Friday, August 24, 2007

Chapter 2 - New

llllllllllllAbove is a picture of Sue's cousin Linda Flay. This picture was taken at Linda's graduation from
Nursing School. Linda is a nurse at the Cobourg General Hospital. Linda is remarried now and
has 3 grown children. Jennifer is a teacher in Ottawa.

To the left is a picture of Sue
family's second floor apartment
at 178 Carruthers St
in Ottawa

To the right is the front of the building and the street next to this building is Scott St.
Sue lived here in the late 50s.

Our family moved when I was three years old to 178 Carruthers Street near Scott street not far from Holland Ave. We lived in a second floor apartment that had 13 stairs to the main street. I remember good times and bad times at Carruther's street.

My brother and I shared a bedroom. My brother was in a crib and I had my own small bed. My brother called me "Tuzane" as he could not say "Suzanne" as it was too difficult for a young child to pronounce.

The teenage boy across the street taught me how to skate. My father would make a rink and slide in the backyard in the winter.

One day when my mom and I and my brother had a nap in the afternoon as we always did, my brother Chris decided to go for a walk outside. It was a cold winter day and Chris managed to put on his snow suit by himself and his boots. My mother woke up and could not find my brother Chris and she was very upset and worried. She called the police and all the people she knew. She told me to get dressed and go outside and look for my brother. I was about 4 years old.

I went outside and it was a very cold winter day. I looked all around and could not see my brother anywhere on Carruthers Street. I felt worried too. All of a sudden I turned around towards Scott street and saw my brother Chris smiling and waving his arms as he was walking towards me in his winter snowsuit. My brother said "Tuzane, is mom mad"? Yes I told my brother. Chris and I walked up the stairs to our apartment and my mom gave my brother a beating he wouldn't forget for a very long time.

One of our neighbours was mother who was an amputee. One of her hands and forearms was missing. Another neighbour of ours was a developmentally delayed boy with disfigurements to his face and hands. He used to throw stones at Chris and I. He lives near me around the corner now and he has changed. He is very nice and friendly and we speak often when I bump into him. His name is Michael.

We had a wooden swing outside in the backyard. One day my brother was on it and I got hit in the face when it went up into the air. I was hurt but not badly.

One day a man with a old fashioned camera came by. He had a horse with him. He asked my mom if she would like some pictures taken of me and Chris and she agreed. She dressed up in our finest clothes. I remember the man putting a drape over his head and then he took some pictures. Chris and I were on the horse in the pictures. I had long brown hair with ringlets and had on a pretty dress and Chris had on a small suit. We looked so cute in these pictures. My mom has all those pictures.

My mom asked her sister Caroline "Cannie" daughter Linda Flay who was a teenager to come and babysit my brother Chris and I. My cousin Linda was coming over to our second floor apartment when she saw my mom push me down the l3 stairs outside our apartment and I fell on the ground in front of my building. Linda didn't say anything. She was too afraid to.

My mom told her to do some household chores when she was babysitting my brother and I. When my mom got home Linda forgot to do the housework. My mom threw my cousin Linda across the room. Linda told her mother Aunt Cannie and Cannie never sent Linda to babysit us again. Aunt Cannie never said anything to my mom.. She did not want to rock the boat.

I remember my third birthday party at Carruthers. In the picture I have a nice cake in front of me with candles and some gifts. I looked so happy. I hid my pain as a child.

I was a nervous child and I had to go and see the doctor because I chewed my right thumb nail down to the cuticle. My mom had to immerse my thumb in some type of liquid solution in order that my thumb nail would heal.

My brother and I would swing from the kitchen cabinet doors. My parents didn't like that very much at all. We would play outside together in the backyard and we had lots of fun together.

One day I remember an awful thing that happened to my brother Chris, he must have been about 3 years old. I saw my dad push my brother from the livingroom into my parents' bedroom where he hit his chin on the steel metal bed frame. My parents took him to the hospital to get stitches. He still has a small scar on his chin to this day. My parents I assume lied about how my brother's chin was split open. Child abuse was a taboo subject for so long.

Mom was washing dad's clothes one day when he looked into one of his pants pockets and found a hotel receipt from Montreal. Mom put two and two together. Dad was away on some weekends with some of his friends. Dad admitted to having had an affair with a secretary.

Mom was devastated. She loved my dad so much and was really committed to him My aunt Olive said my mom never got over what my dad did. Mom lost 90 pounds in three months after that incident. My uncle Lyman did not recognize my mom when she had lost all of that weight. Mom was an emotional eater, when things bothered her, she would go to the fridge and get some comfort food. Mom's weight has gone up and down like a roller coaster all her life.

My mom became pregnant after she had my brother Chris. My mom had a miscarriage.

My mom went to work in the evenings at the Westgate Restaurant at the Westgate Shopping Center. She was saving up money to put a down payment on a house. My dad had a mini Austin car. I remember my father wrapping my brother and I in blankets as he walked down the stairs to put us in the car to pick up my mom from work.

Carruthers Street was in the poor section of town. I do remember playing with lots of kids and having fun.
There was a school across the street.

I remember my mom coming into the bedroom I shared with my brother who was in a crib. I had a small child's bed to sleeep on. My mom told me I had enough of having a bottle at night and she was going to cut it up and I would never see my bottle again. I screamed and cried all night. I was old enough to do without a bottle.
I must have been 3 years old. My mom took a knife and my baby bottle in two.

I remember another babysitter. She was a young teenager and she come into my bedroom and close the lights and then put a latch on the outside of my bedroom door. I screamed and hollered and told her in my small child's voice, "don't lock me in".

I remember getting out of my bed during nap times and selling my marbles to a kid on our block. I liked to sell things and still do. I love flea markets and I love to go to shopping centers and have a meal and a coffee and see everything at all the shops.

I have gaps in my memories throughout my childhood.