Sunday, 25 June 2017

A Tale of Two Countries ...... by Norma Davis Cook ... .... part four

Bert and Ted remained close to each other the rest of their lives.  Like most twins, they took great delight in tricking people (such as unsuspecting grandchildren) by switching identities and pretending to be each other.  

Bert and Mary Davis

The twins both enjoyed fishing at the “salmon pool” in the Saint John River above Hartland.  It was a sad day for Bert when Ted passed away in 1985, followed soon after by Ted’s wife, Dorothy.

I remember my grandfather as someone with a great sense of humor, in spite of suffering from asthma and arthritis.  In his eighties, he had to get both hips replaced.

He loved to tell about the time he met a huge black bear out in the garden while still getting around with two canes after his surgery.  Bert made his way back to the house as fast as he could—“just a’canin’er”—in his words.

It was touching to see how Bert took care of his wife, Mary, whose vision had deteriorated to the point of blindness in later years.  He took on household chores that most men wouldn’t have done and spoke with obvious pride about his homemade bread.

The passing of Bert and Mary’s only daughter, Jennie Elizabeth Kimball in 1990, was a hard blow, which probably hastened Mary’s own death three years later, on August 5, 1993.  With the love and support of his family, Bert went on to live several more years, until his death on January 20, 2002 at his home in Waterville, NB.  He was nearly 101.

The original intent of sending British children to other countries was to give them a chance at a better life than was possible in their present circumstances.

Bert and Mary took on that challenge and built a life that was shared together for nearly 68 years.  Their legacy of hard work and determination lives on today in those who knew and loved them.

In spite of all the hardships and heartaches experienced by so many British Home Children, including my grandparents, I believe our family’s story is just one example of how God can take the tangled threads of our lives and weave them into a beautiful tapestry.

Ted and Bert
© Norma Davis Cook, 2017

Location; Canada

Pictures; from the collection of Norma Davis Cook

I would just like to thank Norma for sharing these stories.

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