|Bellevue and Turtle Mountain|
|Nammie & Grandad|
Marilyn says that it was always "Carol and Marilyn against the world". They were close from the time they were children, and Marilyn, 2 years the younger, says she tagged along with mom and her friends often.
Once the group of friends decided to create a club. The initiation into the club was to jump a chasm. Marilyn was told to go first. She leapt and landed on the scrabbly rock on the other side, and managed to scramble to the top with some difficulty and no doubt many scrapes. At that point the others decided that another initiation might be better.
On another occasion a group decided to walk through Skeleton Cave. Of course this had been strictly banned by their parents. The cave had a narrow trail along one side and a deep pit below, and was dark as pitch. mom was one of the first through, and Marilyn was at the back. Halfway through the girl in front of Marilyn said, "That's all, I'm going back!!" Marilyn had no choice but to go back as well.
When Mom got out the other side and everyone came out behind her, she was missing her little sister! She had visions of going home and explaining how she had lost Marilyn in Skeleton cave. But they found each other eventually.
|Mom the babe|
When she finished high school, my mother moved out and was in Vancouver for a time. She came back home and she and Marilyn took advantage of a government grant that paid $50 for young women to go to Edmonton and go to secretarial school. They did well, except for the weekend that they skipped school to hitchhike home. That was frowned upon as well.
Later mom met my Dad, Pat, and they got married and had my brother Lance. Mom was a stay at home mom, and they lived in Calgary. She got pregnant with me, and then Dad disappeared from the picture for a while. No one ever said where he went or why, and that section of mom's life is a little shrouded in mystery. I assume she had me alone, but I'm not positive. I know she had two aunts in Calgary who helped out for a while, but the story goes that when they gave her money she would buy toys for us, so they stopped giving her money and started buying her groceries instead.
|Mel and Marilyn later in life|
I remember that basement. Later I would walk by the laundry chute upstairs and hear a ghostly voice saying, "Melody, this is the ghost of the baseme...eeenn...nttt...t..." And I'd say, "Marilyn, I know that's you!!" and Marilyn would come around the corner saying, "What, Melody? I'm right here." They took turns, but I was just playing along, I knew who it was. I think.
|Marilyn, Mom, Lance and me|
|How cute was Lance?|
Dad came back in '62, and we all moved back to Edmonton. Mom stayed home until we were all in at least junior high, (Tanis made her appearance in 1963). Then she went back to work. Both mom and dad gave us a great work ethic.
Mom was very loyal throughout her life and although she had her problems (and who doesn't?), she had a heart as big as all outdoors. A lot of people say I'm like my dad, and I am, but I know I got a lot of my generosity from mom. Mom loved kids, and always had fun with us. She had us all in sports and music lessons (Sadly music seems to skip a generation, Tanis' kids have talent but none of us do).
Anyway, we did it, and I got caught by the dragon lady up the block. She dragged me home by the arm, and I thought I'd get into trouble. Mom took one look and said, "let go of my daughter!" The lady yelled for a few minutes, and mom said, "I'll take care of it, but don't you ever touch her again!" The lady left, and mom said, "Don't play it there again, ok?"
She had a green thumb and we had a big garden most places we lived. She helped relatives and friends many times, and she threw great parties. Family was important to her. She loved to be outdoors, and we would go on long hikes and go looking for crystals in canyons or looking for shells on the beach.
She was endlessly fascinated by nature, and had a great curiosity about many things. She read the Koran in English to better understand that religion in the 70's. She worked at the University of Alberta and was excited to be in that environment of learning.
|Mom in Cape Breton|
Your mom was a great role model for me as a parent! How to be a cool mom? Be like Mel's mom."
Mom and dad made it to their 50th anniversary.
We loved them both very much. They are both gone now, to join Linda Anne, Ron, and Joyce who tragically died the same day as my mother. They also will join Bobby, Ida, Donny, Sammy and George, my dad's siblings. It must be quite a party up there. Goodbye, mom, I love you.