Salmon Arm  

A father's love

Each grain of sand is testimony of a father's love.

Sand sculptor Mark Dansereau used to build sandcastles like many fathers do: on a beach with his child by his side.

Now, Dansereau builds elaborate structures in memory of his beloved Bernadette who was taken from this world by cancer shortly after her sixth birthday.

The Blind Bay resident spends hours carving tiny bricks, window frames and turrets into his castles that are often taller than the people viewing them.

"Our whole family got very, very close together," Dansereau said of Bernadette's last months.

"After she died, building sandcastles took on a whole new meaning," he told CTV Vancouver.

Dansereau dedicates much of his time carrying on Bernadette's sandy legacy on the beach, hoping to create a "magical moment" for onlookers.

He said he hopes his sculptures will make people stop and reflect on life, and "wake them up a bit." He also takes photos of the castles, which he's turned into a calendar to give back to the local hospice society.

In her passing, Bernadette passed on one last gift to her family: clarity about what really matters.

"I've never felt such peace and joy in my life as in the last year and a half, because I focus more on the real living, and living in the present moment," he said.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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