instead of me giving him money. He took a hand full of money in his pocket and place it on the table. And one time Emile went to mass and he give him a big box of clothing, sheets and pillow cases and towels. All kinds of nice clothing. He also gave Emile 100 pounds of flour and a door to put at the place of the door with the big hole in it. Cicilia was 2 years and 3 months when I give birth to a little boy. I named him Paul Emile. Emile like his father and Paul like St. Paul. A year before Paul Emile was born, Emile and the children had made a good potato harvest money. $1000.00 So he bought an old house on 2 Highland Avenue. And we pass the winter in this small house. It was full of bed bugs. In the Spring, Emile took some carpenter and painter and plumber and electrician. And when we came back from the farm, the house was one times larger and all was finished. Down stairs hot water and bath room and every thing. Emile borrowed money to do this, but now we had a good home at last. That’s when Paul Emile was born, in November in our new house. And when Paul Emile was born, I almost died. I almost lost all my blood. The doctor Albert was sure I was dying. I was so weak. A month after Paul Emile was born, I look the other side of the house
and it seemed so far away. I was glad to have Lauette to help me. And in 1946 she got married. I was so sorry to loose her, but I know she was old enough to get married and she married a good husband. I was 3 months pregnant a the time. So in June I give birth to a little girl that I named Rose Marie. Rose, like St. Rose de Lema, and Marie like the Virgin Mary. She big and beautiful and a good baby. Two years before I started to keep old people. But when Rose was born I had none at that time. But when she was a couple of weeks old I took some old folks again. Emile and the boys Lew and Clarence work all the time, but Emile kept playing poker and drink and he lost more than he won. He also played most of Lewellyn and Clarence’s money. He made believe that they were giving extra work at night and he took the boys with him and went to play poker. Lew was 19 years old. He wanted his father to buy a new car. He and Clarence would make the payments. So Emile bought a new Chevrolet. Oh Lew and Clarence were so glad. Emile’s father was sick with cancer. Very sick. So Emile went to see him. He was living near us now. He’d lost his farm a couple of years before so they were living with his son Clarence and his wife near us. Emile told his father, I bought a new car and his father said, I would like
to see you car. So Emile took him in his arms and took him in the door so he could see Emile’s new car. Oh, he said, you got a nice car. I am glad for you. A week later he passed away. He was a good man. He didn’t talk too good some times, but I didn’t hate him. He was a good hearted man. One time when we were living near them in the Ozime little house, I had no wood and one morning very early I was still in bed. He came in. Emile was gone to work on the WPA. the door wasn’t locked, so he came to my bed and said, look I am leaving you a little sled of wood. But I didn’t say nothing to Vina and didn’t tell Emile because he might talk to his mother and you know how Vina and Emile believed in each other. So I didn’t say nothing. I said thank you. I won’t talk and I never said nothing to Emile about his father bringing me wood.
As for my mother, she passed away when Cicilia was 14 months old from cancer also and how she suffered. In a way, I thanked God to take her away because she had suffered for 2 years terrible. She used to weigh 180 pounds and when she died she weighed 25 pounds. The funeral man said that he never took care of a woman so thin in his life at [embalbing]. But it was very sad for me because she was so good. And she always helped me all she
could. My God rest her soul. Emile’s father passed away in 1948. After Emile had the car for awhile, Clarence and Lew were doing the payments, but in the next Spring, Lew starts talking about getting married and in April Lew got married leaving Clarence alone with the payment. And Clarence he only worked once in a while. He had no steady job. He shoveled snow on the rail road tracks to make the payment and couldn’t keep the payments in time so he enlisted in the regular Army and left Emile alone for the car payments. So Emile had to sell the car to finish paying for it. So we had no more car. Lew was living at home with his wife and his first son was born at home. Brian was his name. And Lilianne got married too and was living with us too for a while. Her first little girl was born with us too. Her name is Lewella. She was home when Clarence left for the Army. What a sad day that was to see Clarence board the train for the Army. It was during the Korean wars. I cried and cried. I was so lonesome without Clarence, and I was so worried. I cried when my Amie died, but I cried more for Clarence, because my tears lasted for 3 years. After a year in the Army, he came on furlough for a month. And after he went back he was
transferred to Korea. And he was right on the battle field. Every night I went to bed and cried. When I fell asleep I had nightmares. I saw him on the battle field wounded or dead. Sometimes I dreamt that I saw him passing with a plane over the house. Oh it was terrible. If I could have gathered my tears I shed for those three years, it would have made a brook. Before going over seas on Seattle Washington Base, he’d been there a year before crossing over seas he had an accident with some other men and his nose was almost cut off his face. He also had a bad cut to his face. He spent over three weeks in the Army hospital. They fixed his nose and it doesn’t show too much today. After being over seas, I asked the Lord and the Virgin Mary to protect him from harm. I wrote to Father Emile Rabetaille. He was at Lille, Maine now, and I asked him to pry for Clarence too. He wrote back to me and I still have that letter. The first letter Clarence wrote me from Fort Daven Base in Massachusetts. I still have this letter too. So this time God answered my prayers. Clarence came back without a scratch from the battle field from Korea and the battle was over. God’s mercy.
Now let’s go a little bit backward. I was pregnant when Lew go married and this was 1950. I gave birth to a little boy. I named him Norman Patrick.
Norman like Emily’s husband’s name and Patrick like my oldest brother Patrick that we stayed so many times with him. He was also dead today. He died at 70 years old. So Pat was one month old. I made a nervous breakdown. I was again at the end of the rope. I saw all the doctors in Fort Kent and they couldn’t do nothing for me. I was so thin and discouraged. I thought, my God, I will die and my baby is only a month old. I prayed, Dear Lord, please help me. I don’t want to leave my children alone. Give me the strength to live again. And I promise you, Lord, if you let me live to finish raising the rest of my family, I will take care of my children who need help too. And I will take care of old persons. Please, Lord, help me. So one day I was going to Edmundston Hospital to stay a while, but when we arrived there, Laura’s oldest son had just passed away in that hospital. He was married and had 2 kids. Poor Camille. So I didn’t want to stay a minute in that hospital. And there was an old priest, Father Burk. We called that priest. He was retired and lived in a house with his servant. So I asked to go see this priest. I had heard about him, but I never saw him before. I went in alone and I started crying and I kneeled down before him and asked him to keep me. I said, I can’t live no more. Please help me. He look at me and he seem
surprised. He said, ho la la. Sit in this chair and tell me your problem. So I told him the best way I could my reason of being there to see him. He asked me what is bothering you the most. So I said my worst problem is to see my children going to church alone not being able to go with them. He looked at me and said, is the Lord not in your house? I said, I hope so. Well he said you don’t need to go to church. Stay home and pray. It is just as well. I see, he said, that you are stubborn. You want to win, and you won’t win because God is stronger than you are. All that crying you are doing, stop it and sing instead, and eat. All the doctors you said you saw, putting you on a diet you said it’s no good. To raise a family you got to eat. Go home and cook some nice salted pig [gigot] and fill that stomach of yours. You are living backwards now and its forward you go to live, not backward. Now he blessed me and said, go to your family and remember what I told you. So I came home and I tell you I never forget the sassing this Father Burk gave me. Instead of crying, I tried to sing. it was hard at first, but after a week or two I sang, and I cooked some salt pork [gigot] as he said and start to eat. And in a short while I was well again. I will never forget this good priest.
Years was passing fast. Clarence was back from the Army and went to Connecticut and he got married not long after. And Richard went in the Army too. He was transfered to Germany, but there was no war at the time. So I was a little less worried, but I was anxious for him to be home again. He’d been 3 years in the National Guard before going in the Army. After his 2 years of Army was done, he came back. I was so glad for him to be home too. But while in the Army he took to drinking and he drank. He was a good worker and a good man. He never said a word at home on foods or clothing. He was a good boy, but he drank. He enlisted back in the Guard. I had [stopped] keeping old people because it was too hard for me to cook for them. One couldn’t eat this and the other couldn’t eat that. I kept them for 6 years and I quit. And I began keeping foster children instead. I was easier to feed and I liked this much better. And as I have promised the Lord I would help children in need. I thought I would fill my promise. It wasn’t paying too much, 38 dollars a month, but even if I could have kept them for nothing I would have done so. Years before when I kept [Preston Airois] and Rudolf, we never were paid and I kept them a long time just the same. And later on when we [bought] our house a little boy was out
doors. A nice little 11 year old child that the foster parents put him outdoors to go take a vacation in the city. Poor boy, he was out doors alone. So I took him in. His name was Roland Duchaine. He had nice blue eyes and blond hair. He was real charming, but he wet the bed. I kept him all winter and in the spring his father came up from the city and he took him with him. But he paid me for all the time I took care of him. And how he was mad about his foster parents for putting him outdoors. When Pat was 10 years old, I had 5 foster kids at the time and still 4 of my children. The rest was all married except Richard. He was drinking to much to have time to look for a bride. I made another nervous break down. I was at the end of my rope again. Emile was drinking and lost his money playing cards. I was so tired of this game. One winter he said, if you want to let us play cards at home I will be home not else where. So I said, okay you might as well play here. That was before Cicilia was born. So every night the house was full of tramps playing poker and drinking. I let the be for a while, but Emile was working in the day times and those tramps came to play in the day time. I was mad and I told Emile, you better tell them to stay home in the day times. I don’t like this at all. Oh, he said, let them play. They are not
bothering you. So one day there were 8 at the house playing cards. And they started a fight. So I threw them out. That night Emile was surprised his chums didn’t come. So I told him they won’t be back, I threw them out this afternoon. He was mad. He said, ah yes you thow them out because they are my friends. If it would have been your friends you would have said nothing. The next day those men came back and said they were sorry. This won’t happen no more. We will be as quiet as possible. So they start their playing back. I was pregnant for Cicilia and one week I miscarrage I almost lost my baby. I had been 3 days in bed in the spring. The days were longer. It was Saturday and they played poker all afternoon. And I went to bed at night and in the morning I hear voices. It was 7 o’clock. Emile wasn’t in bed. I got up. They were all around the table playing. Coffee cups all over the place, tobacco spit cans even on the floor. Cigarette stubs in this. I threw them all out doors and I said, what the neighbors will think if they see you in the morning going out this house and all the peoples going to church seeing you too. Ship out and don’t ever come back here again. Emile was mad, but I didn’t care if he left with them too. I was so tired of washing their mess. Emile went to play some where else, but I didn’t mind. No more gambling