My mum's age was somewhat of a mystery, she lied on forms about it, she kept it secret from her daughters and having a face lift in her late 40's, she always did look younger than her true age.
A sunny day 6th June 1927, a baby girl was born to the Dingley family in Winchester, Hampshire. Named Brenda Jean. Brenda was the 2nd girl, her older sister Eve, then would follow Joan and the youngest Rosemary, who would join Brenda to play in their parents garden. Four girls was a handful for George their dad, a respected Master builder. Most of the girls upbringing was done by the one I knew as 'gran'. I don't recall her real name as to my mum she was mum and to me she was that wonderful, smiling, friendly gran who baked delicious cakes.
My mother was born August 5, 1897 near Princeton, Ontario. She was the youngest child of Margaret Ann MacLean who was born in Scotland and William Hurvey Laird who was born in Mt. Pleasant, Ontario. Margaret Ann had come to Canada when she was two years old.
My mother died on a Tuesday in September of a massive pulmonary embolism. She collapsed to her knees and took her last breath at the age of fifty-three. She had been born with a particular set of challenges and had augmented those challenges with poor choices.
The weeks that separate the dry winds of summer from the relentless howl of a prairie winter are few and pass quickly. This is when my mother was born into a world falling headlong into the Great Depression. On October 4, 1930, Shirley became the last of four children born to Rose and Ernest French of Herbert, Saskatchewan. Her mother always called her Shirley Ann and it wasn’t until she applied for a passport in 1977 that she realized that she had no middle name after all.