Friday, 9 May 2008

A Woman's Job Is Never Done

In January, 1993, when Angelique just turned 17 and was in Grade 12 she had to interview and write about someone that she admired the most.  She wrote about her Grandma and entitled the paper ‘A Woman’s Job Is Never Done.’  Angelique’s paper will be in bold.

I thought that this would be a good time to place this in my blog as Mother’s Day is on Sunday and this is a tribute to my Mother.  Cheers to you Mom.

As my biggest role model sits beside me on the couch, I sit in amazement of her beauty and self control that she seems to carry with her always.  As she continues to support her smoking habit of about 54 years (as she is now 66 years of age), she still looks as elegant as always.  She is the only one I have known to look incredibly graceful with a cigarette.  I remember even as a child trying to imitate and look like her with a cigarette, yet I used a pen and almost mastered the way she would hold it and exhale the smoke.

I look up at her eyes and she smiles as I begin to ask her about her life.  She was born December 7, 1926, in Aberdeen, Scotland.  She was adopted, yet she was still in contact with her biological family.  She seemed to be a very eccentric little red head then, as she is now.  She was very brave and strong and a rather pesky tomboy.  With her happy-go-lucky personality, Daisy Ste. Marie (then Cowie) was very popular, and always attracted people towards her.  She was always with her group of friends and together they seemed to be very close and were always doing something or other exciting.

As she speaks with her hands and motions about, she explains how they had no T.V. to center their lives around, as they went for picnics to the beach, the cinema, pantomimes, and as often as possible, they went dancing at the club on the boulevard.  It was there at the boulevard that she met Henri Ste. Marie.

It was about the year 1945 during World War II.  She had been dancing all night and went to stand at the radiator to keep warm.  A rather good looking soldier (Canadian) walked into the club with another woman.  She bet her friend that she could steal him away.  As the evening progressed, the man asked her to dance.  He had told her that he had been watching her all night, and he bet her money that he would marry her, and he gave her the money to keep.

She fought it over with him and laughed and he walked her home.  It turns out that they got married a month later.  She had always dreamed about having a big wedding, but it wasn’t possible during the war.  She had to save her clothing coupons and many of the neighbours gave her coupons for her dress.  The wedding took place in a church by the ocean with her Maid of Honour and the Best Man.  After the wedding, they went out for supper.  They will have celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary on February 28th.

As she had her first of thirteen children, she said that it was one of the happiest moments in her life, although she said it felt like the end of the bloody world.  As she asks my grandpa how old she was (he says 19), she disagrees and says 18 and they argue about it for a while.  She then goes on explaining all of the great times she has had with her kids.  She exclaims that she is very proud of all her children and their success as none of them seemed to have done anything that bad, as she smiles.  “And they’ve done a good job with their kids too!”

She was the perfect mother, who spent time with each, and they always played games, and she’s done the same with all of her grandchildren.  I can vouch for that one!  After her first child, she had to move to Canada, where all of her children grew up.

As she explains her move to Canada from Scotland (which she misses dearly), she explains about how it was one of the hardest times of her life; actually it was the most depressing yet at the same time, it was a great feeling since she didn’t know her whereabouts.  As she was leaving at the train station, her ex-boyfriend was playing the bagpipes, which she loves so much.  When she first got to Canada, she felt very lonely.  But as she explains about how she has no regrets “Life is too short to worry; you must continue.”

She had many friends and it was through one of these friends at church, that she finally saw her sister after 30 years.  Her friend’s son went to Scotland and stayed with his aunt.  His aunt worked with my grandma’s sister, Elsie.  Elsie met the lady’s son and they struck up a conversation about Winnipeg, and one thing led to another and when the son came back, he gave all of the information to my grandma.

My grandma did not talk or know where Elsie lived or if she was even alive after 30 years.  So when they came into contact, and my grandma went to Scotland to see her, she said that was the happiest time of her life.  She said she balled her head off the whole time and didn’t even think she’d recognize her.  But when they saw each other (and neither are very affectionate) they sat there crying and hugging the whole time.

To me, my grandma is the greatest person.  I hope I have helped you understand how super she is since she is the mother of 13 wonderful children, 40-some grandchildren, she is a very happy, strong and wise lady.

I learn a lot from her, and I love her very much.

Just to let you know the child born in Scotland is my brother Harry.  Also just to let you know, the elegant cigarette smoking has stopped.

The love-affair between my daughter and her grandma continues and is just as strong as when one of the ladies was 17 and the other lady was 66.  Angelique is so blessed that her daughter Josephine now has a great-grandma to love.

The picture at the start of my blog was taken last week in the front yard.  For those of you who are not sure who is who, here is my key.

The two mothers each have a heart on their dresses, because once you have children your heart is just naturally on the outside of your body.  Grandma is the queen mother and Angelique is the junior mother.  Nadalene has on funky sandals and is wearing a tiara and has a picture of herself as a young girl on her dress.  Nathan is wearing a crown and has on some red high-tops, he is sporting the number 12 for some sports team, and still likes to hold his grandma’s hand.  Josephine is also holding her great-grandma’s hand and has a star on her dress because she is the little star of our family.  Also Josephine’s cheeks are rosy because she ate some apples.

We all love you Mom.  Happy Mother’s Day.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute to you mom, Angelique must get her nack for writting from her wonderful mom, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

mom said...

thank you for being you stay that way for 30 more years ... you have me too high on a pedaistal... love mom

Shelly said...

What a wonderful mom we have! How lucky for me to have her to myself Sunday nights!

Deborah said...

Renee, this is so lovely! I'm having lunch with you again. This is my favorite: "once you have children your heart is just naturally on the outside of your body". **kisskiss** Deb