hit her like a thunderbolt. She turned and looked at my dad and said “Russia, her name has to be Russia”, a name just as beautiful and unique as she was.
She grew up in Mission where she had many friends. Russia always made friends very easily, everyone loved Russia. She was a free spirited happy child with a wild imagination. I can remember her coming home from daycare one day and telling my mom and me about this big exciting day they had at the zoo, describing to us the different animals they saw and how much fun they had. My mom phoned the daycare because she didn’t remember hearing about any outings or planned field trips to the zoo. But when my mom talked to Nicola, the daycare administrator, she was just as surprised as my mom to hear about the exciting day Russia had come up with all on her own with her big imagination.
When she was small everywhere my mother went Russia was always by her side, sporting a different flavor of jam on her itty-bitty face. Everyone always said she looked so much like my mom with her long dark thick curly hair and her big brown gorgeous eyes. She had a contagious laugh that could be heard for miles and a smile that would light up a room. She had an amazing sense of style and looked beautiful in everything she wore, a trait that she definitely inherited from our mom because if you knew my dad while you would understand. She aspired to be a dental hygienist, following in her mother’s foot steps and work along side her mom at a few local dental offices occasionally. Russia was the baby of the family, she was my mother’s baby.
Russia was a devoted daughter to our dad, she was daddy’s little girl. She always took care of our dad and made sure he always had what he needed. Whether it was a case of Bush, a ride to his doctor’s appointments or a new bed, she did it for him. When he passed away last year Russia was devastated. They had an unbreakable bond and always looked out for each other and as sad as we are that they are not here with us right now we should try to find some comfort in knowing that they are together again, along with our brother jimmy, her grandparents, her uncles, her aunties, cousins and her best friend Dustin.
She also had many nieces and a couple nephews (remember the 7:1 ratio), thanks to her big brother and her two big sisters. She was protective of her family, she even beat up a few of my boyfriends on occasion, Jamie can attest to that. Even though she was younger than many her sibling’s children, she still made them call her aunty. I’m sure her niece Courtney can remember telling her friend’s she wasn’t able to go out with them because she was busy babysitting her two year old aunty. Russia was a good, caring, loving human being. The world is a little less bright without her in it.
She spoiled my children and got nothing but pleasure while doing it. She bought my youngest daughter an electric hello kitty car last time I visited, my oldest a brand new all in one computer for her 8th birthday and my little baby parker the “Pie In The Face Game” where you have to push the button faster than your opponent to avoid getting a face full of whip cream. They played it over and over and she let them win almost every time. Figuring out how to get it all the gifts home she showered them with every time she saw them was the only challenge. I know had Russia’s life been spared, she would have made just as good of a mother as she did an aunty.
Russia didn’t only show this kindness to the people closest to her, she shared her love and kindness with everyone. Every time she saw a homeless person she would give them whatever she had. Whether it was money or change or even just to sit a listen to their story she did it. I can remember one time we were on a road trip, Russia, Jamie and I, we went through the McDonald’s drive through. There was a person sitting with a sign that said hungry and homeless. Russia begged Jamie to by him a meal but he wouldn’t do it. She jumped out of the car and gave her the man her meal which forced Jamie to go back through the drive through to buy her another meal.
Russia loved music, she loved shoes and purses to. She didn’t have a favorite color she loved them all, hence her under the rainbow email and her multicolored hair. She worked at a few local beer stores and met everyone with a smile. She worried about nature especially fukashima. Always wanting to fix things, that was her nature.
Russia was the one and only, one of a kind. She was a warrior and a fighter, fearless and brave. She would tell us to be strong and to come together now and that’s what we have to do. I know she is right here beside us letting us know she is close and if we take a minute to look we will see the signs. She believed in family and she believes in us. So, for Russia, in honour of her, we will be there for each other and just like her we will help each other and others when they are in need. My baby sister, I love you to the moon and back.
A private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New Opportunities for Women (NOW) Canada Society www.canadahelps.org/dn/10465 .
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