In my mother's immediate family, there were eleven children. These children were parents to fifteen children and those children had thirty seven grandchildren. My mother, Joanne, shortened from Johanna, grew up in a tiny Acadian fishing village on a beautiful deep harbor in Nova Scotia. Her father was a poor farmer and sometimes he worked on the fishing boats.
|Joanne is front left (with all the hair!)|
Several of her siblings moved away once they were old enough. Joanne and three of her sisters became nurses. Three of them trained in NH and one in Nova Scotia. They all paid their own way through school.
Mom graduated in 1925 and continued working at the same hospital she trained in. She met her future husband there when she was taking care of his brother. They were engaged for several years due to the depression. They couldn't afford to get married. They finally did marry in 1934 and became proud parents to a little daughter in 1936. Mom stopped working and was a stay-at-home mom only that designation had not yet been used. She was always there when I walked home from school for lunch. I started school the same year that the US entered WWII. I remember going with her to get coupons for food and permits for a month's supply of sugar, five pounds. Mom was a good homemaker and managed well through the rationing.
|Joanne and Ed Sweeney about 1930s|
Mom went back to nursing when I was in my teens. She hadn't been home to Nova Scotia for many years; It was at least twenty five. In those years she got married, had a baby and once the war came there were no boats from Boston any more, heading for Nova Scotia. Finally, I was working and able to "keep the home fires burning" for my father and me while she enjoyed many trips to Nova Scotia. After the boats began sailing to Nova Scotia, and airlines made trips down east, she traveled "home" every summer.
|Aunt Joanne (front left) with all her siblings|
|Ed and Joanne on their wedding day, 4/19/34. Because it was during the depression Joanne didn't wear a wedding gown.|
Note: Pat's comment about the family is so true. Family values were instilled in me due to knowing all my great Aunts! To this day I keep in touch with many of their children, including Pat! If Aunt Joanne were alive today I would ask her what her nursing training involved back in the early 1900s. All my great Aunts who left home from their tiny village to become nurses...they were really pioneers in their own way!