“It was great getting out,”
Lalande says. “It’s funny. At first I felt guilty going
to work and leaving the family but the kids said: ‘why do
you feel guilty mom? We’re here.’ Oh they were all wonderful.”
Lalande is also proud that she earned
some extra money by looking after those extra three children while
her husband was away.
“When my daughter Elaine got
married all my daughters were old enough to be flower girls. I had
enough money to get them dressed, and I had this seamstress make
all their dresses,” she says. “It just made me feel
so good that I saved that money.”
Mother’s Day has always been
a big celebration in her family. Everyone usually gets together
at one of her children’s houses for a feast. Lalande never
knows exactly what is going to happen because “they always
do little sneaky things behind me and then everything appears in
front of me,” she says. “I don’t know what’s
coming up so I just stay put.”
She remembers her first Mother’s
Day fondly. She and her sister-in-law were going to take her mother-in-law
out for lunch downtown.
“Don’t I forget my purse
at home, and my sister-in-law didn’t have enough on her, so
my mother-in-law paid for the Mother’s Day lunch…we
laughed so much about that.”
Lalande’s family is very close
and they often get together for many different occasions such as
birthdays and Christmas holidays. For example at Lalande’s
85th birthday party, Lalande explains laughing, that there were
so many people that “it looked like a funeral parlour in here,
there were so many flowers.”
Thirty people packed into the three-bedroom
condominium to wish her well on her birthday.
Her whole family also gets together
every year for a Christmas exchange. They rent a large hall and
have a party, even Santa Claus comes.
“I played Santa Claus one
time. My daughter Sandra helped me get dressed and I had the whole
outfit, the boots and all. I came down and one of the children said
‘I knew it was you Nanna because of the way you laughed,’”
Lalande chuckles and continues, “They knew right away it was
There is yet another First Communion
and a Confirmation coming up in May and in June her family is planning
another get together. There will be a baby shower for the 10th great-grandchild
in the party room of her apartment building in Nepean.
“It’s amazing how the
time flies. Every year there’s something,” she says.
Lalande cares about her family very
much and they also show how much they care about her. In early April,
Lalande was at a meeting for the Ladies Aid group at St.
Anthony’s Church and her daughter and sister came to bring
her and her friends a birthday treat.
“They come in and they had sandwiches,
they had a party for everybody,” she says. “I didn’t
know a thing about it. They had a vegetable platter, they had pickles
and they had everything.”
For now, Lalande just takes each
day as it comes. Every day she says her prayers and thanks God for
“I’m living the good
life and I’m enjoying my life with my family. I’m really