As it turned out, Mom had a gall bladder operation while she was living with her girlfriend, back in Massachusetts. It took her a long time to get better; as soon as she could, she got a one room flat to live in. Mom had given most of her money while she lived on the farm and now had to start over again - she needed the furnished room for awhile. We didn't realize how destitute she was until years later; Mom wasn't one to complain.
She had lived in a nice Senior High Rise, before coming to Canada and now had to put her name in for another one, where she would be paying 25% of her total pension, but it took a few months before she got in - in the meantime, she lived in the one room. She had to save towards furniture, etc.; she had left Canada with just the clothes on her back.
Mom still wasn't well and her doctor asked about her hospital stay, while she was in Fort St. John; she couldn't remember too much and he sent for her records. When they came back to Massachusetts, it was a surprise for all concerned; she had at least 3 heart attacks, they had never told her at the hospital, neither did they send her back to the farm with medication for her heart (just for her thyroid). She never should have done the work and heavy lifting that she had done...bless her heart! Eventually, she got a brand new apartment, in the same building as ones of her friends. She was happy there the rest of her life - she also came to visit us every summer, for five weeks.
There wasn't as much chance of advancement (not as much as they had thought there would be) with the job Joe had, from his "plane" friend, so they agreed to part as soon as Joe could find something else.
I wasn't able to do anything for quite a while; our children helped at the house where we were staying, and Joe worked every day. I did a lot of reading; one of the woman at the house (who was waiting to go to live on a farm), recommended a book, the unabridged edition of Jesse Penn Lewis's, "War on the Saints." It was supposed to have a lot of power packed in it; something that was missed if you had the shorter copy, so, unabridged edition was the one to read - they had to be specially ordered from England.
I really got into the book; it dealt with false programming that we might have, in area of life...and hit on a lot of my areas. There were times that I would read the book, and be so enlightened; so much was opening up to me, about false things in my life - and then I would have to put the book away for awhile...I just couldn't digest any more, right then. It was excellent!
After I got farther into the book, I began to experience some real "spiritual warfare"...some thing didn't want light shed on dark areas...strongholds that the devil had for most of my life. It shed light on some false teaching that we had sat under, at some of the meetings, also. I felt like I was really being set free by the Truth...and, it was not without struggle, because I had to pray before even opening up the book, and then to get through a chapter. I don't think I have ever experienced such concentrated "warfare". But, when I finished the book, I felt like I had been delivered from a lot of error.
For a long time I thought that the error in my life was put there by false teachings, alone. Later, I came to see that those things had always been down deep within me, but it took the situations I had been placed in, to bring it all to a head - to really show me that it was down inside and had to be uprooted from within me. What was wrong in the teachings I sat under, that was in God's hands and He would deal with it...in His time. All I had to be concerned with, was what He was dealing with me, on.
Joe got a job working for a kitchen cabinet company. The owner knew of a tiny house that was empty, next door to where he lived - he was going to find out if it was for rent. It was for rent by a Christian family who lived in another province; his brother lived in FSJ and was handling the rental. It was renting for only $175, which, we knew we could afford; the question was, "Would they rent it to a family with 7 children?" There were only two bedrooms in the little house, we had a real need, and that's what the landlord wanted...to help somebody; we got the house.
The new boss let Joe build some furniture at the cabinet shop. Joe made a double bed for us, two sets of bunks for the boys (one of them would sleep on the floor between the bunks, he also made two dressers for us. Mary and Lisa slept in the living room, on a fold-up bed that we borrowed from the new boss. The old boss let us use his picnic table for a kitchen table, there was a small table in the living room and a couple of chairs, we bought a small, black and white TV - we were all set.
I was still having female problems, the operation didn't heal in two areas, inside...I was told that I would have to be cauterized, if it didn't heal by the end of August (that would be 4 months after the operation). I wasn't feeling too good, but did as much as I could. One day I had a notice to see one of the teachers, in regard to one of the older children. I wasn't up to driving, yet, and it was too far to walk. Our neighbor, the new boss' wife said I could use her car - I remember how hard it was to drive that short distance, speak to the teacher, and then drive home. I ended up having the spots cauterized...the doctor said if it didn't work, he didn't know what else to do. Another place of desperation; I prayed for healing and felt to put vitamin E on it, from time to time...it eventually did heal.
Our younger children went to public school. They had a lot of fears about going there, all from stories on the farm, and some of their fears were founded; they were laughed at because of their "floods" (their jeans were too short), and their clothes were old. One of the first things I bought was a portable sewing machine, so I could repair their clothes (I had never had the ability to sew anything from scratch, but was good at mending.)
Our son Peter had always had a problem with reading, and had extra help on the farm. (He had dyslexia - saw some letters incorrectly - backwards.) Now, he was tested and had a Grade 2 reading ability - he was in Grade 5. It took them many months, but they were able to bring his reading level up quite a bit.
Lisa found a $20 bill in back of the laun-dra-mat where I went about two times a week; it was packed in the ice in the parking lot; right away she bought a doll with the money. She had missed a part of her childhood, a part of her development; when she went to the farm, she was 6 1/2 years old and didn't play with any dolls from that time, on; now she was over 10 years old and wanted to play with dolls.
Our younger boys had missed playing with toy trucks, in their childhood; now they wanted to, and sat for hours playing with these little trucks in the dirt. They were really too old to be doing such things, and it looked strange to anyone who knew better - but, it was a piece missing from their youth, and it seemed necessary to fill in that empty piece of their lives.
Our middle daughter, Mary, sat back longingly and watched Lisa with her doll - so, for our first Christmas off the farm, we got Mary a tall, thin, lady doll (she still has that doll)...she, too had an empty piece to fill in.
Our older sons - Joey and Mike - wanted to go back to the farm to live, they missed everyone and there was nothing for them to do in town. They got permission to go back, from the elders. We missed having them with us, but could see it was a better life for them. They lived with two other families - my Mom was still there, she didn't know just what to do, yet.
One time, when Joey and Mike visited us, they said how it had been ministered on the farm, "that whoever left the farm, they shouldn't talk to, when they shopped in town." That's why some of the brethren had crossed the street, when we saw them (in town). About that time, I saw a friend in town; she headed right for me, so I reminded her that she wasn't supposed to talk to me...she just said, "Pooh, pooh". And gave me a hug.
When we left the farm, we had $35 that was left from our last Family Allowance cheque...that was all we had. Through the years, we had given everything to the farm, as we felt to. We came to Canada with the profit from selling our house ($10,000), cashing in Joe's pension plan ($2,000), cashing in our life insurance policies ($1,500), selling our station wagon ($600); a total of $14,100, minus what we bought for our trip and the $800 to buy the school bus. We had put just over $12,000 into the farm, plus part of our F.A. cheques.
When we first left the farm, we had considered moving back to Massachusetts. Of course, all our friends and relatives wanted us back near them. We prayed about it a lot; and finally decided that the Lord had gone to a lot of trouble to get us back on the West Coast (we had wanted to live out here since we lived here, when we were first married); and we felt that the Lord wanted us out here for a reason - just what, we weren't sure, yet.
About 3 months after we left the farm, Joe's sister Patti and husband, heard of our financial strait, they sent us a cheque for $500; they called it a gift of love - never to be returned. We sure were thankful for that help; it came when we really needed it. The two of them have since divorced; he remarried. Brother-in-law was always very generous; he gave Joe's Mom an airplane ticket for a trip out here, to see us, when Joe's Dad passed away; she came with my Mom for a visit.
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Pen Name: Aimee Love