If Pat Robinson could look into the past and speak with his younger self – a boy of barely 15 responding to a message in a bottle from an unknown girl named Audrey that washed upon the shores of the English countryside – he would tell that boy to look forward to a family filled with love.
All he needed to do was write back to this unknown girl.
He did just that, starting a year-long correspondence before eventually turning up upon her doorstep to meet the young lady in person. They were engaged not long after and married in 1951. Four and a half generations have passed since Pat’s cousin found that bottle and the family he could never have imagined then, has blossomed around him. A daughter and two sons blessed them with grandchildren and great grandchildren, and today his love for Audrey is as strong as it has ever been. His family remains his greatest treasure.
He and Audrey now live together at the Village of Riverside Glen. Audrey’s needs are greater than Pat’s as age and health have warranted so they live in separate neighbourhoods, but they are together as often as possible. The team makes sure of it. Doug Wigood, the neighbourhood coordinator in the Village’s Emma’s Neighbourhood where Audrey lives, says the depth of the connection he sees in the Robinsons is as pure as anything can be.
The world seems to have grown more complicated, Pat says, since the days he was courting Audrey, proposing marriage and making their way towards a new future in Canada. Marriage then, “was a new beginning,” he says,” sharing your life and starting a family.” While that may still be the intention today, he says, it seems younger generations tend to get caught in the whirlwind pursuit of material things: “the big house, the big car, vacations,” as he puts it.
He can’t say what’s right and what’s wrong in terms of the pursuits of younger generations, he can only impart a few lessons learned over time.
“Material things are not the most important things in life,” Pat says. “Family, love, health, friends and respect are.”
The winds of fate carried a message in a bottle to him, and he chose to answer. In doing so he set a course that led him and his love to a beautiful life together filled with those most important things in life. The team members who’ve come to know Pat and Audrey find inspiration in this simplicity. Upon this Valentine’s Day, they wish to shine a light upon it, and share their gratitude with an inspiring couple.