Death or a Beating? My Choice

Death or a Beating ? My choice Not much of a choice but fear I had and it was big, silly me I always hid.

Feb, 1971.

Karen and I want to go to Port aux Basques for a K-20 weekend of meetings and a dance. I can go on two conditions.

First, we go with a Kinsmen and Kinette who will chaperon us, second I am not allowed to stay at hotel like everyone else ,I have to stay with a friend.

The day before we are to leave I receive a phone call that the friend I am to stay with has a problem. Her granny has died .

I’ll stay at hotel , I just won’t let my parents know . That is part of the madness , lie , always get caught but I lie anyway. I am going to be in trouble so what does it matter.

I remember the P aux B drive with Corinne and Jim like it was yesterday. My friends and I loved them. They were good friends with my folks but they were young and cool, we talk to them about everything. They did not have children of their own and we were special.

We check into hotel, go to dinner as a group and turn in early.

Saturday there are meetings all day.

Evening draws near, Party Dance time.

I cannot remember how it happened, I only remember being out on the fire escape with friends, drinking of course and the next thing we hear is HELPPPPP. One of our K -20 friends has just fell over the fire escape. By the grace of all that is or ever will be, she is alive.

An ambulance arrives, all four of us drive with her to hospital and wait out the long night as Doctors mend her. She is pretty banged up plus has a broken arm. Lucky girl.

Early Sunday we pack up our bags along with our hangovers and leave for the long 3-4 hour drive home. That is how long it took in the early 70’s. Now you can drive it in 2.

During that drive I am trying to find a way to tell my father the truth about where I stayed and why. There will be hell to pay; Prayer is not going to work here.  I am scared so I am not in a hurry for this drive to end. When we drive in to Ocean Drive I am saved. There is a car in the driveway. Yepee , we have company. You see part of my story when I was living at home is that when my father was not drinking he was in a rage, when he drank he was happy and calm. (not your usual alcoholic .) I enter, he is happy and calm enjoying his company Kevin H.

“There you are”, he says , how was your weekend” great , I reply. I Excuse myself and go to my room. Even then that room had magic. Today I would call it my sacred space. Mom had decorated in blue, white and red, I loved that little room of bliss , especially when it was my own room after our housekeepers left . (That’s another chapter) .

All is find and dandy, or sooo onceeee againnn I believe. Jesus , I cannot get away with anything.

Monday evening Mom returns home from? You guessed it, a Kinette meeting. I had not bothered to tell Corinne that I would be keeping where we stayed a secret.

I am sure it would not have been an issue , they would not have talked about it in such detail if that crazy bitch friend of ours had not fell over the fire escape.

Mom enters the room, wakes me from a hell free dream, ”Lillian, if you do not tell your father the truth, I will and you know what will happen”. What was she talking about; it was going to happen anyway. I was in deep, again.

I slowly dress for school, which is just next to the cliff overlooking the Georgian Bay. You actually see St Stephen’s school and church from our home.

I am sick in my gut, in my head, in my heart.

What am I to do now? Not thinking and not caring anymore , not wanting anymore like before, I purchase a bottle of aspirin at lunch hour. I sit on the banks overlooking the bay and stare outwards to Harmon. There is a cliff that you are able to see in the near distance. It was always a welcoming site when we use to be able to fly into Stephenville. There is no other view in the world like that hypnotic sight. I stare at it for the longest time as I shallow that bottle. I am not sure what will happen, but I hope it is fast. An hour goes by, nothing. All I have is a pain in the gut. (No wonder I had ulcers and hospitalized for them a few yrs later.) Gee do you think it might have anything to do with being stupid and scared?

By 4:00 I know I cannot go home. I walk pass Dad’s store, slowly, ever so slowly. NO. I cannot go in. I walk pass Mom’s store, no, she is a blabbermouth. I know wht I will do , I will go talk to a priest. I ring the big doorbell. Father something or other tells me he is too busy to discuss such foolishness. The door slams.

Oh well, there are the nuns. I hope that whomever opens the door is not one of my teachers, especially Sister Rosalie. My prayer is answered, I do not know this Sister, she is young, smiling,(something Rosalie  had a difficult time showing , a smile.) I cannot remember this young new Sister's name but she  invites me in . I discuss with her my fear and we talk a long time. She suggests I go home, tell the truth, my father will understand. I feel hope for the first time in my life. I feel like I felt when I had that first drink of slow gin & 7. Comforted, warm, safe.

I do not take West Street to walk home; I decide to take the walk by the beloved cliff overlooking the Bay. I walk into the field and up Ocean Drive.

Sister thought she was doing the right thing by calling my father to explain but when I walk in that door and I am thrown up against the wall, it is not the lie or the not telling , it is the pride in him. That a nun would call and give him free advise. It was not free, it cost me dearly. I spent the night in the hospital and my mother was not much of