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Page 87 - Margaret Neil James - A Love Story

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/6/1 (168 reads)

Aunt Lucy stayed with us for several years, But she got sick, and she went to the Home in North Sydney. And she'd stay there in the wintertime. And in the summertime she'd come back here and stay with us. See, she'd save her money--you only had to pay a por? tion of your rent, your board, when you weren't there (at the Home), So she'd save her money in the summertime while she lived with us, She'd come in June, around the first of June, and she'd stay until Septem? ber, Around the end of September, it'd start getting cold, she'd go back to the Home. Because she could always go to Mass there in the wintertime, and she couldn't go here because she minded the cold. But she was here a couple of years, in bed, and I looked after her. She came one summer, oh, about 3 or 4 years before she died. One day I saw her crying, and I said, "Aunt Lucy, why are you crying?" And she said, "Well, you would too, if you had what I have on my mind." And she said, "I don't know where-- if I die, I don't know what's going to happen to me," I said, "Well, heavens! We'll have to put you in the ground, I guess! What do you mean, what'11 happen to you?" And she said, "Well, I don't have any grave," "Do you want to be buried by your husband?" "No, there's no room," She said, "Their lot's filled," So that meant she couldn't be buried in Christmas Island with her husband, "I don't want to be bur? ied over there all alone." "Well," I said, "you have two brothers buried in the old grave in lona. and." I said, "you have Grandma buried"--who would be her sister-- "buried in the new graveyard." And I said, "What would you like?" I said. "There's a place between Grandma and the Old Mama." I always called Neil's first wife the Old Mama, and I was the New Mama. So I said to her, "Would you like to be buried between them?" She said, "Well, yes, that'd be good." I said. "Well, don't count on it yet. We'll have to wait for Daddy to come home, and I'll ask Daddy, But," I said, "as far as I'm concerned, I don't want Daddy to be buried in there, be? cause then there's no place for me. And I want to be buried beside him, too," We were taking the grave lot below. So that Neil could be buried below his first wife and I could be buried beside him. So, that was fine. Oh, she was some happy. I know that. The poor thing died in North Sydney. And we waked her here. And gave her the same kind George Morris Fly-Tying Material "Fly Fishing Specialty Shop" Full line of Fishing Supplies & Fiy-Tying Material Drop in and see us at either location: 269 Townsend St. SYDNEY • NORTHEAST MARGAREE of a wake and funeral as her sister and her husband, who were Neil's parents, had, (You referred to Neil as "Daddy.") From the day I came here, I hardly ever called him anything but Daddy, because of the children. Right up until the day he died. And the children called me Margaret until I married their father, Francis asked me one day, "How are we going to know when you're our Mommy?" And I said. "I'll have a round ring on my finger. And when you wake up in the morning, I'll be in bed with Daddy. I won't be over in my own bed." And that's the only way I could tell them, you know. Because how were they go? ing to understand anything else? Cape Breton's MAGAZINE: Cap& Breton's Onlv5uinmr Theatre festival Vune, Vul' & A'(just • Information 8i-9-9333
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