Because You Loved Me…..

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Because You Loved Me…..

 

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It’s 2 am and I cannot sleep. I lie in bed after an emotional day tossing and turning and clutching the dainty necklace around my neck. It’s the only thing I have left besides 6 photographs that remind me of my late sister Robin. For months I have been putting off writing about what this necklace means to me and decided there is no time like the present.

My sister Robin Knight Nutbrown and Bonny Dover Burton were born on the same day in the Brome Missisquoi Hospital on January 28 of 1956. Our mothers were friends and her mum thought it would be nice if the two girls had matching necklaces. Through the years of sickness and family upheaval Robin must have misplaced hers, but Bonny still had hers and after 62 years she sent it to me.The gold necklace still glistens and the garnet is in great condition, so I knew that Mrs. Dover must have bought these necklaces at the local jewellers and not the five and dime. I wear it at least once a week because it helps me remember the good times and not dwell on the bad.

 

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Knight family 1957 Cowansville, Quebec

Robin and I were as different as night and day. Five and a half years between us she was the sporty gal, the equestrian rider, and I was the book worm, the dreamer and the writer. Robin wore great classic clothes and was thin and I was the chubby one and made all my own crazy clothes. She finished school and married the nice Anglican boy and had 2.3 children and I left home at age 15 ½ and became a fashion designer in Montreal. She was my father’s delight and I was my father’s disappointment. Different as night and day, but we shared a past that no child wants to grow up in.

When my Mother passed away, I was 12 and my sister was 6 and a half. We were at home alone a lot due to my father’s civic duties and as my psychiatrist at 18 told me I never had a childhood because I had to look after my sister. That was a textbook diagnosis, but I would like to think it made us stronger. We both grew up with strong wills, street smarts and survived just like that necklace.

 

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1980s the late Robin Knight Nutbrown and sons Adam and Matthew

 

I protested the Viet Nam War and computers, professors and  discrimination at Sir George William University in Montreal during 1968. Meanwhile my sister survived back home and longed to get out on her own. Later on in life Robin fought everyone in Belleville, Ont. to mainstream her autistic oldest son, and even though hindered at each corner; she became a trailblazer for those in her area with special needs children. She refused to segregate her oldest son who was autistic and forced the school board to hire an extra teacher so her child could go to a normal school.  Robin never assumed everything was okay just because others were telling her that, and she volunteered each chance she could to monitor her son’s progress. Unlike some of the people she fought, her family was able to find the beauty and joy in Adam’s differences and he thrived. Because of the dedication of my sister, my nephew enjoyed school, graduated 1000 Islands Secondary School, and went to Boy Scouts for many years. He travelled to Alaska in later years with a local group and has held part time jobs where he is loved.

Sometimes I wish I had this necklace when I saw that she was dying from cancer years ago at age 40. But like the shiny red jewel strung onto this necklace she was too  proud to ever be anyone’s conquest, even cancer, and she valiantly fought it to the finish. Robin was  connected to me, no matter how different we both were. No matter how hard life was for us we did not run away from the struggle, we accepted it as it comes with all the handicaps and injustices.  I am the last one left now, and each day I am living for the moment. But thanks to Bonny I am walking around with a memory of her, a necklace of hope, an armour of sanity. But, at the end of the day, it has to come off– but no matter if the necklace is on or off– the love is still there and Robin, you will always be in my heart.

Thanks Bonny for the necklace.

 

 

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

2 responses »

  1. Thank you for this lovely tribute. Robin and I were best friends through massey vanier high school . Many a sleepover did we have. She even attended my sister Carol’s wedding….as my guest. She was a trooper, fought for her beliefs and principles. Taken way too soon. Always and forever I my thoughts, and some great memories.
    Thanks for writing this.
    Cathy

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