This is my nanny, Kay Wagner. And I LOVE her.
She's taught me alot about love and her story is really a love story, so here is a small piece of it to share with you...
Nanny and I in 2007
Recently she was featured in an article in the Brandon Sun and her portait is being featured in the William Glesby Arts Centre in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba as part of an exhibit titled "War Brides: One way Passage" . While I was unable to procure a link to the original article by Bill Redekop, without monetarily subscribing to the Brandon Sun, so I have copied here some of the quotations taken from the article as it was photocopied and send to me. Those quotations are in Italics for clarity.
The photos were taken by my cousin Nora Hill when they visited the exhibit earlier this month:
The Exhibit Painting by Bev Tosh of Kay's Wedding portrait in Portage La Prairie
Kay was one of the 44,000 brave women who took a bold journey across the ocean from her home in England to come and settle in Canada after World War II.
She traveled for 12 long days and nights and carried with her, her 10 month old daughter and an envelope her Father had given her containing a cheque for return passage should things not work out. She had no idea what lay ahead in this new country. All she knew is she was headed to Dave, her husband who was waiting for her whom she hadn't seen in almost two years.
My Nanny and Papa met in the unsettled year of 1942. Kay was working for the Fire Department "doing men's work" where the Canadian troops were training. Dave was a soldier from Manitoba, Canada; a farm boy.
They didn't waste much time with their courtship, [they] "lived for the moment," says Nanny, now 85, "In those days we thought, 'We've got today. Let's make the most of it.'"
Within three months, David was transferred to continental Europe. He returned six months later on a seven-day leave and proposed. On leave six months later, they married. She was 17. He was 24.
Dave and Kay Wagner on their Honeymoon- July 1943
Papa was there to greet her when she arrived in Manitoba by Train after the ship landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia; It was the first time he had seen his baby girl, Shirley.
Kay and her eldest daughter, my auntie Shirley who traveled with her
[Kay] was dumbfounded. Her new home, seven miles from town, had no electricity, indoor plumbing or telephone. She was picked up in a horse drawn van with a stove inside and a chimney. She knew no one. She was 19.
"I couldn't write home and tell my parents about it because they wouldn't have believed me," She says.
Kay's eldest granddaughter, my cousin Nora, wearing her Wedding dress.
My Nanny went on to live 62 years of marriage with my Papa and together they raised a strong family of 6 children (two of whom have already gone to be with the Lord, along with Papa who passed away in 2005).
She's a really strong lady whom I greatly admire. She has a full heart, a sharp wit and a quick tongue. She knows life, she knows love, and she knows the Lord. She has faced her life well, firmly grounded in God and His word, as did my Papa.
The story of her life is really too large to do justice to it here on my small blog, but I am gratified that she is honored in this way as an important part of this country's history because I know, she's such an important part of my history.
I love you Nanny, and I'm so thankful that you knew love enough to marry Papa and then follow him so far from home, and let that love pour out into a busy home of busy children who drove you half mad and that after all that, you've had love unending for all your grandchildren and great grandchildren too.
Thanks for loving me, I'm proud of you and to belong to you and your legacy.