Yesterday, August 6th, was the anniversary of the birth of my Gram, Loretta Mary Bosse Choquette.
Mary, as she was called, was an amazing woman. I knew Gram as a quiet, humble person who worked hard and had an enormous faith in God; she wore out 3 pairs of Rosary beads, kept in her apron pocket.
I wish I had known her in her early years. She journeyed from Saskatchewan, Canada to the Fall River, MA/Pawtucket,RI area with her older sister to meet my great-aunt’s soon to be in-laws.
There, Mary met Arthur. Mary never thought she would fall in love whilst on her chaperoning journey. You see, at a young age , Mary was promised, in marriage, to a man Mom refers to as a mean s o b (she didn’t like, never mind love him).
Once her sister was married, she came to Canada to visit. It was at the end of that visit when Mary ran away to the States to marry Arthur, leaving her younger sister, Lilly to marry the s o b.
Mary and Arthur were very much in love and settled in Pawcatuck, CT with their 8 children. Whilst Mary was 6mos pregnant with her 9th child, Arthur became sick. His cold got worse and turned into pneumonia. Arthur passed away, leaving Mary alone to raise their children.
With love of the community and family; Mary raised her children.
Mom and her older sister had to leave school to help support the family, help with the chores and the younger siblings.
Al, Arthur’s brother, was a tailor and taught Mary how to sew. He taught her how to make something from nothing in order to clothe her nine children.
Mary took in sewing, the Church laundry and became the seamstress for the local cleaners. She walked 3 miles to and from work for as long as I can remember; taking a cab in her later years if it was too cold to walk. She was always at her sewing machine making quilts, maternity tops for my aunts, pajamas, nightgowns and dresses for her 30 plus grandchildren.
I can’t imagine what it was like for her when she had to bury her son, Arthur, during the Korean War.
I thank her for teaching me to sew and for letting me color on the rock wall; perfect for walking. Patience was her virtue.
She had the same menu every week, except for Sunday, which could be a roasted chicken, ham or pork roast. Every Thursday was liver and onions with refried mashed potatoes, every Friday was fish’n chips from the local bar and chop suey from China Village (odd combo but good). Saturday night she would make fudge and Sunday a cake or pie for the week dessert.
I can go on and on with my memories…
My Gram was a remarkable woman and I miss her.