My Greatest Strength!

In honor of Mother’s Day I would like to to dedicate this blog to my Mom Lillian, Lil for short and share with you a little about her.

My Mom was born January 22 1922. She grew up in Corktown which is an area in the north end of Hamilton. I never met my Grandmother and Grandfather, on either side, as they were gone before I was born. I can only relate the stories she shared with me about them. Her Mom was a kind lady but her health had never been the best and spent the good part of her life in a wheelchair. Her Dad was a stern man and worked for the dairy as a delivery driver. He delivered milk bottles in a horse and buggy. I think that is kind of cool. Probably a not bad job back then. She told me a story of how her Dad would go to the bar and at the end of the night the barman would put him the buggy and slap the horses ass and the horse, Daisy if I remember right, would bring him home. Lol! Cool!! A designated driver you did not have to worry would get loaded or leave! She grew up with 2 sisters, my Aunt Doris and Aunt Vi (Violet) and a brother Uncle Eddie. My Mom and her sisters looked amazingly alike. It was quite uncanny actually.

It was a tough time back then. The war had just ended when she was born and by the time she was a teen they were into the great depression. I remember her telling me stories of bread lines and people out of work. The house she lived in was small and had a dirt floor but she told me it was always filled with love and laughter. Anyone was welcome to share what they had. I think that’s where she got her gift of acceptance. It did not matter the race or religion as long as you were a good person you were welcome. It was a beautiful gift that she passed to me. One of the many!

My Mom was always a baseball person. She even played when she was young. She would tell me about going to work to make bombs for the 2nd world war then going to the baseball field. Her team was sponsored by the dairy and she told me a story of the shirts she was given to wear. Now my Mom was what you would call busty. The shirts they gave them had dairy written right across the bust lines. My Mom said she thought she would be giving the boys ideas so she turned the shirt around! Hahahaha! She said she took some flack but was not wearing it the other way. Soon the other girls turned theirs around so that was the end of that argument! Lol!

Stand up for what you believe in even if you stand alone!

She was also left handed. All the baseball gloves were made for right handed people. She would catch then take the glove off and throw!! Lol! She was doin it even if was difficult. All her life she loved baseball. We would watch the Toronto Blue Jay’s every game. She LOVED Kelly Gruber!! I got to meet him after she had passed and he is definitely the man she always thought he would be. I was so pleased when I finally got to take her to a game. She had a blast. We went to a few games. She would be my baseball coach later on. By that time she would be in her 50’s. About my age. I could not imagine. A day with the grandkids and I am worn out! Lol!

My Mom was a tough lady. She had been through a lot. My Dad was her 2nd marriage and although he was a good man she had the patience of a saint! Sometimes! She did not lose it often but when she did everyone moved!! Haha! They were together over 30 years and I am sure my Dad would never have lasted as long as he did without her.
As a Mom she was everything you could ask for. A teacher, a defender, a disciplinarian and my biggest cheerleader. We spent many nights playing cards or watching baseball. She taught me to jive and jitterbug in the livingroom. Boy that was fun. When we would go to weddings or dances people would stop and watch us. She was a fun lady.

She was also both a defender and a disciplinarian. If I did something wrong that was my responsibility. She is the one who taught me You are responsible for your actions. Every action has a consequence so if you are not willing to accept the consequence do not do the action. You have to live with you forever. But if someone thought they were going to step out of line and hurt us well that was a whole other woman. I remember a vice principle in high school stepping over the line with my Mom. He only did it once. She rarely yelled but certainly got her point across.

She was my biggest cheerleader and always believed in me. She could also be my biggest critic because it can’t be all honey! Lol! Her words not mine. I danced and did baton and jazz competitively for years. She would pick apart my practise, where the form was not right or the catch of the baton was not as smooth as it could be. She was also there when I won each award with a hug and a I knew you could do it. When I did not win it was “we will get them next time”.

My Mom was 43 when I was born. I gave her high blood pressure. Lol! I did kind of. She used tell the story of when she found out she was pregnant. She said it was because Dad hung his pants over the bedpost! Lmao! Not sure the connection but she was! She was flabbergasted! She told the doctor she wanted to abort me but he said it was too late. She was not sure she wanted to go through with this at her age. It was the 60’s and a not safe for a woman of her age to be giving birth. The doctor said if she did not want me he would take me. She said if she lived through the 9 months of being pregnant he missed the hard part anyway! In my teen years she would kid that she should have given me to the doctor. I told her then I would be driving a BMW. What the heck Ma!! Hahaha! The pregnancy did not go well and she spent the last month in the hospital and her and I spent the first 3 months of my life at my Aunt Doris’s. For a woman who just about died giving birth to me she sure had a lot of stamina raising me. She had her health problems tho. Both my Mom and Dad did. There were many times as a young child I looked after them. I remember one really bad time, I can remember this like it was yesterday. My Dad and I were playing cards in the kitchen, probably rummy, and my Mom was relaxing in the livingroom. We heard a glass fall and found her on the floor in convulsions. I was about 12 years old at the time. I do not think I will ever get those moments of holding my Mom on her side as my Dad called the ambulance. I thought she was going to die in my arms. A doctor had given her medication for something and it mixed with another she was taking and it caused a really bad reaction. She was out of it for a few days in the hospital. It was a scary time. Hence I do not do prescription medication! 😊

She was a social lady and was a member of the Opti-Mrs and bowled on a 5 pin bowling league. She was on a ladies league and a mixed league. I spent many nights at Eastdale bowling alley with my friend Paul. We figure we started going when we were about 3. He is still very much my friend and although we do not see each other often we both know for 53 years we are only a call away! She could also party pretty good! My Dad told me a story once of how they got all dressed up and went to a dance at the Royal York hotel. Those days you had to pay a dime to get into the bathroom stalls to pee. My Mom got loaded on her favorite drink, Gin and Wink, and crawled under all the stalls and opened the door so the ladies could pee for free! Hahaha! That’s my Mom!
She was a coffee drinker and her favorite meal was a good burger! Another gift she gave me.

My Mom left June 4 2001. As she held me for my first breath I held her for her last. I will forever miss my Mom but I know that even in death she is still here with all of us!

This ones for you Mom! Thank you for everything you gave me and continue to give me!

Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure! See you next time!


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