Tag Archives: Pat O’Connor

March 18, 2017 – Thoughts on our trip – 3- France

Have to start by saying today was a wonderful day.  Temps in the 50’s and we took a hike in Rock Creek Park in DC and it was delightful.  Being in the woods, walking along a river, climbing hills and walking down them again.  The girls were wonderful and good sports.  We will all sleep well tonight.  The parents are out having a date night which we always try to provide for them when we come down.

So, now thoughts about France. We both enjoyed our visit to France. Going to Normandy was a good thing to do and I think we could have used one more day to see all that I wanted to see or maybe even two.  The hotel we stayed at in Bayeux was lovely and they were very helpful to us.  The one in Rouen on the other hand was not so nice and I would not send anyone else there who speaks English.  Or I would take a refresher course in French before returning there but would not stay at that hotel.  They were rude and the idea that a hotel in a tourist area only has staff that speak French is weird. No where else that we visited on this trip or others have we run into a problem where hotel staff could not assist us and just gave us the “No English” statement.  Not even the staff in the little restaurant for breakfast were helpful.

Seeing just one of the cemeteries from WWII was moving.  The men were so young and there were unmarked graves, they know the soldier was a Brit but they did not find their ID.  I imagine today they should be able to use DNA to figure out who they were.  We did not get to the Juno Beach as I wanted but that was because I was sick to my stomach that morning..  I think more time is needed to deal with and confront feelings as one visits the various sites.  By the time my Aunt Pat arrived in Mid July 1944 the troops had moved on as they were pushing back the German’s pretty quickly at that point.  Things were slower in Belgium and that is where Pat really experienced bombing and large numbers of soldiers coming in quickly from the front either to be fixed up to be sent home or to have their hands held as they died. And some went back to fight another day.

War is not something I have ever had to confront myself and even during the Viet Nam War I did not have close friends that I knew were there.. I might have found out about old classmates much later but not during the actual War.  And I do know if my brother had been drafted I would have taken him to Canada and left him there. No way would I have wanted him over there. It was a useless war and not one that brought about feelings of patriotism.  They were no direct threat to us so why were we fighting them.

But in WWII it was obvious that we needed to be there.  I had two aunts, and one uncle actually over there near or in the battle areas.  Also another Uncle worked with the US on developing treatments for those coming back with what we now call PTSD.  I found some articles he had written about this.  And on my Dad’s side he had cousins who lived in England fighting from the very beginning of the Brits being involved. And some lost their lives.  I never knew any of this but research has opened up those pages of the family history in both World Wars.

France was nice but either we needed longer or a different approach to our visit.  Maybe going their first and then up to Belgium might have helped give a clearer feeling about Pat’s travels. I will never know one way or the other now will I?

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April 7, 2016 – F is for Frances

Frances was my Mom’s mother. She had had a very tough start in life. Her mom died in 1891 after taking in a young man whose mother had died of TB. Turns out he also had TB and gave it to several of the family members. I was told by my mom that her mother had been sent away to stay with relatives to save her from getting the disease. I have no documentation of this but suspect she went to Gananoque to the O’Neill family there.

Later she attended the Notre Dame Convent School and after graduating went to Teachers College and became a teacher. In 1899 she went north to teach in Calabogie. While there her father and sister died. I have read her diary from that year and it really was so hard for her to continue to teach while grieving. My heart broke for her since each time one of them was dying she would get a telegram and by the time she got home they were dead and gone. She never got to say her goodbyes.

At the end of the school year in 1899 the Catholic School in Kingston took her on and she taught there until she married my grandfather. I believe that they gave her a job since her parents had been strong members of the church and they knew she was now head of the household. In the meantime her other sister in 1903 died so she and her brother who was married and an aunt were the only members of her family left.

Frances never talked about her family so we don’t have many stories about them. My mom said her mom just could not bear to answer questions so her children did not know anything about her background.

Grandma had some medical problems and at times would take to her bed. I know in the 1940’s she had back problems that would have her end up in bed but when they were young one has to wonder if it wasn’t just depression over taking her. She even assigned each of her three older daughters to be in charge of one of the three younger ones. My Mom was assigned to taking care of Pat. Before school her job was to get Pat up and dressed and fed breakfast. Then after school she would play with Pat and see that she was cleaned up for dinner and ready for bed. Then her Mother would tuck the girls into bed.

Later in life Frances lost her vision as well as having dementia. My only memory of her really is once when she gave me a dollar to buy myself a treat. We went down to Princess Street and I decided to buy her something with my dollar. I bought a green turtle pin with glass green stones on the turtles back. When I tried to give it to her she had me put it on and told me how wonderful it looked on me and that I should keep it. I still have it today.

Frances’ early life was hard, not financially, but emotionally with all the loss she endured. But she pulled herself together and managed to raise a wonderful family. And took in various relatives when they had no place else to go as they grew older. She also gave her time to the community. She was a very good role model for her time and for her children and for us.

August 17, 2015 – love the sky and what you can see up there.

Thanks to my distant cousin Tom Venney we were able to see the international space station fly by a few moments ago. It was so bright and you could actually see the panels on it.  For some reason it is in a lower position than usual. I think at 10 pm I will go back out and sit and watch the sky for a while. Last night it was gorgeous. One of the things I have always loved up here is how many stars we can see since there are no city lights to get in the way of looking up and seeing so much.

When Mary O’Connor Kaiser was alive she and I sat out many an evening with a camp fire going and just watching the sky and chatting for hours. It was wonderful.  So often we would see shooting stars and were like people at Fourth of July fireworks ooing and ahing over the sky.  Such wonderful memories from all times of the year.

Lovely quiet day. We discovered out little one who never asked about when Mommy and Daddy were coming to get them or cried over missing them now just wants to be with her mommy and was not happy when mom stopped at the house to pick up the frozen stuff out of our freezer.  She was happy to have a popsicle though.  This evening we drove down to bring them some other food items and also their clean clothes and she wanted nothing to do with us.  Sol has her mom reading an older kids version of Alice in Wonderland so she was busy with that.  Maybe I will go to the beach tomorrow and see if they would be interested in playing with me in the sand or the water.

It was a quiet lovely day here. We put together my new compost bin – added some wooden feet to it and drilled holes so air can get in.  The little one bit the dust and the animals were eating everything in it. Kind of a waste of my energy but the animals liked it.

This letter from Sheila was written 71 years ago today.  She had found out the new baby had arrived but still wants to know more. I don’t know about you but I find that Sheila’s letters do not have the same level of excitement that Pats had even when she was in England waiting to move on.  Sheila was a very different person and even Sheila writes that Pat would be finding a way to have fun out of working 12 – 16 hours a day. I wish I had known Pat, I have a feeling she would have been very fun to be related to as we grew older.

17/8/44

Dear All:
Well, I have had it now – so now I’m on nite duty. My first night and Suddsie and Doylie are both off and on days now. Just my luck, so I work nites and they work days.

I got Dad’s Cable yesterday and I’m awfully sorry I could not get Jeannie flowers as it takes 2 weeks for them to go so I just could not send them but hope she got the cable alright. I am anxiously waiting for particulars etc, in regards to name etc. I’m wondering if you have decided on a name yet, but hope to hear all detail soon.

Doylie’s brother Joe arrived safe and sound 2 weeks ago so Mary & I are going to London to meet him the week of the 27 so it will be a great reunion for them as Mary will be so glad to see him. As I told you we get a day off a week and it is the same at night we get a night a week off.

We are not so busy right now and hope it stays like that for awhile. Leaves are starting to come through again, so we are all making plans and talking of where and what we will do, the main point is of course if we will all get them together, I sure hope so.

I have some pictures of Patt & I which I shall send soon and I think they are really quite good.

I hope I do not go to the field for awhile as I certainly want to see a bit of England first. Though I would like to see Pattsy.
I had a short note Monday, enclosing lots of letters she had received and I enjoyed them all. She is working 12 to 14 hours each day. But Pattsy will have fun out of it all.

Well dears shall close now and love to you all and all the babies. Give Jeannie’s baby a big kiss for me.

Love & Kisses Sheila

July 15, 2015 – talking old times

Today was all about the old days.  I went up to Kitley to visit the Toops who are a retired couple who have been doing a lot of research around families in the area.  They were both college professors after graduating from the U of Toronto way back in the day.  They were lovely to have me up to their house.  She had done some work at a local adult home for the government and part of what she did was to collect information about the old days from the residents. Several of whom went to our school and one who was a teacher.

The woman who taught at the school in 1918, Miriam Sheffield,caught the flu and her landlady caught it as well and died from it.  That must have been quite a traumatic time.. It would be interesting to go through the death records from 1918 of this neighborhood and see how many folks died out here. Another project I believe.  The other teacher was Mae Hollingsworth who was one of 11 children 10 of them became teachers.

One of the other women that she spoke to was one of the Tye’s who lived down Long Point Road, Edna Tye who married Ken McCrae and lived down on Warburton Road. And Marie Slack Heffernan was a student and I believe she was a cousin of ours on the Joanna O’Connor Slack line.  I think she had more to tell me about the school folks but we got distracted with stories of her family which were fascinating.

So that was an adventuresome afternoon.  You can tell they were well educated by the books, every where books. They have one section that is all local history books. I could have spent a long time there going through what they had.  Libby on one side of her family is descended from the VanVliets of Dutchess County NY. Dutch founders of much of that area. She also told me great stories about her Grandmother who was quite the character.  She has written stories about the fun members of her family. I plan to go back and visit them again.

We also had a tree guy come to give a price on taking down some dead and dying trees and some dangerous ones.  Much more pricey than I thought it would be.  Will have to think on it. Although I think if we got a guy at home for the same number of trees it would be much more expensive. Have to get another estimate to see if this was just a lot or if it is in the ball park.

Now for Sheila.   She is not doing the kinds of training Pat was doing or the constant meeting new guys etc.  I think the more I read the more I see how different their personalities were.  But we shall see what is to come.

Thurs 29 June ’44,

Dear All,

Tuesday was a simply grand day for me, I was so gosh darn happy, I received your cable and it just seemed to raise me right up to the sky and I was so gosh darn happy and then I go on duty and about 2:00 the phone rang and I answered it, and from the other end came “ Good-day Shelahs” was I ever thrilled, there was Pattsy, we talked, talked and she came up at 4:00 Tues afternoon as I was off at 4:00 and we sat in my room and talked and talked. She met all my friends, she ate here, and spent the nite, so we crawled in one bed and talked till 2:30. It was so perfect, then I crawled back into my bed and we slept. Doylie was on night duty. Then I got up for duty and left Patt sleeping. Doylie brought her, her breakfast and then I was off at 13:30 and we ate and I took her down to her bus, and then came back.

Jack had got me a bottle of Rum in Debert, so I gave it to her, as I figured she would need it more than I would. Also saved 3 oranges from the ship, and gave her those plus 24 choc. bars and her Max Factor make-up, so she had a good lot to carry, so she took my haversack with her.

She just phoned me and she is coming back up to-morrow, as I have Friday off. We get a day a week off and 3 hours each day and the day before your day off you have a 4:00 off, so you really can make something of your day off, only it is restricted that you can’t travel more than 20 miles so till the restriction is raised we can’t go anywhere as every place is just more than 20 miles.

Mary Kennedy is off to-morrow also so the 3 of us shall do something. Mary is a sweet thing and awful thoughtful. I’m glad she is along with us.

I gave all my letters to Patt to read plus all the magazine I had saved for her. She is just the same old Pattsy.

I have not received any letter so far from anyone but then I have only been here a week so they will probably all catch up to me someday soon. I hope so.

By the way will you send me the occasional Whig-Standard and Register as it is funny how you just love to see papers with just anything that relates to Canada let alone Kingston. Also any June or July magazines as there are no Canadian camps near us so we will probably have lots + lots as time to read, but the girls here are really a swell bunch.

Well must close for now, I miss you all but I’m certainly glad I am here.
Love + kisses, Sheila

June 15, 2015 – “Healing yourself is connected wtih healing others” – Yoko Ono

Isn’t that a great saying?  I think over the years that is what has helped me to heal so much of the pain of childhood and the hurts of young adulthood.  Reaching out to others and being helpful has helped me to get outside of myself and to stop feeling sorry for myself.  So much of the hurt and anger is gone. It was a painful journey and at times I owe big debts of gratitude to good therapists and I still have a long way to go but I certainly am not the person I was at  20 or 30 or 40 for that matter.

I saw someone I care about very much this weekend who is running totally on anger and hurt.  There is no room in life for caring for others in a truly compassionate and caring way. This person is able to care for those not related or close but for the family and those who need love and support it is not there.  Makes me very sad since I cannot do a thing to help this person change. I know that only I can change myself and others can only make that decision to help themselves.

D always says what his dad use to say when we get back from a trip “Back home and broke”. I am not broke but happily I am back home, the temperature is in the 60’s and I am not hot all over.  Tired for sure and so in need of a good nights sleep. Tomorrow will be a rainy day so I don’t think I can plug in my car outside. Got 50 miles to the gallon on the trip home averaging 62 miles per hour.  Pretty darn good for highway miles. Next test will be for town driving using the auxiliary battery.  The former owner got up into the 60 miles per gallon so I suspect the used the plug in battery most of the time and did not go a lot of highway driving.  Very excited to see how that will work.

My brother responded to what I wrote yesterday. He had a story of my Dad’s goofy responses to us that hit home as well. “I think it was in 11th grade, I had a Biology class which consisted mainly of the outcasts.  At the end of the school year, I got a grade of B for the class. It probably was the only B I got in an academic class. When I showed it to Dad, instead of saying “good job”, he said I should have worked to get an A. I remember feeling disappointment. I wanted praise for getting a good grade but instead felt like “why bother getting better grades if I’m not going to be thanked for it.”

So, yes parents, think before you speak. I could say that over and over. I am sure my four kids could add a list of dumb stupid things I said to them that I owe them an apology for.  No doubt about it. I just hope I was not as hurtful as my dad was in his carelessness.

So, on to the next letter so I can crawl into bed.  this letter is from my Grandmother to Pat on New Years Eve.  This was written six weeks before she died..

Friday, 4 pm 31 Dec, 1948

My dear Pat,

The last day of the year I have been thinking so much of you Dearie and wishing the time to pass till you come home. Mary and Fergie Joe left for Buffalo Thursday noon and are to return Sunday. When we spoke to Norah and Milton over the phone they were so happy to hear Mary was coming & Norah almost yelled when she heard Fergie Joe’s name & said the boys would be wild over it all. So Dad and I are alone practically. No doubt Mary told you about our Christmas and the presents. Yours were grand, Pat. Eileen’s bundle was 2 lovely long pink towels with a green trim & face cloths and 2 pair of green with pink trim & face cloths. You would like them. Yours were more decorated and beautiful as were little Brenda & Maureen’s. Mrs Hill sent the loveliest table set runners, napkins and centre of lovely linen and cross stitch embroidery. Oh I think Mary must have told you all.

I am getting the flowers from Connie & Fergus for Dec, Jan & Feb. so far 6 red roses, two bunches of mums “yellow & purple” On Christmas a lovely bunch in a green vase, white flowers & red trimming and today a pot with 6 lovely red tulips just in bud. Then Helen Ireland’s red roses and Kay Keenan’s pink and Mrs Mundy’s pot of pink begonias. So are very well set and when you are home we shall have some each week till the end of Feb. Our Electric Clock is lovely. I have it on the shelf at the window of the Butlers pantry. Jim gave Mary and I each a box of candy and $5.

Little Mary called me today, you may know she has mumps but should be ready to go to school “Grandma, you know what? I shall see you the first day of the New Year, tomorrow”

Madeline has heard nothing from Arthur up to last night. She had a letter the 18th Dec and he said he rushed to a drug store but did not even get a card, expected to be home Christmas and might see her Monday after but nothing has arrived since. She told this to Fergus Jr. I can imagine how badly she feels. She thinks he must be sick. She had a nice letter from Dick. He is in Japan.

Mary’s purse is beautiful and so is the skirt, Mary was pleased with her “grip” and took it to Buffalo, it was the right size. I was at Mass one Sunday but did not get there Christmas or Sunday. It seems the new oil furnace is on but everyone complains of the cold. So! Dad had two cases this morning so when he was called I got up, took my time and came down and got my breakfast etc. I lay down from 1 pm till 3 pm and then made a small pan of biscuit for our supper. It being Friday. Well my dearie, I hope you are improving. Mary said when you met her in Montreal you were pretty as a picture.
Love and kisses and a Happy New Year, Mother.

June 13, 2015 – grand day

To love and to be loved is to feel the sun from both sides

                                                                                                                David Viscott

We had a lovely day, aside from three year old temper tantrums.  I remember it so well having children who skipped the terrible twos and went right into the terrible threes when they felt like it.  Have to feel sorry for them since they really don’t understand what is happening but they sure are unhappy little campers.

The day started with a lot of excitement – I was making myself some toast and happened to look out one of the back windows and there was a female deer under the porch next door.  Then when Ian came to see he saw that there was a buck there as well with antlers.  It was all quite exciting really. I mean this is the city of Washington DC. But then in looking at a map I realized we are not that far from Rock Creek Park and figured maybe that is where they were coming from.

I saw their neighbor out and told him and he said, “Darn, they ate all our flower beds last year to the point that my wife cried”  Turns out she had flower beds that were gorgeous and well tended and the darn deer ate everything.  That has to be frustrating. So I guess Ian’s excitement over having deer in the neighborhood was not as welcome by others with experience.

About noonish Maya and I headed off to Phoenix MD, north of Baltimore. It was a lovely drive and Maya filled me in on a lot of what she is doing in the housing policy end of things.And she talked to me about working with contract workers and had some interesting ideas about it.

We got to Phoenix and arrived at the brides parents house for the shower. It was great seeing my older brother Jim and his family that was there, especially his son the groom and his daughter the brides maid ( Matron) There were other family members there as well and some of my sister in law Sally’s family and friends that I met years ago at their wedding. So it was all very nice indeed.  Rose and Ferg got some lovely gifts and I hope they enjoy the ones I brought to them.  Seeing how well matched they are for each other was wonderful and I can only wish them a long and happy life together.

The shower went from 1 until 5 so Maya and I headed for home. When we arrived we freshened up and headed across the street to a family party that Ian had been invited to during the day and we were to join him there once we got home. It was lovely and we certainly enjoyed ourselves. I was very happy to meet Carmen’s husband and the rest of her family.  She is the mother of the girls best playmate who spends time at her grandmothers and they all love each other as only 4 and 5 year olds can love a best friend. The food was outstanding and the family very gracious including Ian’s family in their celebration.

So tired parents and children are in bed and grandma is longing for sleep so this is the end of my story for today.  This heat in DC is terrible.  I cannot say it enough.

I just read the letter I am going to post from Pat’s sister Mary.  It becomes more and more obvious they did not know how sick she was.  Not that anything they could have done would have helped her and maybe she was smart to stay away as long as she did.

So here you go. It just gets me sadder and sadder.

Wednesday Dec 29, 1948
Fort Frontenac
Kingston, Ontario

Pattsy Dear,

Thanks so much for the nice weekend. I hope I didn’t tire you. I like to think of you all tucked in yesterday & today & getting rested up.

Mother was delighted with the candy & nuts, but a little annoyed you didn’t keep them for yourself. There was a card in the box of candy which I will enclose in this or my next letter – in case I mail this on my way home.

I have drafted a letter to Dr. Bird for you. Mistee says he will speak to Jack Baker & try & find out what’s been done.

Now Pattsy dear, I am worried about your cough etc. I promised not to push you into doing anything you didn’t want to & I am trying to keep that promise. But I am sorry I didn’t go to Miss Henderson & ask her if you could have a couple of weeks leave right now without threatening your job. I have made inquiries here & sick leave without pay is I think very easily arrange for colds, flu, etc if you haven’t been employed long enough to use your 1 ½ days per month with pay. So why don’t you please consider your bonus as those week or two weeks pay & please come home just long enough to fix up that cough & your side. If you would prefer to work over the New Year to help out with Miss H’s time schedules then ask her to take your leave starting next Monday, the 3rd.

If you would rather not ask her yourself, any of us would immediately but I thought you might refer to do it yourself. Please, please, dear you’re tired and you need to get that cough settled before you can rest properly.

I have made my letter to Dr. Bird rather strong – you may change or leave out any part but I wanted to present a strong care.

I phoned Buffalo last nite & will go tomorrow noon – I will be most anxious to hear what you decide & will I hope be seeing you Monday or Tuesday evening. If you would rather we would ask, just say the word to Dad or the boys while I’m away & they will do the writing.

We want to follow your wishes in this as in anything else, but also we want to feel that you will get help the moment you need it.

I’ll give your love to them in Buffalo & will be anxious to hear what you decide.

Love Mary

Draft of letter written by Mary for Pat to Dr. Bird
Dept of Veteran’s Affaires,
27 Princess Street,

Dear Dr. Bird,

I would like to inquire concerning the application for a pension which I made last October. You were hopeful then that I might hear in six to eight weeks. I am in Montreal now, or I would have dropped in to see you personally.

I am most anxious to know what action has been taken. I have been refused re-employment by the Army on medical grounds. I still suffer some ill effects from my previous illness, and if my means of livelihood is threatened, I am desirous of learning as soon as possible, if I can expect compensation.

I may be in Ottawa some time next month, and I will, especially if you think it might hasten action on my behalf, present my case directly. I would appreciate knowing my file number, so that I may refer to it.

Thank you, Doctor, for your past cooperation and any further consideration you may be able to give me now.

June 12, 2015 – Spirits of the Night

I had one of those out of body experiences last night, kind of.  I woke up around 4 am and was facing the wall as I had slept.  I saw shadows on the wall and wondered if that was my shadow, so I lifted my arm up and yes that part was me but the larger shadow was not part of me.  I did not move for a bit for I got thinking what if that meant some stranger was standing next to my bed.  What would I do? My heart started racing and my breath became short.  I came to the conclusion that my only choice was to roll over and try and see if there was someone there.  I could not imagine who would be in my room at that hour.  As I rolled over I sensed a presence in the room.  I opened my eyes and looked into the dark.  There was a little being just standing there, not moving a muscle.  I thought, oh dear there is a ghost in this house and it belongs to this room.  The being continued to just stand there not moving.  I finally bit the bullet and sat up and reached out, I mean really what else is one to do at 4 am.

I touched the little person standing there and it was granddaughter number 1.  She never said a word and would not respond to my inviting her to get in the bed with me or what she wanted?  She just stared ahead of her.  Oh dear, she must be sleep walking was the next through to go through my mind.  But eventually I figured out that was not what was happening with her.  She went out to the couch in the living room and laid down there.  I decided I was so tired and since she was not responsive I would go and climb back into bed.  That did not work very well either because I could hear her out there and kept worrying about what she was getting into. So twice I got up and she still would not talk or response in anyway to me.  I gave up and got back into bed and agreed with myself not to get up again unless I heard something really noisy going on.

I must have fallen asleep around 5 am but certainly not deeply. Hard to sleep when this child is driving you nuts.  Turns out she also got mom and dad up so mom took her out for an early morning run around 5ish.  She still did not go back to bed but  at least there were other adults up with her.  So this evening we have three very tired adults and during the day and evening one very over tired chickie.   Makes one appreciate having a Jameson, lemonade with lime.  No ginger ale around here but the lemonade is very good.

To add to the fun I took the girls to the Splash Pad at a near by park and they ended up not being willing to do anything there, no water, no playground, nada…. I finally got tired of the moodiness and brought then back home. Only one ran through the home sprinkler.  After lunch I gave up and told them they had to nap. That was met with disagreement but then they both snuck down to the living room and fell sound asleep on the couch. I took advantage and took a short nap in my room and then did some cleaning up.  Not fun when kids are all moody and unresponsive.

The heat today was way over my tolerance level.  I don’t do very well at all in really hot weather.  I feel like a fading flower. Did have a great conversation with Talmadge who lives across the street from Ian and Maya. He is a wonderful fellow, very involved in local community affairs.  We had a long chat about the cultural issues we as a nation are facing or not depending on your view.  The sadness of a 15 year old being held for three plus years in solitary confinement with out charges actually being brought against him in court.  And the resulting suicide of this poor man whose life was ruined over an accusation of stealing a backpack. But because he was a poor black teen that was the treatment he got.  Our country really is not in great shape when it comes to the treatment of our minorities and poorest citizens.  My question always is what can I do? Vote – that means nothing anymore when you realize who is really pulling the strings of our elected leaders.  Certain we don’t get what we want from them.  I hear from kids I worked with in the past and realize the struggles they are going through with jobs, advancement, what to do if you want to get married and get out of the city and into more mixed neighborhoods where people have good jobs etc.  If you don’t want to raise your children in all that poverty.  It breaks my heart wondering what can I do to make life better for them. All I can do is encourage them to keep trying to move forward and not to settle.  I don’t think their parents settled and I don’t think they should either.

So, back to Aunt Pat. My  brother Milt wrote me today and asked me if the family knew she had cancer at this point in time.  I remember hearing that they did not, she did not want them to know and she had not planned to return home until almost the end. She knew there was no treatment and that she would die. So there was little for her to do other than make sure she did it her way.

Dr. Fergus O’Connor
Dec 29 – 48

My Dear Pat –:

We were so glad Mary took the time off to go and see you and then on to Eileen’s. We have been uneasy about your health as you know all fall and felt you should have had a rest before assuming the duties of the new position. However as you, like myself, do not do so well when idle we did not insist on it. I think these minor worries that you have – hemorrhoids, cough etc etc all mount up to a great deal in the way of keeping you below par and there is always the element of worry connected with feeling poorly. We do not wish to be too insistant in the negative but think the earlier you can be content to take a real rest the better it will be for you and so for us too. We do not want to be bossy but we do not feel as would be fair to you if we did not offer in ever way to help get you back to as perfect health as possible. I will not say any more on this subject – but any thing you want me or any of us to do, do not hesitate in saying so at will and we will be only too glad to do it.

Love and Kisses,
Dad