Who Am I

October 27, 1966
I was born (and mostly) raised in and around St-Eustache,Quebec.  A small, yet historically significant town north of Montreal.   If you click on the link, the famous church they are referring to is where I had my first communion and where we had my father's funeral. Our family burial plot is there. 

My Father was French Canadian Catholic.  My mother English Protestant. Let that sink in a moment. That is a whole other story on it’s own.
Mom & Dad's Wedding.  September 1951

If you ever get a chance to watch the documentary Quebec My Country Mon Pays, please do. It is so well done!  That will show you the kind of environment I grew up in.  And some of the exact area too, much to my surprise when I watched it.
Here is a link to the trailer       https://vimeo.com/182087241   It is only 2 minutes long and really worth the watch.  The film itself really resonated with me.  I cried more than once watching it.
The Revolution Tranquille and the FLQ crisis.  I remember being 4 yrs old and hiding under our kitchen table when the soldiers came to search our house during the October crisis.  James Cross and Pierre Laporte had been kidnapped and then Laporte killed.

As a very little girl all of my neighbourhood friends were French and I went to French school but we spoke English in the home.  I was the youngest of 6 living siblings, the oldest passed away at 6yrs of age before I was born. My brothers and sisters were much older and went to English school. They were all a year or two apart, born in the 50’s, during happier family times. I came along 7 ½ years after the youngest one.  I was the oops child.  My parent’s relationship had long since deteriorated.  They were not sharing the same bedroom. I have no memories of going on “family outings” or of them doing anything together. (except fight) I was either with my mother or with my father. Never the two together even though we were still under the same roof.

It was the 60’s/ early 70’s.  Every adult, or almost adult, in my world had a cigarette (or something else) in one hand and a drink in the other.  (This was Quebec, it seemed the legal drinking age was 15.)   My father was a travelling salesman and gone all week, only home on weekends but I had a close relationship with him.  I believe my mother was overwhelmed, and I am sure suffering from depression among other things. Although my mother kept a very clean house, and did the best she could running a tight ship as expected in those days, we never bonded as mother/ daughter.  It was my oldest sister who stepped in and provided the nurturing.  Bathing me, doing my hair, bedtime stories etc.  Although complex, I bonded more with her.    I have always been very close with all of my brothers and sisters and to this day we have a special bond that has been envied. I really don’t know where I would be without them.
The day of my Christening surrounded by my siblings

I considered myself to have a happy early childhood.  This was all I knew.  It seemed fine and in fact consisted of many happy memories.  We lived on a cul de sac and I was surrounded by a neighbourhood of great friends.  We still keep in touch to this day.   I loved music and had my own record player.  My very favourite song when I was 4 yrs old was Hey Jude and when I started kindergarten I had a huge Pink Floyd sticker on my lunch box. I really benefitted from having teenage siblings in an era when some of the best music came out.  My mom and dad both loved music too.  Some of the new stuff but a lot of the old greats. There was always music in our house and I feel so very grateful for that influence. What a gift.  I wish I still had some of those old 78’s.                   
 My heroes were Lassie and Hercules. I watched every day. I loved all animals but especially dogs, horses and other farm animals.  This shaped my core.  Music, dogs, horses.  To this day I still believe that in heaven, along with the most amazing worship we have ever heard, there will be just as many dogs as people, if not more and I will finally get to ride my winged horse.
My Kindergarten photo

Then the separation happened and the moves started.

Haunted Houses and Multiple Homes

When I was 6 yrs old mom left my dad and we went to go live with my grandfather in Laval West. Most of the older kids went to live elsewhere. It was another one of several haunted houses I have lived in.  This may sound dramatic or unbelievable to some I know.  For me, it was just part of my normal for as far back as I can remember because there was generational occult practices/paranormal activity on my mom’s side of the family. It was never something that I pursued. I have not picked up that baton and never will.  There are many things I don’t understand, and will not have answers to this side of heaven but I do know there is a spiritual realm. I couldn’t deny it if I tried and believe me some days I tried. There are ghosts. I have lived amongst them.  I have seen angels. I have seen demons. There is good and there is evil.  Although many things were traumatic over the years as far as all that spiritual stuff goes, and I do not want that time back, I am thankful now that it ended up helping me solidify my belief and trust in God and his love for me. 

Back to the move.  My poor mother was not in a good head-space. I think it was really hard for her to move back in with her father especially since he had never recovered from the death of my grandmother 4 years earlier.  He had been a highly respected and very brilliant Bell Telephone Co. Pioneer, but now the bottle had become his best friend. It was a time of sadness and darkness. My saving grace was having my cousin nearby to play Barbies and listen to David Cassidy and other music with, and seeing my dad on the weekends and holidays. He would take me on fun outings and road trips, often allowing me to bring at least one or more of my friends to join us.  It usually involved ponies and or the beach and hours discussing and planning the farm we were going to buy and all the animals we would have.  When alone, I played with my plastic barn and farm animals. My best friends.  I loved taking off on my bike and exploring all over town. I had a lot freedom for one so young. I became even more independent and fearless.

My older siblings invited my mom to go live with them in Woodstock, Ontario.  A fresh start. Part of the 70’s exodus from Quebec, which eventually ended up with every one of us landing in Beautiful British Columbia.  .........To be cont'd    


Popular posts from this blog

22 Days of Losing Paul

The Hard but Good and All The Firsts

A Moment of Silence