My mom is an amazing person who had a tough life and continues to struggle with life’s challenges.
Marian Jean Loker was born September 7th, 1944 in Kitchener Ontario Canada. She was the oldest of 3 children her half brother Les and sister June were born to Viola and Fred Loker. She and here sister share the same mother and father however her mother was unfaithful and had a child with another man. When I ask my mom about her parents you can imagine her views are colourful. She has nothing but love and respect for her father when she speaks of him you can tell she was a daddy’s girl and she misses him. When she speaks of her mother you can see her visibly get angry, the reasons are because when my mom was only 10 years of age her mother walked out on the family. Something very much unheard of in 1954 I’m sure. As a result and because of social norms her father moved the family in with his sister’s place (my mom’s aunt) and when you ask my mom what she thought of that she will give you “the look”. I’m pretty sure she disliked her aunt more then she disliked her mother. One day I asked my mom about her she told me about a women who held her brother responsible for a lot of her life choices. She made my mom’s life a living hell, my mom was forced to quit school she said this was because she wanted to take care of her grandmother and because she had to get employment as her aunt charged her rent to live under her roof. My mom is a bit fuzzy as to how old she was and I believe she quit at the end of grade 6 or 7.
Listening to my mom tell stories her favourite stories she tells is when she would walk great distances to treat herself to homemade ice cream. She walked over arches that define a bridge on the way she walked ON TOP of the arches….she was a daring young lady!
She never really told me where she met my dad but I know that his interested were varied he loved skeet shooting and drag racing. I’ve also asked her many other questions about their courtship but they had gone unanswered as she would always say she doesn’t remember. What I do know is that the first time they had sex she got pregnant which again not something that was common place back in 1963-1964. They were married on June 28th, 1964 she was 19 he was 22. Mom turned 20 that year and my oldest sister Pam was born November 28th, 1964. My mom didn’t have good role models growing up and I wish I knew what she had been like then. Mom and dad clearly had their hands full because they didn’t have any other kids for long time and it was around this time that both her father and her father-in-law passed away.
On May 28th, 1978 my sister Dawn was born to my parents dismay she was born with a heart defect. They spent their time caring for her at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children but it was no use on June 12, 1978 Dawn passed away. I couldn’t imagine what the death of a child is like nor do I EVER want to know. However I’m sure they took the advice of people around them which probably went something like this “have another child as soon as you can” which is what happened because on June 10th, 1979 my sister Crystal was born and she was happy healthy kid no concerns. They lived as a very happy functional family until September 16th, 1981 when I was born. When I ask my mom if they knew about my differences before I was born I got both a yes and a no….so I’m not sure if they had ultra sounds done or if how I was, was a complete surprise but I was not a healthy baby. Out of the 4 of us girls I was the smallest at 4.5Lbs and I stayed at the local hospital for a bit then was airlifted to Sick Kids in Toronto where we as a family would begin a lifelong journey.
Life continued to get even harder for my mom because on the evening of June 30th 1983 my father passed away of a massive heart attack my mom became a single parent to a teenager and 2 young kids one of which had special needs. It was during this hard time just after he passed that my mom learned that my father had been unfaithful with someone she knew and loved she never did forgive that person but eventually they did reconcile for which I’m very grateful.
As a single parent my mom thrived she is very independent and took to it surprisingly well. She worked hard most times taking menial jobs and sometimes 3 at once. At one point she worked as a tool & die maker and if she hadn’t injured her finger she probably would still have been doing that. Her favourite jobs involved working with the public and she has spent almost 30 years working for the Tim Horton’s franchise at 2 different stores. At the current location she has worked for over 14 years (since the day it opened).
This brings our story to the present where on September 8th 2013 a day after her 69th birthday she suffered a stroke. One of my greatest nightmares has always been finding my mom dead in the house as it was it was as close to my nightmare as I EVER want to get. That morning I woke before my alarm went upstairs knowing that she would probably already be up to hear one of our dogs barking from her room which was unusual. I got our dog out of her room not seeing my mom anywhere at first, once I came back to the living room I saw her, lying on the floor between the coffee table and love seat. Not knowing right away what happened I thought I’d just help her up and when she couldn’t help me help her it STILL didn’t clue in right away but it didn’t take long to. Once I managed to get her on the love seat I ran down got my phone and called for an ambulance. Good news is that she never lost conscienceless and never was admitted to the ICU. She has worked hard to come back but this journey we find ourselves on is going to still be a long one and filled with more ups and downs I’m sure.
She hasn’t lost her humour or her way of looking at the world. She is still very much herself and I have no doubt that come this time next year we will be reminiscing about the time I found her and she nearly gave me a heart attack. She has been though so much but she is a fighter, she is stubborn and she will NOT give up, she is my mother and I would be no one without her. I learned what it meant to be strong, what it meant to love also learned all my curse words from her!! She LOVES chips, she loved the Toronto Maple Leafs, she very much enjoys watching any hockey really doesn’t matter what teams are playing. She is my mom and I couldn’t be more proud to be her daughter!