My mom was a young lady coming to Canada in the early 1960’s. She was to be a bride to an unknown gentleman that she had only knew through letters and pictures. She got off the plane and rested her eyes upon this liar-liar-pants-on-fire Canadian. It turned out he was not forthcoming with his age and had sent a picture of himself 10 years younger. So, my mother got a rude-awakening about seeing-is-believing to a man 20 years older than her. She was only 19. My mom in her no nonsense attitude told him “Oh no, I will not be staying at your mother’s house, please take me to my distant cousins home.” And so he did.
They arrived at the house and with a swish of the skirt she locked herself in the bedroom and refused to go with him. He lied to her about his age and she would not marry him. Bazinga!!
A month or so passed and my father was at his brother’s home visiting. They were telling him the story about this young Polish girl who had come to marry and how she refused. She had a short time left on her visa before she had to go back. She was looking for a husband. My dad went with his brother to go see the girl. He told me she was pretty. She didn’t speak a word of English, but she knew Ukrainian and my dad knew some too. He stayed and talked with her. He left and he came back again the next day and the next. They knew each other for a few weeks and got married. In true fashion, they got married on Feb. 7, but had a real church wedding on April 24 because in the church the Feb. 7th anniversary was not condoned by the church nor my parents. Fyi, my father was 10 years older than her. I asked Dad, “Why did she choose to marry you?” He said, “I was the only one who came there and didn’t drink and get slobbering drunk. She had left home so that she could find someone who wasn’t drunk all the time. Her village had many alcoholics and didn’t want that for herself.” I asked Mom, “Why did you choose him? I knew I could grow to love him.”
My mother passed away when I was 18. I was thinking about her today, since her birthday would be tomorrow. She’d be 72. I remember this story always amazed me. I can recall telling my friends, my parents knew each other for 2 weeks and were married for 32 years. I see it all more clearly now what kind of balls it would take to leave your home and never return. She was so close to her mother. She was the youngest in her family, just as I am. She only saw her mother 2 more times before her mother passed away in the 1980’s. I had my mother one less year than her mother had her at home. I don’t get traditional visits from my mother, but I have had her feel nearer in recent years.
I wish my mother a Happy Birthday. She gave me strength. She shares with me strong intuitiveness. Even in death, she is a fierce soul. She helps me protect my children. She continually points me down my path. Her human self may have destroyed our connection on earth, but our spirits are strongly connected now. I thank her for that. Her leaving me created a strong relationship with my father. I tried to self-destruct and I was given people in my life that saved me. If she was still alive I doubt if her and I could have achieved this appreciation for each other. I appreciate what she sacrificed for me. She moved away from her closest family to give herself and her children a better life. It is the greatest gift. Thanks Mom. I love you for eternity.