Sunday, 12 July 2009
Jacquie was 1 ½ years old when I was born. Jacquie had two older brothers and had four older sisters; she was the 5th girl born and the 7th child in a family that would be comprised of 13 children. Jacquie was the middle child in our family having six older and six younger siblings.
Jacquie is the only other member of my family that was born in The Pas, Manitoba. I happen to be the other. Our Dad was working on the trains at the time and the local priest, Father Rene Major, was the person who suggested both of our first names; Jacqueline and Renee.
Many of my earliest memories of Jacquie are of her hanging out with Camille. The two of them were inseparable.
I have so many memories of Jacquie from my childhood. I remember Jacquie as being serious and athletic. Jacquie was the top female athlete at our school and there is nothing Jacquie could not play well. I don’t remember a sports team that she wasn’t the captain of. And you know Jacquie always took it in stride and as a matter of fact. I remember cheerleading and Jacquie would ask ‘Why do you want to do that?’ And I was like ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ And she would say ‘Well you can play on the team instead.’ And I would be like ‘Why would I want to do that?’
Jacquie is the one person in the family that everyone is crazy about. Whether you are her sister, brother, mother, father, niece or nephew or even great niece like Josephine they are all crazy about her.
Jacquie is the only person I know that I would say that when she sees God, he will say ‘Well done!’ She is also the one person that when I see God and he is interrogating me hard, I am going to ask that Jacquie come and negotiate for me; as she is tenacious and never gives up. I am sure with her negotiations she can get God to slip me in the backdoor of Heaven.
Jacquie and I had so much fun when we were in high school and I have so many memories from our teen years.
I remember when I was in Grade 8 telling the teacher that Jacquie was having some problems and that I would have to be excused from the class at some point during the day to go to her classroom to make sure she was okay, and it would have to happen for about a month, I could bring the teacher a note if she needed. She said it would not be a problem. So everyday I would climb the stairs at school and go to Jacquie’s class, knock on the door and tell the teacher I needed to see Jacquie. Now Jacquie hated attention being drawn to her and would get up from her desk and come to the door, shut the door, and stand in the hall with me while I said ‘Our Father who art in Heaven’ and we would kill ourselves laughing (in a silent church-type way) and then she would go back in her class with a red face and everyday it would be repeated except by the second week just when I would knock the kids would say in unison ‘Jacquie, Renee is here.’ har har har.
I remember when we went to Banff and I was probably 16 and Jacquie 17 ½ and we both had boyfriends. We were staying there for a few days and Colette and I met the cutest French boys from Quebec. They could barely speak English which was even cuter.
Anyway some of the boys liked Jacquie and wanted to see if they could meet her. I got Jacquie to come for a walk with me and Colette and we ended up at a big open fire pit. Jacquie was so straight laced she would barely talk to the boys. I’m like going to kiss one and she is disgusted because we have boyfriends and I’m like so what? Anyway, I for one know she wishes she had kissed them now.
Jacquie was a beautiful child with auburn hair, lots of freckles, and blue eyes. I would say that Jacquie and Mickey are the most beautiful looking women in the family.
I’m laughing because I’m thinking of another school incident where Jacquie was in Grade 11 and they were trying out those open classrooms and so the Grade 9’s were in there too and Jacquie would pretend to her teacher that I did not know how to speak and so Jacquie would interpret for me. I would go to her side of the class and make hand signals and Jacquie would have to tell the teacher what I was saying. Jacquie would look at my hands so seriously and then look up to the teacher and say that ‘Renee needs a quarter for milk or Renee needs to borrow a pencil.’ One time I did it and Jacquie said that we both had to be excused so we left the school so Jacquie could go home and watch some soap opera wedding.
Most of my memories with Jacquie involved either fun at school or fighting with her over her boyfriend. I would always say he was a creep and she would always want to kill me for saying it. One time when my parents were away on holidays and Suzie was watching us, Colette and I were fighting with Jacquie, Camille and Suzie. Jacquie was coming at me because I said her boyfriend was a loser (amongst other things) and I picked up my parents coffee table and threw it on her. Well holy shit, Colette screams at me to run and we both hightail it the fuck out of there while Jacquie, Suzie, and Camille chase us. Har har har, what fun. Good times.
Nadalene gave Jacquie the name A.J. (Auntie Jacquie) and so that is what they all call her, except Nathan on many occasions just says ‘Auntie Jack.’ Since we have had kids we have become the very best of sisters and our children have attended the same school and sometimes been in the same classrooms as they are the same age and they too have become the best of friends. Josephine is always wanting to go to A.J.’s pool.
When I was diagnosed with cancer Jacquie was completely devastated. She seemed more devastated then me.
To tell you what a saint Jacquie is, she quit her job to take care of me for the first two years that I was going through chemo. She took care of me everyday so that my husband and children could keep working and doing what they needed to do. Jacquie is the most selfless person I have ever known. I seriously don’t understand that kind of love. I am grateful however.
Jacquie is serious and has the memory of an elephant. When Shelly can’t remember what her kids did when they were little she will call Jacquie and Jacquie will tell her what they weighed and when they walked.
I am Jacquie’s favourite sister and she would freely admit it.
Describing Jacquie I would say that she is very attractive. Jacquie has the nicest hair of all of us and beautiful blue eyes. Jacquie is compassionate, strong, loyal, selfless, kind and considerate. Jacquie has always had pets and animals love her. I am happy that Jacquie is my sister.
‘Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.’ ~~ Susan Scarf Merrell ~~
I love my sister and she means the world to me. Jacquie thank you for the privilege.
Happy 55th Birthday Jacquie. Love Renee, Wahid, Angelique, Nadalene, Nathan, and Josephine.
*artwork by Kelly Vivanco