“My favourite story about Mom comes from a time when we were trying to find a parking spot at People’s Grocery Store in Kelowna. There were no spaces available, and after quite a few circles, we were waiting for someone to back out when this lady cut in front of us and took the spot. Well, Mom was having no part of that. We grabbed a buggy in the store and then found the lady and followed her down the aisles. Mom said loudly to everyone we passed as she pointed to the parking offender, ‘Out of the way, important lady… lady in a rush… out of her way!’ Gosh, I don’t ever remember laughing so hard; it still makes me laugh.” (MJ)
“Angels…I remember sitting quietly with Mom as she lay back against her pillows looking up as sunbeams came through the high ceiling windows. Mom was smiling, her face transformed with joy. I had never seen her look so happy. I asked her gently who she was seeing, but she just shook her head slightly and kept looking up, with her eyes moving about the room as though following someone. I had read about people seeing Angels as they were dying, and I knew without doubt that she was seeing hers.” (JE)
“Walk or bike, that was the only way kids got around then, and Jean was thrilled to get a second hand bike for $12.00 in grade eight. She rode it everywhere but once she hit a set of railroad tracks too hard and flipped head first over the handle bars. Wounds and scrapes were largely ignored in her family so although her right wrist was very painful she went to school for a few days before a teacher told her that the school was going to phone her parents and see that she had her wrist looked at by a doctor – it was swollen to double the normal size. Sure enough it was broken, and she ended up in a cast.
Besides biking, Jean was also a force to be reckoned with on the baseball field. She loved softball and played at lunch, and before and after dinner. All the kids played together, boys and girls. Jean said she was a strong player. “How strong” I asked? “Well, I was the pitcher” she said, looking off in the distance and smiling, “and I was pretty good, and at bat I hit a lot of home runs…”
“My father moved away to find work. Mind you, these were the Depression years, and they were really tough years. We lived on a farm and my mother was left to look after us and manage all the chores. My father would come home for a few weeks at a time and right away he would change things around. He undid my Boy Scout career totally. “No son of mine is going to be put into the military aspect of things.” So I wasn’t allowed to be a Boy Scout. And then he went away again for a year or two. I was pretty upset about that. But my mother, she was just getting along.” (RA)
“As soon as I became old enough, I trained as a radio operator and was posted to Halifax on a navy ship but I never sailed in combat because the war ended. After the war ended, I did a stint guarding navy vessels in Howe Sound as they awaited further deployment or decommissioning. Then I went to work in Britannia mine where two of my older brothers were working. We had a lot of fun in those days even though the work was hard.
When work slowed down at Brittania, I headed to Vancouver to work in construction. The job involved long hours working out in the cold and rain. One morning a fellow worker came to work still a bit drunk, and he accidentally walked right off the end of the bridge and died right there… I applied for work as a foreman on the George Massey Tunnel even though I wasn’t one, and because I could talk well, they believed my story and hired me.” (HJH)
“After school, Dorothy and Shirley quite often went down to the river by themselves and hung around with other kids on a bridge. One day things got a bit hot, and it culminated in the two sisters fighting the boys and pushing them all off the bridge and into the river below. From that moment on their reputation was solid with the other kids. However, It did not take long for the story to get round to Matilda and when she heard the details, she was shocked. Pushing boys off a bridge did not align with her idea of what her lovely dress- wearing girls should be doing in their after school time and so they were given a lengthy grounding to consider their actions, past and future. (Did she laugh at the spunk of her girls – behind their backs?)” (DF)
“Life is eternal, and love is immortal
And death is only a horizon
And a horizon is nothing
Save the limit of our sight.”
(Raymond Worthington Rossiter)