Sunday Family Stories - Happy Birthday Mom!

When I always comment that my husband keeps me balanced, there is probably no one else in the world who helped me to be unbalanced (not always in a bad way) as my Mom... 

You see, my grandmother always said that my mom was her reminder of how she tested her own parents... so much alike... and that's how my relationship with my mom was too!

I don't remember my mom as a child... I hadn't been born yet (tongue firmly in cheek here), but I got to know her through helping to work on my grandmother's memoirs so before I share my reminisces, I'm going to share some of hers:

Her Birth:
"Judith Anne was born February 27th, 1952 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, weighing in at six pounds, eleven ounces. She was short and as fat as a roll of butter, with a full head of dark hair. She was named for Judy Kosovi, and her middle name, Anne, was for my mother Annie Oliver and my paternal grandmother Sarah Anne Vanstone. Anne is also my second name.

At this time, Ken was on short time at Consolidated Glass and was afraid to ask for time off. He was on a job out-of-town on the day I was released from the hospital, but he arranged for his supervisor to pick up Judy and me and deliver us home.

It was against hospital rules for patients to keep money at the hospital and I could not be discharged until the bill was paid. I couldn’t ask Ken’s boss for the money so I went to the office and filled out a blank cheque for the amount due… knowing there was no money in the account. My first and only act of fraud! When Ken came home that night, he took the cash to the hospital and retrieved the worthless cheque… sometimes you do what you have to do!

These were emotional times for us, as the doctors had said we would never have children and we had proven them all wrong. I was constantly plagued by poor health though, and Ken was only working part-time. Every evening, Judy would sleep on Ken’s knee in the big chair, sometimes all night because he hated to put her in her bassinet. We both had so much love for this miracle baby."

And to top it all off:

"When Judy finally arrived on February 27th, 1952, Ken called on the “old party line” to relate the wonderful news. Everyone in the rural community knew that when the central operator rang the Olivers, it would be with the news of the birth and therefore picked up the line. This made it extremely difficult to hear on the long distance call! Dad answered, and when he heard that the baby was a girl, he demanded rather impolitely for everyone to hang up, promising to call them later. A multitude of clicks were heard on the line."

My mother was only two days away from being a leap year baby!  She was the oldest of four children and boy did that make her bossy... She came by it honestly though, as I probably do...

Before she married and had kids, my Mom was a teacher and taught Kindergarten at Wilkinson P.S. in Toronto... she tells the story that she was down on the rug playing blocks with the children one day when one of her students came over to her and said that a "Man with yellow socks" was there to see her... it turned out to be the School Principal but it taught her a lot about perspective.

My Mom always came up with ingenious ways to deal with me and my siblings - I have two by the way, Catherine and Mark.. and she needed to, because we were all born within the span of 30 months of each other... I don't know how she survived those preschool years - money was tight and I remember her canning everything that didn't move, in between doing loads of cloth diapers because we didn't wear disposables, and making her own baby food...  In those years she was SuperMom!  She even devised a way to keep my siblings at bay when I, as the oldest wanted privacy - you may have read about it here.

I could go on and on, but I will close and say Happy Birthday Mom!  I love and miss you and can't wait til you get here for a visit in May!