Pieces of Pain, Parts of the Past

Genealogy can be a very lonely hobby. I’ve been at it for over 40 years and am now just benefiting from it, this past year (late 2015-2016).

Three younger cousins have reached out asking about their respective mom/in-law or dad, having recently lost them to cancer or a stroke.

(The baby) Ethel Alice 1940-2016 was my Mama Rabbit


I told each of them what precious tidbits I knew, told to me by my Mum. Stories entrusted to me that I never believed I would ever tell, except (maybe) here, to friends, colleagues and strangers.

But, I must ask: Can you imagine being pulled out of school mid-year? And you haven’t celebrated your ninth birthday yet. 

Oh, and you will *not* be returning to finish Grade 5; you are the only girl and are needed to run the family household: cook, clean, and tend to your ill mother. (Talk about profiling/ stereo-typing!)!

Your two older brothers are also out of school; helping your father with chores in the barn and tending to the fields.

Ten years later -AUG1959, you are dressed in black. Yes, your brave Mum lost her long and hard battle with brain cancer. She is no longer in pain; she no longer suffers, but those empty words ring hollow.

There is no comfort as you struggle through your own tears to explain to your four- and five-year-old sisters and two-year-old brother that “Mummy is sleeping with the flowers,” as they continue calling out to her as they look around the vacant church green!

Your family home is in mourning; the amount of time to adjust and “get back to normal” is unknown. You can only take things, one day at a time.

APR1960: You feel betrayed; your mother has been replaced! 

Your father has remarried!

Now, I cannot continue this story-telling without relaying opinion, my mother’s opinion of her step-mother: a woman deemed not good enough.

Skipping ahead, two years later, Mum left home to marry my father. Another year more, and I was hopping around underfoot! And my chapter began …



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