Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 50 > Page 76 - A Visit With Gertie Boutilier Turnbull

Page 76 - A Visit With Gertie Boutilier Turnbull

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1 (220 reads)

a lot of people. "You're still here. Oh, how are you? How'd you sleep last night?" "Oh, I'm still kicking." That's what I tell them: I'm still kicking. I'm not wor? ried about how old I am because I'm going to die. That way. But I'm ready. (You said earlier, though, that you do be? lieve in signs of some sort.) I do, yes. (Have you ever had a sign for somebody else? Or do you really know of a sign, be? sides the bird?) Yes, I do. Before Al? bert's father died--that Sunday night. I remember March the 10th, 1929, he died. And my husband was out in the barn milking the cows. And (Gary's) father, and Beat- tie, and myself were at the kitchen table. And we could look out and could see the railroad--the train going out. And over in the big vacant field, a big ball of fire came up. And Bud, (Gary's) father, said, "Look! Look, Nan! Look, look!" And it just came right up out of the earth, and disap? peared. And anyway, I went upstairs after that. And my son was going to run up and tell Granddad, that was sick. I had him in the house for a year and a half. And he was going to run up and tell Granddad about the sign that he--the light he saw. And I pulled him back and said, "Don't, don't, don't!" So I went upstairs, and he said to me, he said, "Where's Albert?" I said, "He's out in the barn, milking the cows." And he said, "Go out after--send out after him. Tell him to come over, I want to see him. Come in, I want to see him." He was living with me then.... And Albert came rushing in--Bud went out and got him. And he said to Albert, "I think I'm dying." He said, "You better push me up." And I stood at the foot of the bed, and I saw him dying. He stayed there, and he died, in 5 minutes after Albert got there. But that great big light that I saw--that was the only token, you know, the only thing that I ever saw. I was pretty frightened too, but.... I stood at the foot of the bed. And then when he died, Albert covered him over with a sheet. And he took two black coppers--two cents--to put in his eyes. And then he had to walk-- we didn't have a telephone--he had to walk to the neighbour's and call the undertaker up. That was March the 10th, on a Sunday night at 6 o'clock, when he died. And that's a good many years ago, in 1929. Over 60 years ago. So I remember that. And that afternoon, he was sitting up in the bed. I put the pillows behind him so his back, you know, would be rested. And . he said, "You see the shed over there"-- where we keep the wagons and things. He said, "Don't let Bud," he said, "get up on top of that there, 'cause he'll jump off it. There's a man out in Glace Bay, he jumped off a big bank and he drove his legs up into his hips. And," he said, "it's an awful-looking sight." And that night he had died. I remember all those things that he said in the bed that day. From Centre 200 to the Mira auction and barbecue, from tJie most modern motels to tiie liomey comforts of bed-and-brealcfasts • Cape Breton County meets your every requirement. Cape Breton County is an excellent base for your visit to our island. Drive or hike beside our rivers, lakes, or seacoast. Enjoy the music and humour of our festivals, concerts, plays. Pick a beach for swimming or clam-digging. Visit a museum or archives. Walk streets where soldiers marched and workers "stood the gaff." Visit Rural and Industrial CAPE BRETON COUNTY sr" • A COUNTY TO *- 9'''>.l''t EXPLORE! lOINTEX For more information contact: Mr. J. Cunningham, Executive Director, CAPE BRETON JOINT EXPENDITURE BOARD County Administration BIdg., 865 Grand Lake Rd., Sydney, N.S. B1P 6W2 TELEPHONE 1-902-564-5541 Jointex- Proud to have been a Long-Time Supporter of Cape Breton's Magazine- Congratulations on Issue 50!
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