Secret Tapes

Secret Tapes

I have discovered the illicit fun to be gotten from having the recorder on my phone
tape delightful secret words.  I have meandering chatter by G2 as he explores his imagination with his toys unaware that his sweet voice ……

This past Saturday my sister and I went to visit a dear aunt; a sole survivor of ten, and my Mom’s sister who is now 84 years old. I listened, awestruck as she recounted things from her youth, the war and life in Canada.  She and my mom were both war brides.

It was the best three hours I have spent ever.  Tea and chat – laughs and tears.  She is the
last historian for that side of the family, the last voice to be heard.  I sit now listening marveling at her memory which may take a few minutes to unravel but unravel it she does.

I listen to, “It was in 1936 and…..”

Several things strike me as wonderful and in some ways a little sad; her work ethic for
one.  We seem to be afraid of this kind of work ethic these days, and would call it child labor, but then everyone worked.  When she was 10 she delivered papers early in the morning then returned home for breakfast and off to school.  After school it was chores, then supper, then brownies and then she ran deliveries for the local merchant.  The next morning it started all over again.  She said that each week when the merchant would pay her she would have him keep back a portion of her pay and then each Christmas a huge basket of food would arrive at their front door from the shop keeper.  The gift was anonymous and no one ever did find out who it came from.

Her husband to be was from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and both he and his brother Gerald were in the same unit.  Gerald never did make it home and when he first died it was unknown who he was.  His brother had arrived at the cemetery in
France to deliver something and seeing his brother’s body was the first time he
knew he had died.  My aunt took a few moments to remember and name several others who did not make it home.

Working hard is not something this lady did…it is something she continues to do every
day..and she continues to do for others.
She is smart as a whip about current events and her opinions are based
on good thought….she is who I would like to be when I grow up….you know..once I
leave my sixties..it takes some of us longer to grow up than others.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. eof737
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 05:23:58

    I love family stories… and would love to read about your Aunt too. :-)

    Reply

  2. The Good Greatsby
    Nov 15, 2011 @ 23:02:34

    It’s so hard for us to do such hard work today and it’s so hard to comprehend how earlier generations worked so hard for so long. I know my parents did more manual hard work than I did and my kids do even less.

    Reply

  3. Crystal Rayne
    Nov 15, 2011 @ 20:09:58

    By her sharing all of her stories, you are the one the family torch is passed on to ;)

    I absolutely love listening to the older generations. I sit and marvel at how times seems to have changed, yet at the same time stayed the same. There was a neighbor when I was a little girl about 9 years old. After school I would go to her house and we would sit down for tea. The “good” tea cups don’t ya know. Emmy was 87 years young and no family left to speak of. The younger family members sort of wrote her out of the family, for being old of absurd things. I sat there for hours, days and 3 years until she passed. The wealth of knowledge, life experience and heartache she held in her was abundant. I still think of her fondly and often wonder if her family even skipped a beat with her passing. Do they wonder about their own family history? I alone am the surviving witness to Mrs. Emmy Emerson’s life to the final end.
    I think what people want is to have a witness, someone that knows they were here, a person that knows the stories, a sort of footprint of their existence. I am Emmy’s witness, she was here and she lived, loved and cried. But…most of all she has left her footprint, Emmy’s tales have been passed on to my own children, she has left her mark :)

    Reply

  4. Chatter Master
    Nov 15, 2011 @ 05:32:05

    G2’s little voice, nothing better!

    I hope you share more of your aunt’s stories. We just can’t afford to lose her kind of ethic (work or otherwise). I love her Christmas story!

    Reply

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