Quickly Flow the Years

It’s Mother’s Day and although I am a Mom and a Grandmother, I am still thinking of my own mother, who has been gone for eighteen years.

Amelia, my Mother.


In this photo, taken shortly before my mother was married, her whole life was before her.

She looks so trusting and almost wistful in this photo.  It was taken on a trip to New York to visit her sisters.  She and Dad got married in New York City at St. Nicholas Church in the Bronx. Fifty years later Mayor Ed Koch sent a letter congratulating them on their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Mom was a woman who uplifted everyone she met.  Decades later, friends and cousins would tell me that they remembered Mom praising them and telling them that they were beautiful or intelligent or a great business person.  She was always thinking of the other person.

When her own mother was bedridden, Mom bathed her and did her laundry.  She took care of her bachelor brother when he was sick and was patient and kind.

I have a hazy memory of Mom when she came home from the hospital after adding the latest brother or sister to the family.  She was wearing a lovely green soft wool dress, slim-fitting, and her figure didn’t have an ounce extra.  She looked down at the baby and the love in her eyes was something I’ll always remember.

Mom was funny both intentionally and unintentionally.  She had a great sense of what was humorous and she laughed often.  Children made her smile and there were always neighbourhood kids who dropped in to see Mom.

She loved God and spent many hours praying, most likely for her children.  I can still picture her sitting by the window reading the Bible.

Mom had a beautiful voice and she played the piano very well.  She was in several productions as a child and in her old age could remember all the words to all the songs she sang.  She was a good artist as well, although I remember only one painting that she did, on a dare from one of my brothers.

Today is Mother’s Day.  My husband is with his Mother.  She is 91 and very ill.  She hasn’t seen him for more than five years so imagine how thrilled she must have been to wake up in her hospital bed to see her eldest child (of 12) sitting beside her.

I miss my Mother and I am thankful I had her.

Today is Mother’s Day.  A day for children to “rise up and call their mothers, Blessed”.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, young and old. – Maureen




BA (Failed)

In some parts of the British Empire, it used to be considered very important to have gone to university.  Notice I said gone to university, not graduated from university.  I have actually seen, with my own eyeballs, a person sign his name like this:

John Smith, B.A. (Failed)

That’s right!   Failed!  I can’t imagine that happening today, in our society.  But just think of all the wonderful possibilities for padding your resume! 

  • PhD in Nuclear Science (Thought About It, Decided Against it)
  • Worked with Stephen Hawking (Cleaned his Office)
  • Teaching Degree (Didn’t Like Kids)
  • Team Player (Little League Baseball)
  • Good with People (Read People Magazine Every Chance I Get)
  • Fast Thinker (Have Slowed Down Somewhat)
  • Willing to Work from Dawn to Dusk (With Frequent Breaks)
  • Love to Work Weekends (When I’m Unsupervised)
  • Will Work for Minimum Wage (Minimum Work)
  • Interested in Your Company (What was it Again?)
  • Willing to Forego Pay Increases for Five Years (If the Salary is Huge to Start With)
  • Varied Interests (Internet Games)
  • Computer Expert (Specializing in Solitaire)
  • Qualified in First Aid (Treated  my Own Colds for Years)
  • BSc in Geology (They took me for Granite)

Honesty – you’ve got to love it!!!


Thoughts on A Marriage

Seventy-five years ago today, my parents were married in New York City.  They were married for 51 years before Dad died, followed by Mom eight years later.  It seems like a good day to reflect on their life together.

Mom and Dad lived in Nova Scotia during the Depression.  Dad moved next door to Mom and he must have been captivated by her blond beauty and her pretty blue eyes.  She on the other hand must have been fascinated by this handsome man from a French Canadian family.  When he had saved up enough money, Dad proposed and Mom accepted.  She travelled to New York to buy her trousseau.

Mom’s four older sisters had gone to live in The States because there were more job openings for “convent-trained” secretaries and nurses, and they had all settled there and had husbands and families.  Mom’s father had worked on the Canadian National Railway so Mom was able to get a very inexpensive ticket to NYC.  But Dad got impatient and couldn’t wait.  She was there only a few days when he arrived and they decided to get married at St. Nicholas Church, on January 9, 1937.

Later that year, in December, my oldest brother was born. He was the first of 11 siblings, and although Mom came from a family of eleven children, she was the 10th and was not a very neat organized housekeeper.  Our household was chaotic!  

Dad worked long hours to provide for all of us and I can honestly say that we had all the food and clothing we needed.  We had music lessons, art lessons, and dance lessons.  We took part in every kind of sport and if we wanted something, we got it. 

Everyone came to our house.  Well, half the town was already there!!!  Some mornings I’d come downstairs and find young fellows sleeping on the living room rug.  They didn’t have a place to sleep and one of my brothers invited them home.  Mom would be there asking them questions about their families and making them feel welcome.

There was always music, piano, guitar, and singing.  I’m sure the neighbours cringed when my brother took up the saxophone and decided to practice outside in the backyard.  Whenever Mom and Dad had a little disagreement, we’d find Dad playing some passionate composition on the piano.  I guess it was better than yelling and we knew enough to steer clear.

Mom and Dad loved each other and each of their eleven children and they made us feel special.  They taught us right from wrong and they taught us to be kind to others.  They taught us to work hard and to get an education.  They taught us to not give up but to keep on trying.  When they were in their 60s, they signed up for university courses.  Dad had retired but became a school crossing guard.  Mom had never had a paying job in her life but she worked for a charity once a week.  They belonged to church organizations and I know that Dad helped out many families who were having financial difficulties.  He started a group of businessmen who, anonymously, provided bicycles for children whose families couldn’t afford them. 

My own marriage has benefitted from seeing Mom and Dad handle the ups and downs of a life together.  My husband’s parents were very similar to my own.  They had 10 children and then decided to adopt two more for an even dozen.  They were married for 35 years until his Dad died at 59.  His mother is still alive at almost 91.

Marriage.  A life lived together!