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Personal Stories


The Death of Aunt Katherine

I was completely devasted when my Aunt died. She was like a mother to me, through my teen years. She got me a job at the photofinishing company she headed. Every once in a while she would walk through my department. I think she just wanted to know how I was doing. I admired her so much. She ran everything like clockwork. She would take me for lunches at her favourite restaurant. I spent alot of time at her house, usually sleeping over. We would sit and talk into the night.

By coincidence when my family moved, she lived a few blocks away. We would go and visit her and her husband often. She had a lovely big house. I noticed she had lost alot of weight and that concerned me. I never realized how ill she really was. Each winter they would travel to Florida, they had a cottage there. This particular winter was no exception. Then came the awful news. My aunt had died in Florida. I was in a state of disbelief, and shock. I had never been to a funeral, and wondered how I would get through it, but I was going. It was held at a funeral home closer to our area. The church was nice and had a sprawling cemetary.

Most of the family attended except for my younger sister. She had her own issues with addiction. I was upset that we were seated in the very back of the church. The most upsetting thing was my sister's absense, she should have been there. I cried through the eulogy. I kept looking at my mother, she never cried. When they lowered the casket, I cried again. I remember thinking how cold my mother was. She just lost her only sister, and there was no emotion. I know they were never close over the years, but it is family. I know people deal differently with death, but to me it seems cold. Personally I will always remember my Aunt Kay, short for Katherine. She was one of the strongest women I had the priviledge of knowing, I will miss her.


My Style of Mothering

My style of mothering is strict. I was brought up strict as a child. I think I turned out okay. At times it made me very sad as a child. I spent alot of time in my room. I feel I am strict now with my son. Right from the time he was born people were telling me how to raise him.

It seems everyone has thier own take on parenting. I feel I am hard but also fair and I'm a good mother. Many people have told me that I am. The thing is, sometimes, I feel like maybe my son was spoiled in a sense. He is an only child, so he tends to get what he wants. On the other hand, now that he is getting older, I try to make him contribute more to the household.

I was always there for him as a child. I even decided not to return to work, in order to raise him. It seemed so much easier to discipline him as a child. There were the time outs and numerous scoldings. However, to me, they were not so useful. Now that he is getting into his teen years, it just seems to get more frustrating. Now he wants more freedom. He does get a certain degree of it. He goes to the corner store himself. He can go to the neighbors himself. He can go and play in the nearby field with friends. That is the extent of his trips.

In this uncertain world I feel instilling certain respects, morals, and habits into a child is very important. Although sometimes it can become a bit too much. I am such a perfectionist myself that I expect it from others. My son feels like I come down on him too much. He feels I am yelling at him. I am just trying to get things across to him.

Through all the years there has been one constant that tells me I have done a good job. My son is a good kid. He gets excellent grades, is smart as a whip, is popular among his peers. He amazes me with his thoughts and communications and has for some years now.

I may be strict and protective with him, but in some small way, I think I have imparted on him some lifelong lessons.

Amber Whitman.

Leaving Home Twice

by Amber A. Whitman

I am a person who knows all about leaving home. I lived in British Columbia with my grandparents untilI was around 15 years old. They raised me as a child. Then I found out I had a second family. My mother, father and younger sister all lived in Toronto.

One summer my sister came to visit us. I decided to leave home and go back to Toronto. It was supposed to just be a visit but I ended up staying. My ideal family dream turned into a nightmare as my parents turned out to be alcoholics. As time went on, it just got worse. My sister and I started to lose sleep due to all night binges. We started to miss school as well. As I became older, I realized I just could not live in this environment anymore.

I decided to leave home again. I didn't relish leaving my sister but I couldn't take her with me either. I did not truly even know what I was doing. I ended up living with a friend of my mother's. It was fine for a while until he made a pass at me one night. He was drunk and I think he saw my mother in me. I started to work at a young age to support myself. I moved from place to place. It was hard, especially being out in the world at such a young age.

Looking back now, I realize I should have stayed in B.C. I think I will always regret leaving home and my grandparents because shortly after they died. I felt like I had let them down. However, leaving home due to your circumstances can be hard. It will certainly teach you about the world at a young age. If you have a good home, with caring parents, It can mean all the difference in your life.