Black dress

posted in: Genealogy | 0

the-black-dress-september-1957 This spring, death has felt close. Today, my aunt was buried in Ontario. Rest in peace, Aunt Frances.

I found this receipt from 1957 for a black dress, and I wondered about the story behind it. I knew my Great Grandfather died in 1957, so I imagined this being the last minute purchase of a black dress for the funeral. Tonight I pulled out Great Grandma’s journal from that time, and learned that his death was actually in May. Here is her entry:

May 7, 1957

Clarence [her husband], Donald [her son, my Grandpa] and Danny [my uncle] drove down to Tryconnel after school to see a calf and on road home, Dad [her husband, Clarence] had a heart attack and died in car. Donald, Helene and I went to funeral home later to make arrangements for funeral.

It is always interesting to try to read between the lines, since the entries are so matter of fact. About a year before Great Grandfather’s death, my own father had a brush with death, and lived. Here is the journal entry from that day, written by his Grandma:

April 30, 1956

Allan was knocked off his bicycle at 12:10 to-day and very seriously injured. Monica [my grandma, Dad’s mom] went to hospital in the ambulance with him and Donald [Dad’s dad] went later. Jeanette and Danny [dad’s siblings] were here. I had 21 telephone calls. I canned 4 pints of pineappmay-be-harvey-william-billiele.

0 Responses

  1. Just the facts… but I wonder if canning 4 pints of pineapple was how she dealt with the stress.

  2. And the pineapple still got canned! We all come from some pretty amazing people. Nice family history you are documenting. I’m amazed by what I find as I sort through various collections of family history that I’ve inherited over the years. Being able to share it with the various branches of my family has given everyone a chance to share nearly forgotten stories.

    • Thanks – I know, I love that part about the pineapple. It seems strange to me that they would have had fresh pineapple…I hope some of my family will enjoy these stories, since I am so fascinated by them. I think I will probably be the holder of the information for my generation.

      • I’ve been venturing into the same territory with my familysalbum.wordpress blog. It’s been a great opportunity for my relatives to comment and share stories. And an excuse for me to ask questions! A scanner is a marvelous excuse for all kinds of mayhem.

  3. Your great-grandma described her husband’s death in such a matter-of-fact way. It had to have been very rough–I’m surprised that she was able to even write the entry.

    • I agree – a very stoic journal entry. It seems like she rarely missed a day in those decades. On the other hand I have her journal from 1912 that trails off after only a handful of entries.

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