Duemo, Terry

Every Tornado has a Sunny Day

I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, with fourteen siblings (five brothers and nine sisters). My house was built in 1910. I was born in my home, but I was not the only one. Some of my siblings were born at home as well.

My favourite game was hide-and-seek; we had a really big house to hide in! I remember that when it was summer, it was really hot. I went into the house and hid behind a big chair. My mom called the police; everyone was looking for me. I had no idea they were looking for me-I had fallen asleep. I woke up at about six o’clock, and we’d started playing at about one o’clock! I was sleeping though, so I did not get in trouble.

I remember back in 1950 we had a tornado, in Toronto. The sky turned orange, and the wind blew hail the size of baseballs. There started to be lightning and thunder, and lightning hit our big oak tree. It split it like it was a toothpick, and that was a big tree. I wasn’t really scared though; I was always safe in the house. It felt like the house wrapped us up in a blanket. It turned into a nice day, and the sun came out.

My favourite subject in school was music. I learned how to sing. I love to sing. After I graduated in 1965, I came to Vancouver, when I was seventeen. My first husband died in 1965, in Kitchener, in a blizzard. He and his best friend were driving home when they were hit by a train. The train hit the car, and both of them died. So young. It was tough. It took a long time for me to heal, but life goes on. I met my second husband; his name was Robert Garbo. We had two children, one boy and one girl. He died of an overdose.

So, I went it alone. I went to work at a restaurant for thirteen years. I ran it, as the manager. I raised my babies until they were finished school. My son drives buses in Vancouver, and he makes good money. My daughter works in a bank. I don’t have to worry about them; they’re fine. I’m proud of them.

I met my third husband in Calgary. I’d gone there with two of my sisters to celebrate my sister’s birthday. We all went to the horse racetrack, and that’s where I met my husband. We knew each other for six months before we got married. We’ve been married for 25 years, and still are. His name is Bernie, and he works for Microsoft. Bernie and I adopted two daughters; they’re married now.

One thing that I have learned is that God loves me. He took care of me. I used to get angry with God, but I have had an interesting life, and I am thankful. The stroke I had when I was 55 sent me to George Pearson Centre and I see much caring for us here. I’ve been here for four years, and I feel very thankful for Pearson.

I’ve had three husbands, and I loved them all. I’m lucky. My husband comes every two weeks and phones me everyday, from Seattle. He was just here, and he’s a father, so you can see why I am so happy. He loves me, and my family loves me.

If I had the chance to do it all again, I would. I wouldn’t change a thing.



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