Jour 14 – Day 14 : Baba and Guido

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My kind Guido

 

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Today I will share a memory. 

When Guido ( my Grandpa) passed, there was a funeral service and then the mourners all went back to their church to have an informal sharing time and some food.

There was an opportunity to speak offered by the minister and I was the only one who volunteered of everyone there, albeit very nervously.

(I grew up thinking Baba and Guido were my Ukrainian grandparents names, they were actually Nara and Andrew, but to me they were always Baba and Guido (grandma and grandpa).

I stood nervously at the front of this church basement to offer my gift to my mourning Baba.  I told the true story about how Guido was older than Baba by 13 years when they met in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.

Guido had come to Canada from the Ukraine with nothing probably about 1920 and all alone.  He was not a tall man, he loved music, and he was a diligent worker on the railway.  He sang in the Russian Orthodox church on Sunday, and loved to garden.

When they met Baba was working in a doctor’s home doing housekeeping, laundry and she lived with the doctor and his wife. Baba was the oldest of sisters and moved away from her parents farm  because the family was large, and times were tough, so she left home to find work at a young age.

Baba and Guido dated a little and Guido proposed. Baba knew he was polite, dressed neatly, sang in church and treated her gently with respect.  She accepted his proposal to marry although she didn’t know him too well, but she could see his kind, gentle character.

Guido didn’t drive, but he worked on the railway so they had passes. They travelled to Saskatoon to get married, and the doctor and his wife (Baba’s life long friend) were their wedding witnesses.

After the wedding, Baba and Guido stayed one night in a hotel and then Guido travelled with Baba back to Manitoba (by train) to meet Baba’s family for the first time.

They had a short visit, then Guido had to return to Kindersley to work. (He explained what he was doing to Baba’s father, but her father was sworn to secrecy.)

Guido told Baba to wait at the farm, he would be back, but not when. (Baba accepted his request and asked no questions, that’s how it was in those days)

Weeks passed, Baba’s sisters teased her, and said he wasn’t coming back. Of course Baba didn’t believe them, but she might have been worried.

I’m not sure how many weeks Guido was gone, but he did return to the farm in Manitoba, as soon as he could and then by train they headed back to Kindersley together.

What Baba didn’t know was that Guido had returned to Kindersley alone so he could move his tenants from his small home that had been rented out. He had never told her he owned a house.

He brought Baba back to Kindersley to surprise her with her own home to move into.

Guido had gone ahead to prepare her home, clean it and make it special for her. I am sure that was a big surprise for her as he brought his young bride to her very own home.

At this point, my voice a bit shaky, I shared to Baba – Guido has done it again. Guido has gone on ahead to prepare the best home ever for you to share.

He is waiting for you, and then you will be together again. 

Now all this I told to Baba in her church basement, with all the other mourners. The church members nodded, their eyes filled also with tears, they also loved Baba and Guido. 

Baba sat silently, eyes moist with tears, all of this story of course she knew full well.  But probably the church didn’t and many others didn’t, maybe even some family members. 

Sometimes it’s important to be able to speak, and that speech at Guido’s funeral was deeply appreciated by many, and it was my gift to Baba. 

sit and relax

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You might have noticed that one of the Categories on this blog is “Toastmasters“.  This is because I have been a Toastmaster since 2006.

This is why I became a Toastmaster, and it has helped me over and over again.  

What better gift can I give to the people I love, than to be able to share the stories that draw us together of the ones we deeply care about. – David

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About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
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44 Responses to Jour 14 – Day 14 : Baba and Guido

  1. What a beautiful story, and what courage that young man to offer it at such a time. Surely, his words to Baba afterwards brought her much peace! Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • dfolstad58 says:

      That occasion and others since then are why I learned to set aside my fears of public speaking. I knew what speaking on behalf of the family would mean to Baba, and I knew I didn’t want to let her or myself down.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. LA says:

    Beautiful story

    Like

  3. Jane Fritz says:

    What a lovely post, David. Every aspect of it, including the advice to speak out and speak from the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very beautiful, tender, and touching. Thanks for sharing. 🤗

    Like

  5. I loved your story about your grandparents. We must always remember our ancestors because they look out for us too. Much love ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful story even more wonderful was your gift of being able to share it with others. Thank you for that gift.

    Like

  7. Lael-Heart says:

    The older I get the more I realize just how important stories like this are.
    This is a beautiful one. Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. chattykerry says:

    That is the most beautiful tribute to your Baba and Guido, David. I am terribly impressed that you are part Ukrainian – my best new friend in Egypt was from Kiev. As a pragmatic, long married wife, this was the best way to describe the happiness and security that come with a good marriage union. I think I would have fallen for Guido… ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • dfolstad58 says:

      Aww, so kind of you. Guido was light on his feet and loved to square dance. At their 50th anniversary he outlasted men half his age. He was an award winning gardener, he won for his roses 10 years in a row in Kindersley. He was so kind, and when I was about 4 years old I picked up his hose in his backyard and sprayed him, he laughed and called to Baba – look ! look !

      Liked by 1 person

  9. restlessjo says:

    So a Toastmaster is someone who tells stories at a public occasion? Yours is a lovely story. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • dfolstad58 says:

      Toastmasters Susan and International Learning organization composed of small clubs throughout the world in 143 countries. Presently there around 350,000 clubs. It was formed in 1924. A typical meeting has between 15 to 25 people for an hour long meeting. People join Toastmasters to build confidence, Improve communication including listening skills and how to provide feedback. I have heard it said that evaluation is Toastmasters secret weapon the teaches success. Clubs can be private as in corporations like Microsoft, Google, Coca-Cola And thousands of other corporate clubs. Many governments including municipal city and federal organizations have clubs. Most clubs that are not private allow guests to visit for free up to three times. It’s very inexpensive and it teaches the skills the school doesn’t teach. Toastmasters.org

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A wonderful story…beautifully written. Good enough to be a Neil Simon play Dave. It got me thinking about all the poor folks who are not able to mourn their loved ones with family, friends and neighbors these days. I think a national or world day of mourning will be appropriate at some point when this crisis quiets down. Thanks for sharing your Guido and Baba with us. These are good times to reflect on such things. God Bless.

    Like

    • dfolstad58 says:

      That is an excellent idea Ilona. I have been thinking of Baba and Guido especially during Easter. They were a lovely couple, and I lived with them one summer in Kindersley. It was a big difference from Vancouver as Kindersley was a small town. The town shut down at 5 o’clock and only the hotel, the drive-in, the bowling alley, and the theatre was open. It was a hot dry summer and I rambled all over. I enjoyed 5 cent cola in a little coffee shop, it had a coin operated jukebox and you could pick songs from your booth. I ate peas off the vine, and was the apple of their eyes all summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Such an inspiring story, David–and well told! The sacrifices of generations gone by provide countless lessons of perseverance, faith, courage, and strength. I trust Baba and Guido enjoyed many years of love and laughter together. Now they are finally home in paradise!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Southern Patches says:

    What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing that. They sound like a precious couple I would have loved to sit down and talk to.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Baba must be proud of you and you’re a very courageous man. Respect to you. Also, a great post! By the way, please join my blog too if you find it interesting – let’s grow together!😊

    Like

    • dfolstad58 says:

      Thank you sir for your kind comment. I think my courage came from necessity, but now being able to speak comes from practice. I will definitely investigate your blog. Thank you for your interest in this blog. i welcome your ideas and suggestions. – David

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A lovely, poignant memory. It tells us a great deal about your grandfather’s character.

    Like

  15. I love this story of Baba and Guido.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you for explaining David. I loved the speech and the heartfelt story behind it. It takes love to speak from the heart like that. But then you lived with great love and theirs was quite the story.
    At family gatherings, I am often called to speak and notice all listening keenly to me. One person in particular who always made himself available was my late uncle. This uncle had a fondness for the bottle and would search out for the nearest bottle store. However if he knew i was to speak, he would stand front and centre waiting expectantly. A man of few words, he put up with me with love and fondness and would listen to my stories with quiet pleasure and pride.
    Good memories and deep love David, thank you again. I’ve just lost another loved one and this eases the paun somewhat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dfolstad58 says:

      I think that you speaking at family gatherings is very special Kavitha. It speaks of your family’s respect and love for you also. I can see your uncle’s eyes shining as he soaked up his time with you Kavitha, and I certain those moments were especially meaningful for him. I hope you continue to practice speaking so you continue to feel confident sharing. That you can share and speak will help you all through your life, personally and in a career.

      Like

      • Ahhh David, im the oldest granddaughter in Moms side and all gravitate to me. No matter the hurts and separations, i love constantly. I’ve shared my house, my home, kids abd love. Its precious threads to keep the family alive in live and life. About those speeches, they come frlm the heart irrespective of the type of gathering, fond recollections of loved ones, lives celebrated and remembered. Take care David. Im glad I spent time with you today. A hug to your kitty. Ps, i have four kitties. 🤗

        Like

  17. Pingback: The Golden Rule is #1 | Life and Random Thinking

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