Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Clara Long: a memorial


From the Hamilton Spectator:

LONG, Clara On June 17, 2010 at St. Peter's Hospital at the age of 80 years. Clara leaves behind her loving husband Norman, their two sons Mark and David as well as their families. Following her wishes, cremation has taken place. Online condolences may be made at www.tbdfuneralchapel.com.


Clara was my babysitter when I was really young. For years, she babysat my sister and brother and me at her house in Hamilton, Ontario. My brother spent the most time with her because he wasn't in school yet. I remember playing games of cards and Scrabble with her, watching the end of Young & the Restless before the cartoons came on after school, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup with macaroni, watching Clara make her own cigarettes by hand, the elaborate outfits that she crocheted for my sister's and my cabbage patch dolls, her dog She-na, her hand-crank washing machine, the limit she set on the number of squares of toilet paper we could use in the bathroom, the way she said "yous guys," playing "store" in her long back yard, the rhubarb that she grew at the end of her backyard, going to her daughter's funeral while I was still in grade school, her grandson Sean, and that she liked to read Steven King. I remember her quite fondly.

The last time I saw her was in February at St. Peter's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. My brother and sister and I went together to see her in the hospital. I gave her a scarf I had knitted. The time before that was at my sister's wedding in October 2006. She won the flowers from our table. According to my Mom, Clara died of cancer complications.

Clara was born in Hamilton, Ontario of Hungarian decent. She finished highschool in grade 10 and went to work in a string factory somewhere on Cannon Street. Clara's crocheting started from bringing home all that string she made in the factory. That is also where Clara met Norm. They just celebrated their 59th anniversary.
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