Page 51 - Gwen LeFort, War Bride in WWI
ISSUE : Issue 35
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/12/1
thing you have no family," he said, "be? cause if you had a family," he said, "they would be bastards." I said, "Pardon me. Fa? ther? I'm married, and I was married when they were conceived," "Yes," he said, "but you're not Catholic. It's not to be, a non- Catholic and a Catholic being married." He said, "Actually, in the eyes of the church, you're not married." He said, "Before you leave here this after? noon, I want your husband to go out and find two sponsors, I want you to be bap? tized." And I had been baptized--I had a minister for my godfather, my mum had told me. "I want you to be baptized," he said. "I want you to make your first communion, and when the time comes, I want you to be confirmed." Well, I had gone through all this in the Church of England. But anyway, to appease him, I did what he wanted. My husband went out and found somebody to sponsor me, and went into the church in Cheticamp, and he married us over again. And went to confession that same afternoon, and the next morning, got up early, made it to mass. And the mass was held in the convent--and apparently while I was taking holy communion, they could see white things floating over the altar. It was all in their mind, you know. As if I was some? body from outer space or something. But anyway, I went through with it, got mar? ried again, and made my first communion. And then when the time came, I was con? firmed again. But I'd gone through all this in the First Church of England. Old Father LeBlanc--he's gone now, God rest his soul--but he was from the old school. I'm telling you, it was grim. I'll tell you what stood me in good stead, and I'll say this till the day I die--it was my English spirit. You had that Eng? lish spirit and nobody's going to break it, nor nothing. No, I didn't have the break? down. I had to hold on to myself to see that I didn't, because I was raising a fam? ily at the time, and he was unable to work. He was that way for a year. They started to say that my husband was "ensorcele.'" PHARMACIE ACADIENNE []f: PHARMACY f ARICHAT 226-2214 S=A G. Ingraham Meats & Groceries Central Ave., Inverness, N. S. Store 258-2106 Open: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Home 258-2781 So, one time they got him to go to the priest's barn, walk around the horses three times, stroke them, and that was sup? posed to break that spell. He did that. It came to the point, he would wake up in the middle of the night, screaming, saying, "They're after me, they're after mel" "Who's after you?" "Those men, they're af? ter me, with horses. They're coming, and then they're going to kill me." Of course, that would disturb my sleep, and I'd have to get up with him and try and calm him down. He was in a bad way for about a year. (Did he actually go around the horses and stroke them?) Oh yes,' he did. (And was there any relief as a result of that?) Well, gradually, yes, there was. I don't know why there would be. I didn't believe in it. But apparently he did, and his peo? ple did. I just went along with it. (And he received some relief.) Some relief, yeah. I suppose he had, and they had, faith in what he was doing, that he was go? ing to break the spell. He was supposed to be under some kind of a spell. They named the man who was putting a spell on him. Some old guy, I forget his name. But I nev? er believed in anything like that. (But be? lieve it or not....) It was there. Oh, it's so important for the person who par? ticipates. And you must try and understand him, you know. We had to leave my home in Cheticamp and go to live with his parents because it got to the point where I couldn't sleep nights with him, he was al? ways disturbed. And I've seen him pull out a kitchen chair, and kneel upon it, and make the sign of the cross, and say a prayer--he wanted to be protected. He'd be looking out to sea, and he'd say a prayer, on his knees, on this chair. It was piti? ful. It was a result of World War One, yes, definitely and absolutely. That's just the aftermath of war. I can thank my in-laws--they were good to me. My mother-in-law, she must be in heav? en, she was an absolute angel. Very, very understanding, (So, it wasn't, "Well, you're Church of England, so I don't want Midway Motors Ltd. Middle River R. R. 3, Baddeck 295-2290 skf-ifaa ANNIVERSARY EDITION SS 25 Stores To Serve You CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA SYDNEY RIVER v' ocrMTMCNTtTONu Thc Crossroads of Cape Breton' Sobeys & Shopper's Drug Mart "'shways 4 and s til 10 p.m. 'tyOfFri Parking
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