Brenda Conner (née Anderson), 61, passed away suddenly on October 3, 2020 with her family by her side. Brenda was a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend.
Born in Burnaby on June 26, 1959, Brenda was the oldest of three siblings. She was a natural care-giver and enjoyed helping her mother look after her younger brother and sister. Growing up, she was spoiled by two sets of grandparents who loved her so dearly that they even let her play with the fine china. This boundless approach to love and relationships is something she carried with her throughout her life.
At the tender age of 19 she had her first son, Christopher. She set out with the enthusiasm of a first time mom, making sure to fill out his entire baby book and send him on a road trip to Disneyland. At the age of 26, she married her best friend, Douglas. Doug fell in love with her because she was a wonderful mother-- the kind he wanted his children to have. He knew how lucky he was to win the heart of one of the beautiful, “cool” girls from school and he loved her every day thereafter. They went on to have three children together, Michael, Brittani, and Chad. Brenda made raising four children seem effortless. Even when her husband worked out of town, she managed to be everything to everyone all at once.
She made the best turkey (roast beef if you ask Chris) and everyone was always invited for dinner. She spent hours trying to make the small moments perfect because she knew that those were the moments that counted: The lights strung delicately on the tree, the impossible to find video game ready to be unwrapped, the pair of jeans that finally fit. The moments never were perfect. She dropped the green beans, the ornaments broke, and the jello never set. Yet despite the messiness of real life, she never stopped trying to make everyone around her smile.
When she wasn’t busy raising four children (a job that never really ends), Brenda enjoyed relaxing in her yard and having a drink with the neighbours. She loved growing beautiful flowers, making rock gardens, and keeping her hummingbirds, Henry and Emma, well fed. However, it wasn’t long after her children had grown that she started to dream of her chance to become fun grandma “Lollie”. Anyone who knew Brenda (and anyone who encountered her at the grocery store) knew that she spent the last three years pouring that sweet, boundless love into the life of her grandson Karl. She jumped in the muddy puddles, climbed through the tunnels, and was the only one allowed in the playroom. She took every opportunity she could to make life special for Karl and because of that he will have a lifetime of memories to cherish.
At the end of it all, Brenda’s life was her family. It may seem like a small thing, but it was monumental to those who were loved by her. She taught us to be soft, even when the world feels hard. She taught us that being strong doesn’t mean you can’t hurt. She taught us to laugh when the tree falls over. It is our turn now to be strong for you, mom. We hope wherever you are, that your kitchen is shiny white, your flowers are in bloom, and your wine glass is full. We will meet you again at the dinner table.