Chapter 1 - Before Moreso Even Got There
My parents had hard lives. My mother was born in a village in southwestern Ontario and my father was born on a farm outside that same little place. My mother's parents divorced when she was very young - she didn't remember them ever living together. She spent the first few yrs on her aunt's farm and then went to live with her father. Her older brother, who had lived with their mother, was sent to live with them when he was ~ 13. Back then, and especially in such a small rural community, divorce was VERY BAD. My mother was shunned for being from a family of divorce. She was very smart but got taken out of school when she turned 16 (you used to have to pay for school when you turned 16 back then) b/c she was 'just a girl', so no need to waste precious $ on her education. She worked in canning factories and as a nanny, housekeeper, etc. She saw her mother very infrequently and I assume it was not a warm relationship. My father was also smart but he got taken out of school in grade 8 to help on the farm.
My mother spotted my father in her late teens (he was 9 yrs older) and decided to get his attention by literally 'running into him' with her bicycle one evening after his group of street-corner buddies dispersed. They later got married b/c that is what you do.
Let me backtrack a bit. My father's family is French-Canadian & Catholic. My mother's family is WASP. Apparently the 2 fathers-in-law were really nice men who got along well and everyone liked them. While my mother's mother was pretty much out of the picture, my father's mother was front & centre with a vengence. This all pre-pre-pre-Vatican II (sorry, I'm not a good RC so may have this terminology wrong), so it was very old-school and strict adherence to protocol. Anyway, b/c my foolhardy parents were married in the Anglican church, they were not married in the eyes of the Catholic church & by extension, my father's mother. When my mother was pregnant with my eldest bro, Meme (pronounced like 'Mimmy') flipped and ordered them to get married or 'the child will be a bastard'. So my mother converted and they got married again. I think they packed up and moved to Tiny Town shortly after.