Monday, January 28, 2013

Celebrating Marion Nellie Kirkpatrick Lincoln’s 92nd Birthday

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Anda Rourke, Alida Lincoln, Marion Nellie, Murray Lincoln and Dana Lincoln
Celebrating Marion Nellie Kirkpatrick Lincoln’s 92nd Birthday
On a very cold January day in 1921, west of Truax in southern Saskatchewan, a sturdy farm wife lay in her bed with the sharp labour pains that most women suffer.  It had been a long 9 months waiting for this baby to come. 

Her two older children Robert and Dale were growing. 

Robert had been the biggest challenge the young couple had in their marriage so far. He had been born with brain damage that left him crippled in some form.  Dale the second baby was a strong youngster.

Now on this day, in her own bed, 60 miles from the nearest hospital in the City of Regina, Emma Kirkpatrick was in labour again.

92 years ago today Marion Nellie Kirkpatrick arrived kicking and screaming.  It was Charlie and Emma’s first girl.  And she was perfect in every way.

I can only imagine the way that Emma felt at that moment when “Nellie” arrived.  Her in-laws and her family were not far away and the congratulations together with support flowed out to this young couple. Aunties and Grandparents were there to help with Robert and Dale.

Although this small family didn’t have much they had each other and the love of their extended families around them.  They worked hard for what they had and they were blessed.  The price of grain was not high but they were able to pull through.

Emma and Charlie would continue to have more children right up until 1934 when their last son, Phillip was born.  Over those 16 years Emma had given birth to Robert, Dale, ‘Nellie’, Neal, Louise, Peg, Marg, Ben and Phil.  Louise died when just a baby, Nellie remembered that well in that she had cared for her siblings as the oldest daughter.  In fact all the kids born after her, as well as her two older siblings all knew ‘Nell’ as a special person in their lives… kind of a second mother I suppose.

In about 1940, when ‘Nell’ fell in love with Clifford, it was not easy for Emma and Charlie.  This was the first daughter that they were about to lose. It was also a possibility that their ‘chief household’ assistant would be leaving her mother and the other little ones to be looked after by the other kids.

Everyone started feeling the pinch with ‘Nell’ possibly leaving the farm and her responsibilities with everything that she did.

To make it worse for the new young couple, ‘Clifford and Nell’, Emma led the attack against Clifford from her family.  To say she acted out would be putting it lightly!  Emma was likely in a very nasty change of life where almost everything and everyone had watch out for the way she felt.  And this new ‘Clifford’ was as good as any target to lash out at.

Clifford was not the big strong farm hand that could work long hours on the family farm.  He was a guy with a brain that would not stop. He was very smart – but not strong like Nell’s brothers and her cousins.  He had health problems that kept him out of the War so he was also a second class citizen that way.  The skinny, moustached, eye glass wearing, slip of a man was trying to woo their daughter ‘Nell’ away from their family!

In 1941 the family finally gave in and Clifford married their ‘Marion Nellie Kirkpatrick’.  By that time Clifford was working as a Hired Hand for a very well off farm family that worked land south of Lang and Milestone, Saskatchewan.

‘Nell’ had her own home to look after. It was a rented place, perhaps part of the Pritchard farmstead,  that was now empty and perfect for the young couple to live in.  Clifford worked during the long days for the Pritchards.  Nell was all alone in an almost empty farm house on the southern prairies of Saskatchewan. There were no brothers and sisters around her.  Her description of the hours of loneliness were real.  There was no busy work of a large family to keep her attention… no barn duties of milking and cattle to look after in that barn.

She was alone… very alone.  But all young wives that left their homes for the new marriage and new life with their new man suffered the same.

It was in 1943, the month of September that she discovered she was pregnant.  And in April 1944 a skinny little baby was born to ‘Clifford and Nellie’. It happened in a Nursing Home in Ceylon, Saskatchewan with a Mid Wife in attendance (I think Doctor was there as well).  ‘Clifford’ held a flash light for the delivery crew.  The baby was very blue in colour and had struggled for his life on the way out of ‘Nell’ – the cord was wrapped around his neck several times… but fortunately the baby lived.

‘Clifford’ left the delivery room and went outside to vomit.  New, young dads in 1944 never had to stand watch that close and feel that much tension as well as fear – for their first born!  It never happened in those days.

Within a few hours of that birth of his son, ‘Clifford’ climbed on a Bus for Regina to begin his new job in the ‘Industries’. The ‘Industries’ was the transformed GMC car factory in Regina that was now making guns for the War effort. Canada had joined the War in Europe and that effort needed supplies and equipment.

At the ‘Industries’ Clifford trained as a Machinist.  He was very smart and caught on quickly.  The six day weeks flew by as he picked up his trade well.

On weekends he came home to his ‘Nellie’ and their new son ‘Murray Ross Lincoln’.  Yep that was ME.

I tell you this story today on my Mom’s 92 Birthday.  She now lives with my wife and I in our home in Peterborough, Ontario. She needs help with bathing, sometimes with dressing and all times with medications.  She still shuffles along slowly pushing her walker… but that is slowing as well. It may be this year that the feet will stop providing the mobility that is needed – and the wheel chair assist will come into action.

Karen Alida Jones married Murray Ross Lincoln in 1967. She had just graduated from her RN studies and was now a full-fledged Registered Nurse.  Today she is Marion Nellie’s private nurse.

Today Alida and I are now grandparents to six wonderful grandkids.

Last night our small but growing family met together in a favorite Chinese Buffet for the 92nd Birthday party for Marion Nellie Kirkpatrick Lincoln. Together with Marion Nellie her two great grandkids, Emma and Thomas also celebrated their 13th and 15th Birthdays as well. What a party.

As I sit here this morning mulling over the story that I can tell of Marion Nellie Kirkpatrick Lincoln and Clifford Leslie Lincoln – I am deeply moved by who my Mom is and what she has done to make it possible for me personally – but also for my siblings... Pat, Glen and Karen.

I think a book could come from the mulling over… so much has happened in 92 years.

Thanks Mom… we are what we are because of who you were and are today. Happy 92nd Birthday!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
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Photos from the 92nd Birthday Party
Thomas Rourke and Emma Lindsay with their Great Grandma Marion Nellie Lincoln

Marion Nellie Lincoln 92 years young - Happy Birthday Mom!!!!

Marion Nellie Lincoln's 92nd Birthday - Part 2 - at "The Landing 27 Bistro" at the Peterborough Air Terminal

The Photo is of the Peterborough Airport

Yep - a BIG PLATE full of Crepes that were filed with fruit
Did she eat it all??? See below... at 92 years old she has not lost her appetite!!!

All gone!!!!!!

The great Staff of The Landing 27 Bistro - presented Mom with a small Birthday Cake.... 

A Big Hug from "Candy" - the owner of the Bistro

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