When I was twelve my family left our acreage in Bashaw and we moved to our new home in Millet. (I miss that acreage dearly and cannot wait to get on one again to have our children run free and experience life out of town).
Another place my brother and I would spend a couple weeks during the Summer was my Grandma Olga’s house in Fairview Alberta. We would take the long Greyhound trip there. I loved going to my grandma’s house and miss her dearly. When my brother got older, I would take the long trip there by myself. I was twelve years old at this time.
I would spend the days working in my grandma’s garden, shelling beans and she would cook up amazing Ukrainian food for me every day. To this day I can still taste her Borsch, Pickled Lettuce, Cabbage Rolls and Perogies. My dad can cook just as amazing but her food had her touch. It is a tradition I carry on and teach my children how to cook the same way and the same food.
Over the year prior to this particular visit I became very good friends with the family at the end of our block in Millet. I will not mention names out of respect to the family. The husband and wife were two of the kindest adults I had ever met and their two beautiful children were the funniest and kindest kids I had ever met. Their children were younger than I and I would babysit them but even in my spare time I would hang out with them.
One afternoon while at my grandma’s house in Fairview I was in her basement playing with her Matryoshka Dolls and looking at old family pictures she had in her hat boxes. All of a sudden, I sensed I was not alone in the basement. I looked up and there was Tony (name changed). It was odd because I was wondering why he was there, why was I seeing him and why could I see through him? He had the gentlest and kindest eyes a smile that could always warm your heart and make you feel better instantly. And there he was smiling and staring at me. I had to look away and literally shake my head and blink my eyes. When I looked up, he was gone. I remember saying out loud, “Why did you have to go?” In the pit of my stomach I felt ill. Something was wrong. I rushed upstairs and called home to check on my dad.
When my dad answered the phone, I asked him if he was ok. He stated yes everything was fine. I asked him if my mom and my brother were okay and he said, “Yes.” I felt like crying, like something was not right. I then asked if Tony was okay. Dad stated as far as he knew. Trying to hold the tears back I let my dad go and told him I loved and missed him.
A few days later my dad drove to Fairview to pick me up as my stay with my grandma had come to an end. On our way home my dad told me that the neighbour informed him that Tony had committed suicide (so they say). I believe it was an accident.
I was so heart broken. The thoughts raced a mile a minute in my head. Why did Tony come to me? Why did I see him? How did I see him? The children and their mom moved away and we lost touch. I think of the family often and wish them all well.