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.