Beatrice was no stranger to hard times. Being that she was the youngest of 12 children to a poor farming family, they knew hardship. The year was 1893, when she was born, her grandparents where one of the few children that had been brought to Canada from Ireland, 1849.
The year is 1917, Beatrice’s four brothers and father had received a letter of conscription. WWI claimed three of her brothers lives. The oldest was never the same, traumatized by what he had to endure; it broke him down. When the war was over, she moved in with her husband; they started up a small farm that was just down the dirt road from her in-laws.
From the great depression in the 1930s to the introduction of the loonie, she lived through it all. Majority of the time fate was not a friend of hers. The family was known for their drinking, sometimes going past the limits. Mix drinking and heart difficulties this equalled a shortened life span. She lost her husband when he was 61. Two of her three sons died before they reached 60, as well. It was her y9oungest son that took over the farm. There she lived with her son and his wife, plus her two grandsons and granddaughter.
I was seven years old when my great grandmother Beatrice died. In life, she was the boss. You had to be tough to get through life. There was only one day you could relax a bit, and that was Sunday. Still, you had to be at church and tend to the farm animals. Everyone was expected to pull their weight; deadweight went to bed with an empty stomach.
It had been a few months after her death that I spent the week at the farm. It was plain bad lucj that I would catch pneumonia that week. I was sleeping in my great grandmothers bed, waiting to be picked up. In spirit, my great grandmother was humming a soothing song. Telling me that everything would be just fine, my mummy was going to make everything all better.
Every time I would get pneumonia, she would show up comforting me. When times were rought, she would be there. When my baby sister was in and out of the hospital, she was there to comfort and bring wisdom.