Sunday, January 8, 2012

Memory Lane

The first time I was a flower girl was at my Aunts wedding.
I must have just turned 3.
In those days it seems every one had dresses made of Satin.
My Mom's dress was beautiful. So was my Aunts' .

I was the youngest and not really sure what was going on. There were two other, much older girls and they were always nasty to me.
We were all told to hold my Aunts trane but
one kept pushing me so I fall and the other kept pinching me, so
I would defend myself while holding her trane and this was a typical comedy you see on TV in weddings, with bad behavior between people having to do with the

They were four years older and should have know better and told to stop but instead,
everyone kept telling me to stop fighting while they stood like they were offended by my behavior.

They took a picture and I was the saddest little girl there, looking heart broken at my Aunt and then at the camera, while the other two stood
arrogant and stuffy holding their bouquets in front of the bride and groom.
I think, between the two of them, they even tore my dress.

I don't remember much of the day except that it was quite a stressful one for me.

This rivalry between kids continued for a long time.

When my aunt had her baby boy I loved to watch him in his crib.
He was a fat little rascal with chubby cheeks and he'd lay there kicking away.
Sometimes being 4 and very knowledgeable already when it came to changing diapers I would help out and then help him hold the bottle so he could drink.

My Grand Mother told us one day that she scolded him because he was also quick, stubborn and into everything just like me. He told her she better stop or he wouldn't let her wipe his bum anymore. Well ! she said: What a loss . lol
He never lived that one down . lol

By now there were three girls and my baby cousin who would come with their parents for dinner to my Grand Mothers House. The older girls were the same old stuffy ones. They tried to hold my cousin who didn't like to be held and then there was me and another girl who was one year younger. She became more of a playmate for me, but she always liked to cry .

She cried over everything and it wasn't just a cry but a sort of low bellow.
She would begin on a very low note and head on up the scale to a high note.
This is probably where she got her ear for piano cause she was born knowing the scale. lol
She played but she never liked it lol

I found it quite entertaining to listen to her when she started because
it annoyed the adults. They hated it and she got spanked for it all the time which made her bellow more.

When she finally did stop, we'd be sitting there, I'd pinch her gently from behind.
She never knew it was me and she'd begin all over again.
Parents were strict in those days and I was glad for once it wasn't me in trouble lol
My cousin later always got me into trouble because I was 4 years older and it was my job to watch him while the adults ate dinner.

If he'd get into some trouble I was blamed and even spanked. My Dad would say when we get home, which terrified me because I knew he meant it and would not forget.
To this day I don't know what they expected me to do?

Once my cousin found out I would get into trouble for what he did, he made sure to do more bad things around me.
This got me very upset and I began to refuse going there or to play with him but then he'd complain to my Dad that he wanted to do something and I didn't and my Dad would lay into me and order me to watch him. I'd say
No, you go and watch him. I don't want to .

Then I'd get into trouble and my cousin would sit and smirk.
We all get our turn I guess lol

My little bellowing friends' claim to fame was once when her Mom was holding her, she pretended to have a piece of chocolate in her hand and she put it into her Mom's mouth. Her Mom enjoyed it till she tasted a ball of poop. She got it from her diaper.
That story kept us giggling for a long time. lol

They took a picture of us all sitting together at one dinner party and she and I were smiling, all innocence, while the two older girls were still huffy and serious looking. I don't know if any one of us ever liked each other but it had nothing to do with the younger gals. It was the older gals with the problem. I know one of them had a very strict up bringing even worse than I did.

I don't have pictures to share because my Father foolishly gave all our photos to my cousin who promised to put them on a disc for him. My Dad told me what he did and I was very annoyed with him for doing this because I told him he will never see them again.
This upset him and he tried to get them back but then he died and I asked my cousin also to give them back but..........
so far nothing.

My Aunt had another baby, a daughter and it ended up that the three of us played together. The other three girls were friends of the family and I didn't see much of them.

What was funny though was that one of the older girls got married and was very happy with her new husband.
She took birth control pills and died within a year of marriage at around 26. She left her home to go somewhere and collapsed in the front yard. From what I heard it sounded like a vein burst in her brain and it had something to do with these pills. They changed the pills after that for women.
This was a very upsetting time for her family because she was the only daughter and they raised her to be the best at everything. She was especially good at piano. Goes to show, no matter how strict you are with your kids or how much you guard them , shit happens.

The other older one's life was not very good . Her parents were very obliging. Anything she wanted she would sniffle out of them. She was into ballet and dancing. Once I found her ballet shoes and tried them on. It was the first time I was able to stand on my toes and I loved the feeling. My parents never let me do anything. Unlike my friends who hated piano, I wanted to play. My Dad had a chance to get me a piano for 54 dollars but my Mother refused saying it would be too noisy and she didn't want to listen to all the noise I would make all day. I remember he was disappointed and my Aunt and Gramma were quite upset with my Mom cause they believed in exposure for children. So My Mom got a teacher at school to give me lessons on a card key board and this made no sense for me so I never learned. The teacher said I had no talent and my Mom was only too happy to pass this on to my Gramma and Aunt.

Anyway , this other older girl was busy marrying and divorcing last I heard.
My youngest friend who I played with, died of pancreatic cancer. She went wild in high school and our friendship suffered on account of it.
She had one boy and her parents who were already quite old, had a very hard time getting over it.
No parent wants to see their child die before they do.
This girl was not an easy child to raise and almost died from ....... maybe meningitis. I remember the whole church praying for her when we were kids.
In those days the adults always whispered and we caught a bit here and a bit there but kids were usually sent away to another room.

So out of that group only my two cousins and I remained close but now, even we are far apart.
It's funny how life takes over and everyone goes their own way.

In those days polio was prevalent. There was a little neighbor girl afflicted with it but I had shots so I was spared.
We had many thalidomide babies born with short arms and legs. I could have been one of them if my mom took these nausea pills but she refused and down my street we had a bungalow used as a care unit for babies with water on the brain.

I have no idea why this was but we'd walk and look down an incline and we'd see them all in cribs, some with bigger heads than others. Then they would eventually die. We never hear of such things today.

The milk was brought to my Grand Mothers house by a horse and carriage and the horse sometimes left droppings which of course I had to taste. Then they came to pave the street and they tarred it. My Mom just dressed me in a fine new white dress for Sunday. The first thing I did was get into the tar and she had a job getting it out of my hair. The dress went into the garbage.

The first year of school I must have caught everything from the other kids. The doctor back then made house calls and mine came numerous times even during the night to see me. Looking back it was like from Brontes time or even better, from the book, Little Women.

My Mom would shut my blinds and sit with me all day and night with compresses and then she'd hear a knock on the door around midnight and outside in the cold and snow, was the doctor.
She'd be shocked that he was so vigilant and caring.
We all have angels and he was mine.

We also had by, what is now the La Fontaine Tunnel, a huge building for mental afflictions.
We would see so many people walking outside but we were told to stay away because we did not know what to expect of them. Sometimes they threw things at you over the fence.
There are many horror stories about what went on in that building in those days.
One never wanted to end up there, that's for sure. As you walked by, you could not help but feel sorry for them because they looked so sad and confused and angry.

Once you begin going down memory lane more and more things pop up.

Have a good one :)


Lydia Kang said...

It's amazing what you dig up in your memory if you look around enough. Wonderful post. :)

A Lady's Life said...

lydia yes reading books its amazing what you remember

Gattina said...

Lots of childhood memories ! Your father honnestly behaved more than a little strange ! I never attended a big marriage when I was little, it was after war time and there was no money to make big weddings and dressing up, was impossible there were no clothes to buy !

A Lady's Life said...

gattina - this was normal behavior. Until laws were passed against abuse, men beat their wives and their children.
Quebec especially, The French always beat their wives, drank and never brought money home to feed their 9 kids. lol My dad was in german labor camps, he was beaten himself and starved.He was just a kid himself. People who came out of these places never felt pain and never had tears when they cried. My Dad cried. He was a good Dad on the whole. And dresses, my family had to sew. My grandmother was a fashion designer and every one learned from

Diana said...

Medically speaking we have come so far' it's truly a blessing. My grandfather had polio.
I was fortunate to have amazingly friendly cousins. They were always good to me and I always looked forward to visiting them. Unfortunately we've all lost contact. I enjoyed reading your memories.
Love Di ♥

A Lady's Life said...

Diana - My cousins were friendly too. But this was friendly sibling rivalries. Since my job as the oldest was to watch them they didn't like it and this was their way of getting payback but it really was nothing. I just stopped taking responsibility for them. I told my Dad that at their age I was already taking responsibility so they had to learn too lol It wasn't fair I go through life being responsible for them. My aunt moved to the states and that was the end of that. lol