Saturday, February 6, 2016

More History

Mom is First Nation from Aamjiwnaang First Nation in South Ontario (near Sarnia).  In the fifties, she married the boy across the street and they decided to leave and make a life somewhere else.  First stop was Hamilton then mom was traumatized by a stranger, they decided to move to the outskirts of Ottawa.  Having six kids in seven years was a little tough especially at the beginning because we lived in a basement with no running water but we always had food thanks to Dad's annual hunting trips.  For the first fifteen years of my life (I'm the first born), Mom stayed home to look after the kids while Dad worked in construction.  It took everything they had to raise a large family.  One thing for sure though, Mom was always there for us kids.  She was the best cook, she baked, she canned, made all our clothes, handmade quilts and managed to run a household while raising her family.  

Sometimes I would kid her and say "Mom, you're the best Mom I ever had".  She would blush a little, giggle, and say "Yah right ... how many mothers do you think you have?".  She had a little sense of humor but mostly I remember her as being kind with a lovely disposition.  She was (and still is) the best mom ever.  Always there, kind, sweet and helpful.  I think I remember her raising her voice once and I believe it was because I had wet the bed at age 7 or 8.  

Later when the kids started hanging out with friends, she got bored and decided she wanted to start working. I was 15 and she was a cashier at Loblaws.  She was a strong, healthy and wise woman.     

At 42, Mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetis; this was the beginning of her health challenges.  She had a few falls, knee replacement, and an operation on her ankle.  Then in the early fall of 1997, at the age of 62, she was sitting at the kitchen table, and just like that, she fainted and fell to the floor. We rushed her to the Winchester Hospital, and they couldn't figure out what it was, so they sent her home with some medication.  A few weeks later, she was not feeling well and we brought her to the Riverside.  There were some challenges trying to keep her alive. We almost lost her.   She was weak, had no appetite, her blood pressure was high one day and low the next and her sugar was extremely high. She was having bad reactions to some of the meds.  I went out a purchased a book on the medications and to try and educate myself,  I was convinced they were over-medicating her.  She spent most of her day in bed, weak, dizzy, nauseous, no appetite.  Finally in January 1998 during the ice storm, she was in the hospital and they figured it out.  They decided she needed a pacemaker.  This was the beginning of what was about to come.    

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