My story does not end here in all its sadness. We saw the father and boys often because we had the baby. We said we would keep him until he had a good start and until the father was able to find a temporary home for him. We had him eight months and he grew to be a beautiful boy. The father was very, very grateful and feels he can never thank us enough. Dr. Margaret Arkinstall and I were out in the Czechoslovakian colony a few months later making some calls and we went to see the Janaski family. The little boys were keeping house so well while the father was away from early until late, cutting pulpwood. The boys kept house, made meals and took wee Tony with them to school. We asked the young school teacher how she managed and she said she put up with him in the morning and in the afternoon he slept. After school they carried him home, fired up a cold house and were doing their lessons when we went in at five in the afternoon. They were brave young boys of only nine and eleven doing their bit.
Then a happy thing happened in the Janaski home. Mrs. Janaski's sister consented to come out from the old country to marry Mr. Janaski and be a mother to his four wee boys. This all took time and money to accomplish but she came. The boys loved her and the home was happy again. Last August the doctor called for me again to go out with him to their home to help bring another baby. I gladly went, only to stay the day. This time the young mother stayed in bed and let the neighbours do the washing and work. The new baby was a girl and I, hoping this would be so, had taken out a little set of pink baby woollies. The wee soft woollies so kindly made by women of our church made the young mother in a strange new land very happy. When I was leaving, the father had a pailful of fresh eggs for me to take home with me. It was a gift to me from a very grateful heart.
I have heard in many a home out there in the Czechoslovakian colony how much the Janaski family appreciated what we had done for them, but I never heard a word of it directly from them. I knew every time I saw Mr. Janaski, although he did not talk about it at all. May God bless these families and help them feel at home in Canada.
I try to go out to that colony at least once a year and it has been interesting to watch them open up the country to make farming land. The women work with the men. It is very hard to teach them to keep house. They prefer to work outside. Consequently their children have been in hospital a great deal and we try to tell them that in this country a woman stays in and takes care of her children, but they don't see it. They strap the baby on their backs, go out to work taking the other preschool children with them.
The Czechoslovakians are a friendly people and loyal friends. That group will do anything for me. The whole.; colony feel they know me and when any of them come to the hospital they ask for the little 'Russian' nurse in the office, but when my vocabulary runs out, they find out I am only of Scottish descent. Living there among them, getting to know them, their hopes and ambitions for life in Canada, made me realize how lovely they are and how much they need friends."
"Two weeks ago one of the nurses took an old man who had been there for ages to the Ottawa Hospital for the Infirm. He was mental and a great old 'card'. On Monday we sent a T.B. child to Toronto with a friend of mine who was going to the city. Every day brings its own interests and perplexities. Today we delivered a woman in the case room and the doctors went right from there to the operating room to do an appendectomy. In the middle of the operation the maternity patient hemorrhaged, became comatose and was in critical condition. I had to go in - give the anesthetic for surgery and let Dr. Margaret go and rescue the maternity patient. However, both are O.K. tonight."
** Penicillin had not yet been discovered. In those pre-antibiotic days, the essential element in the treatment of pneumonia was nursing care. A patient must not be moved and must never be subjected to extremes of temperature. It was an anxious time until the 'crisis' occurred, usually about ten days from the onset. At the 'crisis' the patients's condition changed dramatically, either for better or worse. - M.A.
Friends of Bradlo - Newsletter Copyright by Rudy
Bies © 1997