Thirteen years ago I was launching my great grandmother’s story at my hometown, Glenboro. It was a hot Saturday afternoon and the friend I planned to visit didn’t answer her doorbell. I turned to go and was stepping down the front steps when they collapsed. I landed head first in the flower bed. The pain in my right heel was horrific. Not able to stand I crawled on hands and knees to my car, climbed in and with great difficulty pressed my right foot for the gas to to drive the short distance to the hospital just around the corner. I coasted to the hospital wall in the parking lot. There was no one in sight so I crawled up the ramp and managed to get in the door. All was quiet so I continued on my hands and knees down the hall to the nurse’s office and called, “Help!” I heard a sound and a nurse popped her head out the door. She looked down at me in surprise and said, “We have no emergency service here.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” I said.
We have NO EMERGENCY service!”
But being a small town the nurse phoned my cousin, Dwayn. He drove me first to Carberry where the Dr. there took an ex-ray and immediately sent me on to Brandon. I’d had many fun adventures travelling to do the research, but this was a different kind of adventure. Through the excruciating pain I wondered if this was punishment for breaking our family secret. The truth had been hidden for 100 years and my book was breaking the truth about Percy Criddle. I was challenging the myth built about him and his family. At that time I could only guess what was to come.
By midnight I was back in my hospital bed with two screws in my heel and feeling very thankful.
Once I could walk again I made up for lost time and my fears evaporated. My book For Elise has sold more than 3,300 copies and is still finding new homes and hearts. Unfortunately COVID interrupted my visits to introduce and talk about our family story, and knee surgery has slowed me down. There are however, very few copies left to find homes. I am satisfied I have done all I could to keep the promise I made to my father to find out more about his Grandma. She is inspiring people now as she did during her difficult life.
I have two more events in Winnipeg this year.
The University Women’s Club on Westgate: Nov. 3-4
The German Christmas Market : Dec 1-3