+MOTHER – IN HER OWN WORDS

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My mother had only one sibling, a brother two years older than she was.

Click  HERE for pictures Mother drew of her brother when she was about ten years old

Mother repeated many stories to her own children about her childhood.  Unfortunately Mother could not allow herself to truly know how painful her childhood really was.  She ‘forgot’ the truth.  She believed many lies about her fantastical version of her ‘idyllic’ childhood.

I thought about my mother’s brother today when an old Alaskan neighbor and friend sent me a letter than included a news article about the American space station’s science potential.  I sent these links about Mother’s brother to my friend:

Caltech’s Newest Shining Star:  The Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics

My uncle has made it clear that he will leave his entire fortune to Caltech’s space program.

There are things I suspect about how Charles treated his sister.  In fact, I have often seen how my own 14-month-older brother treated me as being perhaps THE most important saving factor of my childhood in hell.

I equally suspect that Mother’s brother served the opposite role in her life.  In fact, her brother might have been the only person that could have saved my mother as my brother saved me — only he DID not.  He was mean to her in ways that I believe contributed importantly to the breaking of Mother – and to the onset of her terrible Borderline Personality Disorder disease.

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I only wish to simply present the only directly autobiographical piece of writing I found within my mother’s papers after she died.  Mother would have been very nearly my same age when she wrote this.  I find here the only intact mention of mother’s perception that her brother hurt her.

I also note that Mother’s description of her own grandmother who came to live with her and her mother after her parents divorced as probably not being the truth.  I believe her grandmother was NOT the kind loving person Mother always pretended to herself that she was.  In fact, I think great grandmother was yet another person who helped to break Mother.

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Written by Mildred Anne Cahill Lloyd

[born December 21, 1925 in Boston, MA – died March 2002 in Anchorage, AK]

In St. Albert, Alberta, Canada

February 28, 1974

Her version of her

Family History

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When my Mother passed away sadness engulfed me to such a point I could not look over some papers on our family’s history that I came across.

Now after moving to Canada (January 1974 – Bill arrived September 1973) and sorting things out I’ve come across these again – some notes my Mother made years ago and others from Uncle Howard etc.

Lat night about 9:00 P.M. I started sorting events, dates, names out and seeing if I could re-construct family history and events.  At 2:00 A.M. I was still up and today here I am again.

Noting all the while how we all hurry through life never taking the time to record important events and occurrences, I’ll see what I can do and record these results.

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I have one brother, Charles Hunter Cahill, whom I loved dearly always but he went on a different path and I followed Jesus as My Saviour [sic], accepting him when I was 40 years old in Tucson, Arizona after reading my Bible and being convicted in my heart I was a sinner and needed Him.  I was engulfed in His LOVE.  I knew at once I was HIS child and I loved HIM with a love greater than any I had ever known.

Yet, it took many years for me to die to SELF.  I wanted to give my life wholeheartedly but found it very difficult.  I had many trials and unhappinesses [sic] and God dealt with me through each succeeding lesson until at last I could thank Him for his [sic] enduring mercy to me as His Child and say “Here I am God – completely, absolutely yours.”

After becoming converted to true Christianity – and accepted as a child of God into His Family – I was filled with God’s love and I wanted to undo any wrongs I may have committed.  I knew God had forgiven me but still I wanted to ‘right’ what ever I could.

This is a story in itself but it led me to my brother in California and I’d hoped a complete reunion with him and I prayed to His Acceptance, also, as Christ as His Saviour.

On December 23, 1973 he and his new wife Anita invited me and Sharon and David and Steven to their house for my Birthday (December 21) and Christmas.  I was overjoyed and eagerly accepted.  On the above date we were hurt beyond all belief by the cruel, heartless words and treatment received by him and were put out of his home.  We spent Xmas with his former wife, Carolyn Cahill and Bill came to her house to drive us to Edmonton, Canada.  We were ‘en route’ at that time to this destination as he had accepted a new job with an engineering firm there.

The heart break is still with me.  I’ve searched my heart to see if I had malice towards him when growing up and the answer is No.

I trace alot of his bitterness and resentment to our Mother’s divorce and her career as a Psychologist and especially the fact that she turned us so completely against Our Father and the family name “Cahill” and all of our relatives on his side of the family.  Oh, such injustices we humans commit.

It’s taken me weeks to be able to truly forgive him for the untruthful hideous things he said.  But now I do forgive him for God’s word commands us to forgive ‘our brother’ and our enemy and to love and pray for them.

I wrote to my Father while in Pasadena, California and our correspondence, though not frequent or too personal, was immensely gratifying and made us both happy.

After he died, his brother, Uncle Howard, wrote me for many years.  His long, beautifully eloquent letters told of his great love for his country, his wife and family.  He elaborated in great detail on what a wonderful man my Father had been.  I tried to tell my brother about all this but he’d been so completely ‘brain washed’ he refused to listen at all.

Uncle Howard died a few months ago, leaving his wife Jean all alone, with no immediate family in Sun City, Arizona.  I have just written her and several other members of my family back East on my Mother’s and Grandmother’s side of the family to attempt to trace our family history.

I wrote Uncle Howard once to ask him and his answer was mostly ten pages defending ‘the Irish’ in general.

I thank God I know Our Heavenly Father and it’s to Him I turn and Him I trust and put my FAITH.

The human race is so frail and full of animosity and mis-understandings.

My Hope is in The Kind’s returning.  Thank God we have hope in Him.  Praise His Holy Name!!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

My Mother’s name was:  Annie Beatrice Hunter but she went by the name Beatrice Hunter Cahill and it wasn’t until her death that I knew her name was “Annie.”

Mother was born in Massachusetts 1895 and died May 20, 1971 in Pasadena, California.  She married Charles Harold Cahill on June 25, 1919 and was divorced 1931.

(What, I ask myself if this had never happened – the divorce.)

I realize my Mother was a very intellectual, brilliant woman and a sensitive human being – loving and kind.  She contributed a great deal to the world and helped many people find ‘their place’ this world BUT what if she had buried her desires and followed God’s Commandment Thou Shall Not divorce.  If she could have followed HIM and been happy how different my brother’s life and mine would be today!

I can hardly remember my Father.  I remember the home we lived in – I loved it and the gardens and surrounding hills and beauty of New England.

But I was without a father, and my mother worked – had a career, was a Professional woman.  In those days very few people got divorces and very few women worked, let alone had a career.  How different!  I grew up different – and so did Charles.  We were drawn together and used to pretend at times we were twins.  I looked up to him so and he was so much fun.  He cared for me and protected me and sometimes teased me and even hurt me so I would do exactly as he wanted.  I often got spanked but I doubt if he ever did and as he grew older he was the adored ‘male’ in our family of 3 women.  My grandmother, Mildred Jane Hunter (maiden name WOODSIDE) came to live with us and keep house after her husband, William Thomas Hunter, died of cancer [1929].  Her one son died about the same time (Mother’s adored older brother) [professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN], and Mother’s divorce.  How traumatic for my Mother.

She so loved her father and used to tell me how they went camping and hunting together.  They raised bird dogs (setters and pointers) and even Mom handled a gun and loved the out-of-doors.  Her brother, Hammett was so much older and so she was a companion to her Dad.

From what she told me Grandpa was a great out-doorsman, an Engineer but Grandma loved the city.

Grandma – my precious Grandma, how I loved her.  She was kind and sweet.  She loved to read and had educated herself through books she read.  She could answer any andevery question – was virtually a walking encyclopedia and so full of WIT and charm.

She kept her snow white hair curled with an electric curling iron and was always so pretty and feminine.

I can’t remember her ever getting angry or upset – even with us kids (Mom did!)

She loved to cook and sew.  She baked our bread and pies and kept the house spotless although she suffered greatly from arthritis and rheumatism.  Bless Her Heart.  She was indeed the ‘heart of our home’.  Always present.  She never went any where unless we took her and had no life but ‘our family’ and how she loved us.

She did all this and yet was in her seventies when she came to live with us.

She came across country with us in 1945 to California and returned to the East Coast to Florida in 1946 and six months later by bus to Pasadena, California again.  She would not be left.  But these trips and the subsequent hardships and Mom’s series of illnesses and our giving up our secure family home and not being able to relocate right away (due to war conditions, World War II ended while we were first in California and lack of enough money) left its mark finally on Grandma – and all of us.

But she surprised us all, recovering from a broken hip due to a fall, and a partial stroke too.  I cared for her in our home in California before she died at I believe 96.

[Linda note:  Mildred Jane Hunter, born Prince Edward Island, Canada, passed away December 30, 1952 – services held January 2, 1952]

She still had all her faculties and was extremely mentally alert but completely in-active and unable to care for herself.

I wish I’d had her tell me stories of her past, her married life and childhood.  But somehow we’re always too busy with our daily life to take time to do this.  We always think there will be ‘a tomorrow’ or ‘another time’ and suddenly many years have passed and our dearly loved ones have passed away and it’s too late.

If only we could always realize and take time to love, appreciate, talk and above all to listen.

How much the older members of the family would enjoy telling tales of their lives to avid listeners and how much they have to offer and we could learn from them!

Both Grandma Hunter and Grandpa Hunter, my mother’s parents, were born in Prince Edward Island, Canada!

My Grandfather Hunter secured his U.S. Citizenship in Boston after his marriage to Grandma and I have no proof she ever obtained hers.

I plan to do research on all this and make records for our six children and their children to have.

In love of my family and its members, I close for now.  [signed] Mildred C. Lloyd

I’ll never forget or stop loving My Mother.  God Bless My Mother.  I loved her dearly. – I will add here that my own Mother was a dear woman and a wonderful Mother to me.  We became very close on our trip to California and through the many hardships that followed.  She dearly loved our children and was always thoughtful to them in every possible way.  We kept in close touch, even after moving to Alaska and grew closer every year.

I married William Dennison Lloyd in the Chapel of the Roses on June 11, 1949, Pasadena, California.

* This very day I received a letter from Bill Hunter, my cousin – my Mother’s nephew – my Grandmothers grandson who I’ve only seen once in my life and he’s only written twice before.  Such a coincidence.  It was his sister, Joan Pudvan (maiden name Hunter) who got my Mother to record notes etc. on the family history.  I just wrote her asking her to send me any information she may have!

[This is the end of all letters about Mildred’s homesteading saga.  What follows in the second part of this book is the collection of Mildred’s writings going all the way back when she was nine and ten years old, and includes all that exists of her own mother’s personal written history.]

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Mother’s writings specific to her childhood are collected specifically HERE

All of Mother’s writings are transcribed HERE

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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