Monday, December 28, 2009

Letter to My Dad V

December 28, 2009

When we got back you were posted to St. Hubert where we lived in PMQs. I caused much grief for the family there. I know you didn’t want me going out with airmen probably because you thought they were too old for me. I suspect you also wished you wanted me to at least go out with officers.

Remember when you put my name on the list of girls to go to CMR at Saint Jean? I was so angry with you because you didn’t even ask me. The cadets pulled names from a file drawer and I got a young man who was unbelievably shy – poor guy. And he couldn’t dance. We hardly talked at all and I kind of gave up trying to make conversation. And I couldn’t even escape because we had to wait for the big blue air force bus to take us back to St. Hubert.

The second time you did that, I was pretty angry again but this time it was for a group of air cadets from England. There we were – two big blue buses heading up to Ste. Agathe to a swanky home on the lake. One bus held the cadets and the other held the girls. When we got out on the big highway, the buses pulled over and half the girls got off and half the guys got off and then they switched. I actually had a very good time on that trip but the less said the better, I guess.

Each year, the church on the base at St. Hubert would hold a special Battle of Britain Sunday service and we went together at least once that I recall. I don’t think I got the full significance of that for many years.

You drove all the way from St. Hubert to near St. Sauveur to pick me up when a date’s vehicle broke down. When you heard me crying in my room in St. Hubert and you were the only one home, you came to see what the matter was. I had been “fired” from Woolworths because they found out that I was going back to school. I thought it was a summer job to be “manning” the jewelry counter and they thought I was a permanent employee. I was 17. You hugged me and said not to worry, it wasn’t my fault. And I know you were responsible for getting me a job at the Bell Telephone Co. of Canada – as it was known then – when you and Mom were told that I wasn’t in the least bit in interested in school and would be better off working. That was in 1958 or so and I was at Montreal High School.

I know you carried a picture of me in your wallet for many, many years – well after I was driving the family mad by not doing what I was supposed to do – not being a good obedient daughter. For someone who was brought up very strictly and taught to always follow orders, it must have been so hard when I didn’t do what I was told. Willful, stubborn and talkative were words I heard often. Now that I’ve reached an age where I can look back to see how I got here, it’s possible that those three describers are not so bad when it comes to living one’s life - but extremely difficult for a parent to deal with.

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