When he [asks] change for a new Chevrolet in 1969. We went back to see the children in Connecticut. It was Christmas. So we came back with our car full of gifts. I bought me a little dog in Hartford at a pet shop. A five week old little female pug. She was so cute. I had another dog that I ordered in Spegel’s Catalog, a little peekenees. His name was Bruce. I paid $100 for him. I also paid $100 for my little pug. I bought Bruce for Pat’s 10th birthday. He always wanted a little dog. So this dog was for Pat. Two years after Pat got married, Bruce was 13 years old. He became so sick, so I had to have him put away. Now Richard likes to fish too, so he came with us to fish and he was lucky catching trouts. Emile also started back collecting old copper and old batteries. He couldn’t stop for a minute. He help Elmer Dubois build his camp and he also help Edward Plourde our son-in-law too to build a house at Black Lake. He also help Leon to make a gallery. He also help our son-in-law to find furniture to fit their bedrooms upstairs. But one day he had worked hard all day. He was very tired and he felt sick and he said let’s go home. As soon as we got home he was so sick I call the ambulance and we took him to the hospital. He had a severe heart attack. I prayed, Oh Lord, don’t
don’t take him now. Our bad years was over and everything was fine now. I love him more than I have hated him. Lord let me have him for a few more years. You cannot take him away now. All the family were so afraid to loose their dad too. For a week he was between life and death. And after he began to feel better, he passed 21 days in the hospital, but this didn’t stop him from working. Clarence was home. He had come down to see his father. Lew came down too. So I went with Clarence to discharge him from the hospital and this same afternoon he said to Clarence, take me to see my garden at Black Lake. His potatoes was ready to dig. So the next day he dug potatoes to sell. The children and me do all we could to stop him from working but in vain. He said, you children don’t try to stop me from working and you too Estelle, mind your own business. He said only one can stop me, and when he stop me I ask him to be fast. So nothing to do. He keeps all his days working and I was worried about him all the time. I was always afraid for him to have another heart attack all along some where in the road or hunting alone in the field. I thought, oh my God, take me those thoughts out of my head because I’ll turn crazy. I cannot bear those thoughts I had in
my mind all the time. And in bed I was always afraid to feel asleep. After a few years passed I was little better, but I know he wasn’t feeling well. He had some small attacks sometimes, but one day another thing happened. Richard came home drunk one night. He had worked all day and he didn’t come home until late at night. The next morning Emil went to work at the camp. At noon I hear Richard calling me from the top of the stairs, mom can you come here. I started running. I knew some thing was wrong. I looked on the top of the stairs and Richard was there and couldn’t come down. I help him down and I put him in my bed. And I call Emile and he took him with the ambulance to the hospital. And he couldn’t have a doctor because it was Thanksgiving day and all the doctors were off the job. At 9:30 at night when the doctor finally came to see and check him, Richard was paralyzed from head to toe on his right side. They put him in intensive care for six days. Ad after 2 weeks in the Fort Kent Hospital, the sent him to Fort Fair Field care unit for therapy. Poor Richard, he was like a little baby. No balance at all. He couldn’t sit or nothing. They had to tie him in his chair. We went to see him as often as we could and give him all he needed.
He stayed there two months and the doctor told us that he couldn’t do nothing for Richard. He will stay the same as he was. So I said I will bring him home and care for him at home. The children said it’s not a house case. You won’t be able to care for him at home. Well I thought I’ll try. And after if I can’t take care of him, I tried so I won’t have no regret. And that’s what I did. I tried, but it was a 25 hour job. I thought I was strong enough, but I made another breakdown. I kept Richard for two months, and the doctor said you will have to place Richard in a home. So we find him a place in Eagle Lake home. And what a day it was to know that Richard will go and never be able to live with us again. I would rather see him dead than to see him go out that door. He never said nothing because he never complained. And he knew I was sick and he couldn’t stay home. But I might have thought the same things as me. He was going out for the last time. He have always stayed with us. He was 44 years old. When Lilianne and Leon took hime to Eagle Lake I was crying and Emile too was crying. And Richard was crying too. And I am sure if I have seen Lilianne and Leon’s eyes I would have seen tears too. Today he is in the
Fort Kent Rest Home. It’s not to far from here. When I became 62 years old I quit keeping foster children. Emile was tired and me I was tired of taking care of kids too. And I thought young children belong to younger parents. So I called the social worker to find them a place with younger parents. I had four and three were Roland’s children and I had a 17 year old boy. I have tried to move them before but they start crying and I cried too. So this time I told the social worker to come and get their clothing and to go get them at school. So that way they won’t see me cry when leave. So that’s what the social worker did. So they were moved without too much tears. But after when I saw the school bus pass I couldn’t help crying. I was so lonesome the house was so empty. All we had left was my little female dog named [P]uchie and she was so spoiled she was just like a child. We love her a lot. I always put her to sleep on her little blanket at the foot of my bed. On my feet as to say. Every night Emile took me for a ride around the town and in the country where I was born in St Agatha. Every where he go he took me with him except when he go buy some old copper. Sometimes I didn’t feel too much like going at the camp, but he always said, oh come with me.
I was lonesome in the camp alone. So to please him I went. And he said let’s go on the lake for a little while and if the fish don’t bite, we’ll come back at camp and you sit on the porch while I work. So it was so nice on the camp porch. And at night coming home and when we went for a ride we always sing in the car. Some times it was me who start singing and some times he start singing. And we both sing together. And at the camp he walk through his trees that he transplanted and he find it so nice he loved the birds, the water, the woods and everything of the nature. And he always said, it’s so nice to be alive. And the food he always said how good it tastes. And he always repeats how nice it was to be alive and have good times. We were so happy. God changed our lives in 5 minutes. Emile haven’t slept well all night. He couldn’t eat all day. He said I eat too much yesterday. My stomach is full, but in the afternoon he was feeling better. We eat for supper and all he ate was 2 toasts. And he asked me, do you think my wife that I eat too much? I eat 2 toasts and I drank 2 cup of tea. I said, no. You didn’t eat too much. So he went and he sit in our old rocking chair we had near the window. All of a sudden he made a jump on his chair. I was sitting
in front of him. I said, my God, won’t you tell me what you are doing. He was all stretched on his chair and his feet hit the floor so hard. He look at me and said, I became so dizzy. I didn’t know where I was. And he continue looking at the T.V. I said don’t look at the T.V. Maybe that’s what made you dizzy. There was some bowlers on T.V. and he like to look at the bowlers. And the phone rang. It was Lilianne. She had somethings to say to me. I just said 2 or 3 words that I heard. The same noise behind me. I turn and Emile’s eye glasses were on the floor, and he was falling sideways on his chair. His eyes closed also his mouth. I shout in the phone, my God, Lilianne. I think your father is dying. And I ran to put a little pill under his tongue. He had to take some of those little pills very often under his tongue for his heart. But his teeth was closed so tight together. I call Ceiclia. She was the nearest one and all I could do was hold him in my arms, his head on my chest so he wouldn’t fall to the floor. And I could feel his breath fading away. He passed away in my arms. The ambulance came and the men tried to revive him at home, but I know he was gone. At the hospital they try and try but when I saw
Dr. Tao come to us shaking his head, I knew it was all over.
I have lost the companion of my life. All those bad years and all the hardship we passed through. All the poverty and the sorrow. We both had when we lost our dear little Aime. The sorrow we had when Clarence went to Korean battle field. And Richard leaving our home to go pass the rest of his days in a home for the sick. And the few good years and moments we had together. This man I learned to love. I had given my life, my last blood drops for him. This man I learned to appreciate so much, to depend my self on him. Those last years I find a quality in this man that I haven’t seen before. This man had loved me all those years. His children he loved so much. He was always worried about them and his grand children too. His camp, his trees that he loved so much, his flowers he find so lovely, the water he said was smelling so good and the wood. Was this possible? That this good man was no more. I couldn’t believe it some times even after 3 years. I can’t believe it’s happened. Our good years were so few. My children in their sorrow was my support. They have
always been the pearl of my eyes. But now they were more I was so glad to have my big family around me. I don’t know what I have done without them. And parents and friends, I didn’t know we had so many friends. It was from the bottom of my heart that I said thank you to all. We couldn’t say that he was drinking. He hadn’t touch a drop since his big heart attack and about 8 years before he stop smoking. He had smoked for 54 years and one day he quit and never took smoking again. So we say that no one is perfect. Yes it’s true. Only one man was perfect and they killed him. But he was nearly perfect. I gave him a nice funeral. The church was full of friends and his best friend that he had, had passed away too. And it was Mr. Leo Dubois, Ceiclia’s father-in-law. They both get along so well together. Loving the same things, the water and the woods, the fishing and hunting. Now I was alone. Only my little pug dog Fuchie to be with me. She seems sad too. Some thing was missing in the house for her. She look all over the house at night to go to the bed because he always too her to bed with him. And she was looking
all over for him. And she was just a dog. Today he is with our little Aime. Maybe watching over us the family. You see when I asked God years before for the grace of raising my family and after he could come and get me. No, God had something else for me to do. I see it clearly today why he keeps me living. He could have taken me instead of him because me, I didn’t know what to do. To arrange the things me and him. I know he could have done much better. I did the best I could. I had to bear my cross which was heavy at times. And I hope and pray when my time comes to go, that I will be good enough to meet my love one’s father and little son Aime. My life was a hard one but God could have give me worse he gave me all though those years. And today I an say it’s over.