Once again, going through old treasures, I have managed to create a brand new “page” in the family history spot on Breathing Space. Here’s a short cut, which will save me blathering away about where you can find it, if you’re interested at all in obscure Ontario farm history.
Growing up and being completely self absorbed, I totally missed seeing my mother as the wonderful young and vibrant girl she used to be. Do any of us take the time to see our mothers in any other role besides that of ‘being MOM’ until after we’ve gone through the entire process ourselves? Eventually we wonder whatever became of that person we used to be before life changed us into someone else.
My mom worked hard. She was constantly busy, always doing something or going somewhere, always urging us to do things and go places and get things accomplished. Sometimes I admired her energy. Often I resented that she never slowed down long enough to really talk to me. Although if she had I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway. I spent a lot of time alone and thinking and writing in journals and dreaming about the future me – as different as night and day from my mother, is what I thought. Turns out we were more alike than I ever imagined.
Margaret and her friend Blanche in Red Bay, circa 1937
Mom wrote a letter to her future self on her twentieth birthday. I’m so glad I found it. I think it’s a beautiful thing to have kept all these years, because I’m sure it reminded her of who she was and made her proud of the person she became.
To Margaret –
With a smile, I write to you – myself at twenty five. Remember me kindly, my dream girl in your castles in the air.
It’s noon in Red Bay School. A beautiful sunny day for my twentieth birthday. A scattering of snow reminds one that it is winter and nothing more. Lest you’ve forgotten let me remind you of Findlay, still eating his lunch and chatting with the others, a sandwich in one hand, an apple in the other – Isabella always moving, chattering, teasing, the best often comes in small packages. Irene, brown eyed, interested, maybe worried but always in on everything. George, always the same, quiet. Betty, kind neat and attractive and soon there will be Lillian, helping and ordering. And later Hazel, certain and dependable and kind. The piano, The Honour Roll, our car contest, the display at the back. Do they still bring pleasant memories to you yet? Do you remember the dark, heavy dress, the red and white three cornered colar? I’m wearing that. Mrs. Reed likes it so well and it’s for tonight too. No one knows it is my birthday. Remember why?
Did we go to Mac and Maries? Will we understand eachother? Have we drifted far apart? I’m hoping, hoping – you’ve both found happiness!
I’m reading Doctrine and Covenants, Reading friends, true ones I know, sweet happiness and maybe tears too have made me different. Dear Pal, you haven’t changed, have you?
I dream of you and my dreams come true. I pray that passing years on you have made a heart that’s truer gold and only noble aims enfolds, a voice that’s gentle and kind to help those whom you meet and understanding mind to meet each varied moment, and hands that strive for other’s joy.
As I look at you I shant look for beauty that is cheaply bought, but may I gaze at inward beauty shining through your eyes, your smiles, and reflected on the faces of those you love.
I hope you’ve chosen worthwhile things in life. I don’t know what to call you. I hope you’re still Marnie.
I’d love to ask you many things. If you could only tell me secrets. How I’d love to know about so many friends! Blanche, Lena, Nina, Marie, Ettie, Oley, and oh so many more.
I wonder where you are? Do you love to go home, the same as ever? How changed those at home will be too.
Maybe you’d like to know how much I weigh. I guess you’re keeping yours a secret!!? Well I’m 137. My hair with a couple of waves on the top, slightly shingled and just down to the ears. My white sweater has been worn only twice, you know the Marion and Marnie one.
And now as I close the pages of a teenage reverie and enter into my twenties, I set my goal on you, my dream girl of 25. You haven’t disappointed me, have you? Let my theme songs “I will be true”, “I need thee every hour” and “Blest be the tie that binds” be fragrant incense which lifts me always closer to thee.
Goodbye from yourself on your twentieth birthday.