Finding Family

My life has never been boring.  I wish it had been. My childhood was peppered with alcoholism, violence and the meshing of two different cultures. I have been a single mom, a divorced mom and remarried mom.  I’ve lost numerous family members, including my sister to cancer and then my son to suicide. 

Hey, but it all hasn’t been bad!   No way.  I have given birth to four beautiful boys and have enjoyed my family life to the fullest.  Family has always been so important to me. I love the history that has made me be me.  I’ve shared some of it in The Cedar Canoe and also on this blog.  you can see me brother’s story here where he tells of coming “out of the closet”. 

The book that I am working on now is all about how my parents ended up together here in this town which will also document some first nations history for our area.  But, anyway, I have also had many miracles in my life and one just happened again recently.

Prelude to the day is: When I was a little wee lass, my Uncle Walter had three children ( a girl and twin boys).  I remember them and especially that I loved the twins because I could not tell them apart.  Sadly, in those days, alcohol had taken charge of our family and there were times when my mother would have cousins over at our house because their parents were not capable of looking after them. The twins were named Gordon and Glen and their sister was named Joyce.  They also had a half-brother named Gilbert.  It’s all confusing yes, as is my family. 

My uncle moved away from Red Lake to live with his wife and children in her community (reservation).  He died there from self-inflicted gun shot wound.  I never saw my cousins again.  Now, forty-three years later… yes, they have returned to my life, well the twins have.

Life is a circle indeed.  The short story is that my cousin in Winnipeg met a half-sibling of our long-lost cousins and they all met and then another cousin, my cousin Les (Chief of Wabauskang) brought the twins to Red Lake to meet my parents and me. 

Emotional?  Slightly. But also, such a wonderful moment. The twins, Gordon and Glen are now Annie and Glen.  What?  Yes, Gordon, who was named after Uncle Gordon, is now a female.  She is so awesomely beautiful that I felt comfortable with her and loved her immediately. She shared with me a little of the tortured life she led by people and still has to cope with.  I am just so happy to have my cousins back and look forward to future get-togethers.  I haven’t met Joyce yet and there is a plan for that to happen this summer.

I also, have two other cousins from my Uncle Danny, that were taken by the Children’s Aid Society in the sixties (the sixties scoop) and adopted to non-aboriginal families in Toronto that I still have yet to meet.  I know it will happen.

This weekend is also Thunder Bay’s first “Pride in the Park”.  Fabulous!

garden 029

garden 033

3 thoughts on “Finding Family

  1. Pingback: We’re cousins | thecedarcanoe

  2. Well, one thing about it, you can tell them apart now! What great pictures of all of you, and it’s so wonderful that you got to see them again after all these years!

  3. What a great story, and Annie looks so beautiful and so happy – what a brave thing to do, to be so completely real, no matter what. And I love your open-mindedness and open heart in welcoming her as she is now – lovely!

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