Tell a story about Vivian




Your Story:
Vivian and I worked together from the time she joined the School until I retired two years before she did. Two of the most important things that we had in common were the love of the students in the School and the love we had for our families.

Vivian managed the Resource Centre and I managed the academic portion of the students’ programs. We often would talk about students who were experiencing difficulties and would be able to put a plan of action into place that would assist with the situation. That really worked over the years. Others will certainly outline all of the wonderful things Vivian did with the Resource Centre for and about the students that passed through the School.

When she began at NPSIA Alison and Nora were living away from the home. Steven was still at home and would come into the School from time to time to help his mom. Bertha and Matthew then joined the family and made quite an impact on all of us. I recall Vivian flying out to Vancouver when Nora had her children and such a proud lady would come into the office and chat about the children. Then it was even better when Nora and the children came to visit and Vivian would come into all the offices with Nora and the kids. Vivian just loved those little people. Her face would just beam.

We shared Bertha and Matthew’s growing up. I recall on several occasions when it was Vivian’s turn to furnish a birthday cake for someone’s birthday we would comment on how wonderful the cake was. Vivian was thrilled to say that Bertha had made it. Vivian was very proud of Bertha and all that she accomplished. Matthew was the youngest and he was probably a helper the longest. We just loved it when Matthew came in to help. Matthew would come upstairs to my office and we would chat – he was not thrilled to help. He would much prefer to just sleep in and hang around as all young teenagers liked to do. I asked if his mom was paying him a handsome hourly wage. He laughed and said she was going to treat me to lunch. When lunch time came I told him to have a huge lunch. Vivian smiled and shook her head. Vivian was just the best mother.

I cannot leave out Patrick who was the love of Vivian’s life. She was absolutely wonderful supporting everything that he wished to do. All I can remember is responding “he is going where for how long” wow you are an amazing lady. She accepted all of his absences with the same way she did everything. Took a deep breath and what will come will come. We shall deal with it.

Vivian’s life ended way too soon. She was a treasure to be sure. We shall all miss her very much and can only say that if you remember her words “You need to look after each other – it will be hard – it will all work out” it might just help a little bit.

Bless you Vivian Cummins.
Brenda Sutherland


Added: April 14, 2011
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Your Story:
I have no recollection of my childhood in Montreal bar vague, disconnected images, individual slides from a slideshow whose index is lost, but I remember the great warmth, affection and respect that Catherine held Vivian in.

I recall the friendship and warmth of that rainsplattered walk on Mount Royal, 34 years on, as I encountered a figure I had no memory of in adulthood, in the same way I recall the affectionate greetings in '08, when I came back to Canada, from people of whom I had no recollection, but who shared exceptionally vivid memories of my childhood where I had none; a humbling and warming experience. What words are there?

Shakespeare says that "the good men do is too oft interr'd with their bones", but the effect of the deed outlives its actor as here, and will continue to do in the places Vivian worked, the libraries she helped build. The deed is its own reward, and its own immortality.

I will be with you in spirit on Saturday, and I wish you all the best.

Yours sincerely,
Adam Walker


Added: April 14, 2011
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Your Story:
I remember how warm and welcoming Vivian was when I met her. Reading about all of her professional accomplishments, I am reminded that I once heard someone say that whenever somebody dies, a library burns. (Meaning that they are taking all the knowledge that they had amassed over the course of their lifetime with them.) This seems doubly true in Vivian's case.

Much love and care to her family and friends. - Roz


Added: April 14, 2011
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Your Story:
I was terribly saddened by the news of Vivian's passing. I first got to know Vivian as a student at NPSIA. As for many others, Vivian's office was a little refuge from the daily trials and tribulations of student life. After I stayed on at Carleton University to work and teach, Vivian was like a mentor to me, helping me navigate the academic maze. What I liked most about Vivian was her honesty. I always knew that Vivian will tell me exactly what she thinks, even if it may not be what I would like to hear. I will never forget her advice and wish I would have listened to her more often. Vivian, you will be greatly missed!

Added: April 14, 2011
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Your Story:
Vivian was a wise, highly resourceful, and kind woman. Often, between classes at NPSIA, I'd ask for her permission to enter her office, sit down, and ask her a few questions. I'd always start in academic mode, but would then sneak my way towards general discussions on life and love. I liked what she had to say so I kept sneaking back into the office to see if she'd be willing to discuss other existential queries.

What I learned through my discussions with Vivian over the years is that life is both simple and beautiful. So, Vivian, this is what I say to you: thank you for being you.

Mahsa


Added: April 14, 2011
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Your Story:
Vivian was a beautiful presence in my life in so many ways. In fact, I can't remember a time when she wasn't in my life. 

When I was three, Vivian married my oldest brother and I served as "flower girl." While I don't have specific memories of that affair, I do know from photos that she was a gorgeous and beaming bride. I've heard that Pat's brothers wondered amongst themselves, "How did Pat land such a beautiful woman?" Pat was very fortunate, indeed.

Vivian was a doting mother who loved and supported her children through any challenges they might throw her way. When I became a mother, I trusted and welcomed her keen observations and appreciated her curiosity about my own children. When my oldest was diagnosed at five with Asperger Syndrome, I recalled that Vivian watched him play with blocks when he was 18 months old and said, "I think he's going to be an engineer." Post-diagnosis, she sent me many articles about Asperger Syndrome and they were always helpful, hopeful and fascinating. 

I will miss Vivian's keen observations, subdued humor, calming presence, and overall beauty. However, her impact on me and all who knew her is everlasting and I feel honored to have known her as a beloved and cherished sister.


Added: April 14, 2011
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Your Story:
My favourite reminiscence of Vivian is this:

When she came over with Wendy in Oct-2009 (for Wendy's 90th party), she spoke of living in Nigeria when her son Stephen arrived - and they had to declare a 'tribe' for him, for the birth certificate - she put 'European' !  I think Vivian was a citizen of the world, not just of one tribe.

All the best,
Tony


Added: April 14, 2011
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Your Story:
With utmost sorrow I learned of Vivian's death, and my heart goes out to her family, of which I am an extended member. My son David is married to Nora. I see that the apple didn't fall far from the tree,as I see Vivian's qualities in Nora. She is a wonderful wife and mother, and I am so happy for my son to have found such a special woman.
Although we didn't see a lot of each other, when we did get together for dinner or scrabble, the times in between didn't mean much, it was as if we'd seen each other the day before.
It was wonderful seeing the closeness in her family, and although she will be sorely missed, her goodness and caring will be remembered by all, and she will live on in the memories of all who were fortunate enough to have known her.
Janet Agulnik


Added: April 14, 2011
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Your Story:
I would like send my sincerest condolences to you and your family. I worked with Vivian at the NPSIA Resource center. She was a great Boss and always so helpful to me with my conferences and panels even after we stopped working together. She will be missed.

Natasha Taneka


Added: April 13, 2011
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Your Story:
My deepest condolences go to Vivian's family and friends.

I graduated from NPSIA in 2006, so it has been a few years now, and if there is one person I should remember from that Institution it has to be Vivian. Her kindness, her smile, constant support, resourcefulness and practical advices were a real breath of fresh air and a source of energy through a two-year journey which was particularly challenging for me. 

I am sure that I am not the only person or student that Vivian's human and professional qualities have touched.

Once again, I would like to present my deepest condolences to Vivan's family and friends. May God bless her soul and give the strength to her loved ones to go through this time of mourning.

Thank you,

Ghita Benessahraoui
MA-International Affairs-NPSIA Graduate 2006


Added: April 13, 2011
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