Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy Birthday , Mom !

Had she been still alive , Mom would have lit up 103 candles on her birthday cake tomorrow ... February 24th , 2011. However , such is unfortunately not the case ,,,, but that does not hinder me from sending her a spiritual .... virtual bouquet of flowers , best wishes and a wee prayer. While rumaging through her old box of correspondence for the umteenth time in as many years I came across a card I had sent her back in 1958 on her 50th birthday ......a card I had noticed before but never looked inside. I was in the Redemptorist Father's seminary in Windsor , Ontario ... and our Japanese student started "silkscreening" cards for all occasions and this was the first specimen hot off the assembly line for birthday wishes. The following shows what I wrote inside that card. Please click on hand-written message for better visioning ... as it will enlarge the text.

The ten-gallon hat and spurs recall the fact that my Dad had spent three years working out West  in Alberta in the late 1920s .... just before they met. Below I am posting a few pictures of Mom and her dearest and best childhood friend and bridesmaid at her wedding in 1933, Alma Butler-Scott . The miracle in all this is that Alma is still alive today and very much looking forward to celebrating her 103rd birthday next September 25th ...and so are we !! 
Post Scriptum

I would like to mention that in the late 1930s ... maybe early 1940s Alma , her husband Walter and their newborn son  Richard (Dickie) lodged for a short period of time on the top floor of Mrs Caddell's home at the foot of Big Hill.


  1. How lovely a card for your mother's birthday. I remember your parents, they were both very nice people.
    Lynn (MacDonald) Hamilton

  2. Thank you so much , Lynn , for your most kind words. It must be said though that they had great neighbours whom they loved and respected ... and you folks up beyond the hollow were all part of that wonderful land of OZ we all called ... and still call...Pokiok ! Please come back again.

  3. hi gerry,

    our mums were/are wonderful women. I well remember some of their times together, especially at your pokiok home.

    mum loved the "old days" when she and josie were girls. she loved the stories, the humor, and the grand old faith they deeply shared and held onto.

    al has always thought of you as a son.

    with special thanks, gerry.


  4. WOW!!
    I wish I had read this yesterday BUT sentiments are the same. Josie was, indeed, very special to a lot of people. This is wonderful to have this blog, Gerry, because here I am sitting far away from Pokiok but my heart and mind are there
    thinking of Josie and her gentleness on the day after her birthday anniversary.
    You draw me back to Pokiok, too, on your journey.
    Thank you, Gerry. I bet your readers who remain "quiet" feel the same way I do.


  5. Yes , Dickie .... the two girls always had so much fun whenever they got together. I can remember coming home for visits and taking Mom to the old Dominion store ... or nowadays at Sobey's ... and "running into" your Mom. They would wheel their chariots into the cafeteria for a coffee and doughnut .... and recite poems from their childhood , laughing and giggling all the while .... priding themselves on their excellent memories after all those years . "Ah me ! sighed the old clock ... ". It was from listening to them praise the merits of Sweetnibble , Master Sniff-Whiskers and Mistress Velvet Paw ...mice sliding down moonbeams ... that I finally looked up the author .... Eugene Field 1899.
    Manys a time on those visits to Saint John over the years I would stop off at your place on my way home ... hugging Alma before Josie .. and I felt her warmth and love. God love them both. We're lucky guys , Dickie.

  6. hi gerry,

    your fine writing, your unbelievable memory and your Irish heart & wit, all make reading your Pokiok stories a total joy!

    we thank you!


  7. Thank you for the kind words and warm thoughts , Sylvia ... and I am so very happy to have you keeping me company as I take this journey ... meandering through past years....... and I'm just getting warmed up so hang onto your hat !!
    On another subject , what was the name of the religious order that Charlotte entered in Louisiana and roughly how many years did she remain a nun ? I didn't even know she had passed away until 1995 since I had spent most of the time from January 1994 until August 1995 in Brittany , France.
    Please keep coming back , Sylvia ... and leaving your comments and reflexions ... I always look forward to reading them .... they are fuel for my fire !! .... and I thank you "warmly" .... Gerry

  8. Sylvia Johnston SpencerFebruary 25, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Charlotte was in the Carmelite Order. I think she entered around 1951, not sure. She left around 1965, not sure. She really was not part of my youth and was only home for a couple of years when I married and moved to Nova Scotia.
    She was a great sister to me because she loved me, and she was great with our children. I think she was the most generous person I have known.
    Yes, I will look forward to your future writings, Gerry, and "coffee" when I make it to Saint John.