August 19 1956

This letter addresses the fact that another one of the 12 Hazell children, of whom Carol was the youngest, has died. Ettie Simmons, the mother of the 3 ‘Simmons girls’, was 78 and lived in New York State, on Long Island, close to two of her daughters and their families, Monie and Margs. The third daughter, Millie and family, lived up state in Highland Mills but they met frequently, especially when another of their aunts- in this case Auntie Muriel- was visiting from the West Indies. References to Aunt Ettie’s health have been made in previous letters, and here we discover she had died after a series of strokes.

Box 330 R.R.1
Ottawa, Ont.
Sunday

Dearest Mummy,
I had a letter yesterday from Auntie Muriel telling me about Auntie Ettie’s death. She said that she had written to you and cabled and had a reply from Uncle Fred. I was so sad to hear about it and I know how sad you must be, although I feel we all must have realized when she had the first stroke that there wasn’t very much hope of her getting better. She carried on so wonderfully after all her illnesses but she could endure just so much. I know that Auntie Muriel must have been thankful to be here when it happened and that you would be glad that one of you was with her. It will help Monie too, to have Auntie Muriel I think as she won’t be left alone at once and she will make an effort to carry on just as usual. Auntie Muriel says that later on she will talk to Monie about coming up to see us, and I will ask Monie if she won’t come to as we’d love to her to come and it would be a break from their usual routine. It will be a very sad holiday for poor Auntie Muriel but I know that she will be glad to help the girls. I am so sorry for them all because no matter how much they all prepared themselves for this happening it would still be such a shock and they will miss her so much. Auntie Ettie enjoyed things and got such fun out of living that it makes you feel even sadder.

Carol, with Ettie and her granddaughter Mona on an earlier visit.


When I wrote to you last week I think I told you Lindy wasn’t feeling very well. She ended up by sicking up all over the kitchen floor, poor little thing and seemed to have a very nasty bug – much worse than Charlie. I expected her to be feeling pretty spry by the Monday evening as she was, and she was in bed all day, but after eating a little supper she was sick again and then on Tuesday she ate nothing, just drank juice etc. & stayed in bed & the same on Wed. On Wed. evening I went out with Gudrun & Phyl Douglas to see the movie “Wee Geordie” which we quite enjoyed, & when I came home I found poor Lindy had had diarrhoea and poor Cec had had to change sheets, pyjamas etc. which of course upsets his tummy too! Lindy was in bed again on Thurs. but just eating a tiny bit of soup & drinking things & the same Fri. morning – showing no interest in getting up at all, although she hadn’t a temperature during any of it – or very slight if any. However on Friday afternoon she suddenly announced she wanted to get up & get dressed, then she wanted to go out to play & eat the same dinner as us, & all of a sudden was completely recovered! She has been eating hugely ever since & looks fine again! Aren’t children funny?
Another thing I think I told you last week was that Joan Stoicheff had gone into hospital to have a baby – well she had a son of just over 6 lbs, so everyone was very pleased. She began her labour at noon, Boris took her to the hospital at 2 o’clock & the baby was born at 4, so that was pretty good for the first one wasn’t it? We drove around this morning to their house, as we thought Joan might be home & we hadn’t sent any flowers to the hospital so we took some carnations and a wee pair of tartan trousers, but found Boris busy painting & Joan not coming home till tomorrow as she had feeding problems. We just stopped a few minutes & then went on to Rockcliffe Park where the children ran & we had hot dogs & ice cream cones for lunch!
We also have a new member of our family! A tiny, teeny white kitten!! We have been going down to the farm to get eggs lately as Martin has been too busy to deliver them, & one day his little girl asked us if we’d like to come in & see her kittens. The mother cat was black & white & she had three little white kits & one black – still so tiny they hardly had their eyes open. Of course you know Cec & I have always hankered after a white puss like Spivy, so I couldn’t resist asking Mrs. Huisman if she had a little white one to spare. She speaks very Dutch-English so I couldn’t really make out if we could have one or not, but as we went each week it became clear that we could & on Thurs. she said we could take her/him home! We think she’s a she & she is so sweet – pure white with blue eyes & very affectionate & cuddly & cute. Also full of mischief & has been teasing me all the time I’ve been writing this so that I had to put her in the kitchen. The children are tickled to bits with her – I suggested all sorts of names to do with whiteness! Frosty – Snowball, Snowy etc. – then Magnolia with Maggie for a short & we finally have Nicki – short for Nicotina. She is such a pretty little thing & much more affectionate & cuddly than the other little puss we had, so we are all very pleased!
Your card to Lindy came while she was in bed & she was so pleased – also your letter to me – thank you so much. I was sorry to hear Billo didn’t have much of a job yet – Cec was just saying that from what the N.Z. fellows tell him jobs aren’t too plentiful over there – well paid ones that is. The two who have come as Post Doctoral Fellows to the Council want to stay here. However, oil may be different of course & I hope he gets something better soon – they will probably feel better & more settled once they are in a house of their own.
I must stop now as it is late – big hugs from the children & lots of love from us all – Cyn.

Ettie and her girls c.W.W.1

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