Today has always been an important one on our family’s calendar, and for the first time in my life – I don’t feel like celebrating. Mom would have turned 85 today, but just 3 short weeks ago we said our final goodbyes. I miss her more than I ever thought I could miss anyone. I guess you are never ready not have your mom in your life.
Before she died, she was honoured to be working on a talk to give to her ladies group at her church. She had been asked to speak at their mother’s day gathering. For a couple of months she worked on her presentation – complete with complimentary scripture. Her focus that day was the rich faith heritage that she grew up with. She has been missing her mom terribly, and reflected on just what Grandma Hayton’s faith meant in her life.
To honour her birthday – I want to share her words with you here…
My Mom – Barb Tubb, for May 6th 2014.
First: a question- did you love your Mom as a child? Of course! Did you love your mom as a teenager? Yes! But did you like her? My mom and I loved each other, but we didn’t like each other from my 13th birthday to my 19th year. I was very amazed at 19 how smart MOM had become in those few years. NOT ME – HER.
As I grew older, I began to pay attention to her and realized how much she gave of herself in Christ’s name, her family and to others who needed her. As I look back I remember so much about her – she’s been my Christian heroine for so many years! How I miss her.
Mom was born in 1894 in Arkona, ON into a very Christ-centered Baptist Church attending family. As a child I grew up in the midst of 11 deacons, 6 ministers, and 6 missionaries. Every Sunday, if weather was good, our whole family gathered in Grandma and Grandpa’s yard under the big maple trees for fellowship and dinner. Great times of singing, laughter and worship. When the name of Dr. Shields began to be in the conversation, things began to change. “The Split of the Baptist church” was almost here. Ministers could argue nicely. Sadly, some people were missing after a while at our gatherings. The Convention Church remained and the Fellowship Church was born.
After a farm accident in which my dad lost the power part of his right leg and was unable to farm, we moved to London where dad worked for “The Weights and Measures Department”. We went to Wortley Road Baptist Church. Church was our life, Sunday mornings,(Mom was going to tell a story about Uncle Harold, but I have no idea what it was –Dad) Sunday School in the afternoon and Sunday Night Worship. Men and Women’s Groups, Bible study, children’s groups, drama time, family times. In my life, I was either at Church, at home and school or skating.
My mom and dad were lay missionaries at the Indian reserve near Delaware. Mom was a nurse, and worked part time for the Public Health. They went to the reserve every other Saturday and we kids went also. Mom taught woodworking, making repairs, etc. At 3 pm was Bible study. Dad in his spare time helped Dr. Jury look for artifacts along the Thames. Sometimes we kids went. Dad was made and honourary Cheif. They mad him a full length Turkey Feather headdress. The Pow Wow was exciting
Mom became very ill with cancer when I was 5 and spent the next 5 years in and out of hospital at St. Joseph’s. We kids couldn’t go in to see her. Dad would wheel her to the sunporch on the south corner and we’d talk to her. The first time I saw the sun porch being pulled down I cried. So many memories! In between her times in the Hospital, she was always busy with us, of course and working as a nurse for helping the needy as a public health nurse.
In the 30’s and 40’s, “Manor Park” was the area the other side of Warncliffe, between Bruce and Langarth and the Coves. Mom and Aunt Pearl spent many times there helping with Hygiene and eradicating things like lice and Impetago. They also taught sewing, knitting and patching clothes and how to live in a new country. I can still se mom and Pearl climbing into the old Ford car, each with a basket full of medicines, Lice combs, washcloths, cleaning products, Bandages and tables of potassium permanganet, (the cure all for all things). Mom’s favourite statement – “it’s no shame to be poor, stay clean in body and spirit”
Our house was like a refuge home from the mailman stopping for hot tea in winter, or cool lemonade in summer (on the front verandah, of course). Our farm relatives would send home with us in the smmer, exta vegs. Dad and Mom distributed them to the needy. People in distress came also in the flood of 37, we – like so many – others took in families for over a week, until they could go home. We 3 kids weren’t happy and we gave up our beds and slept on the floor. Many people came for help. At first as young kids we resented it at times. As we grew up we too became involved. All of this she did between her times of illness. Of course, we had nannys when she was ill. But when she was well -oh my. Saturday was baking time. All the kids around knew this. Dozen of cookies were eaten, but not before Bible time. No sitting for cookies till Bible stories were told, oh, how it worked. Mom could make David and Joseph and other stories come alive.
In 1939, our parents had decided to go back to England – Dad’s home. Trunks were bought and filled the living room. In September Grandpa Hayton phoned. “Don’t come, Germany’s acting up. It will be over soon!!” In 1941 Dad was invited to come to Fort Erie to teach woodworking at Fleet Aircraft. So we went by train. It was just after Easter, and we were in spring clothes. At Fort Erie, we got off to snow as high as rooftops. I tried to get back on the train – no way. During the war, houseing was scarce in Fort Erie. So we ended up at a house in nearby called Erie Beach. After a while we met nice people and discovered there were two houses where people didn’t live up to Baptist standards.
The “good” people met at our house for House Church, Bible Study and began to plan to build a Baptist Church. Mom began to worry about the young girls at “Nellies” The house of ill repute, mom called it. Mom would go out of her way to talk to the girls about Jesus and forgiveness. Many of the girls, Dad and Mom would take back to their homes in Buffalo. Sometimes, they let the girls sleep in their spare room. Mom, at 4’ 9” was small, but mighty! Nellie, the “lady” of the house would spit at mom whenever she saw her.
When Dad died at 60, Mom moved into an apartment, and became Mom to them all, and again her house was like a refuge place. Cancer was discovered again in here 80’s, after so many years of remission. 24 hour care was needed. At the residence, she became Mom again to 4 younger people who had had strokes. She taught remedial reading at the school across the road and WORE SLACKS FOR THE FIRST TIME (she also won a bowling trophy!) Mom was a blessing for Jesus. She took a stroke at 85. So many people we didn’t even know came to say Good-bye. “your mom did this for me” The nurese from the home came and shared teaars with us and stories. Friend, old neighbours, all with stories and all ended with “What your mom gave to us, in Jesus’ name”.
Psalm 78, Timothy 1:3-10a, Deuteronomy 6:1-9