|Aunt Jackie (left) and Yvonne, May 2014|
What a wonderful time I had with Matante Jackie when I visited Timmins earlier this month. We hugged, we talked, and we reminisced. We hadn’t seen each other since 1983, so we had a lot of catching up to do.
I should point out that Aunt Jackie isn’t my aunt by blood or by marriage, but she’s been a part of my life ever since I was a baby that I naturally call her “Aunt”.
My Mom Jackie and Aunt Jackie quickly became good friends soon after Mom and Dad moved to Timmins in the late 1950s. Besides their name, Mom and Aunt Jackie shared a few things in common: they were born in the same month and year (August 1933), have the same background (French-Canadian and Roman Catholic), and were married with young families. But most of all, they loved to play cards.
It didn’t take long for Mom and Aunt Jackie to find other like-minded players. They met informally at each other’s houses, usually in the evening, week day or week end. All it took for a card game to happen (their favorite was “May I”) was for someone to phone the house, ask if the person was interested, and if so, phone the others until 4 to 6 players were available. The routine was the same each time over the next twenty or so years. If the game took place at our house (the friends took turns hosting in their homes), Mom would prepare the coffee and snack (egg salad sandwiches were usual), get the decks of cards from the kitchen drawer, make sure she had some change, and placed enough chairs at the kitchen table.
|Mom (left) with some of her card-playing friends, including |
Aunt Jackie (2nd from right), about 1973
My sister Marianne and I loved seeing Aunt Jackie at these gatherings; she was always nice to us and made a point of paying attention to us when she arrived at our house. Aunt Jackie was often the early bird, so we’d have time to chat before the rest of “the girls” arrived. Later, as teenagers, we’d drop in to see her when she worked at Bucovetsky’s department store if we happened to be in town after school. She always greeted us with a smile and asked us how we were.
I’m so glad to have had the chance to see dear Aunt Jackie during my visit to Timmins. It’s too bad we live so far apart, but I have terrific memories of the days when she and Mom played cards.
Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.