Pat's Story: (As told by her sister)

As my sister and I rounded the corner on our walk home from school we could hear one of her Gr. 3 classmates singing, “Miss Murphy is a TURKEY! Miss Murphy is a TURKEY!” 

Being my sister’s favourite teacher (despite the lady’s true resemblance to a turkey with her tiny short legs and round robust body) she quickly jumped in to defend her. “Miss Murphy isn’t a Turkey! That isn’t very nice even if it rhymes. Miss Murphy ISN’T a TURKEY!”

He just laughed and took off. The confrontation was over, or so we thought.

The next morning when my sister entered her classroom she was met by a VERY ANGRY, red-faced Miss Murphy. The actual culprit had arrived early to tell the teacher that he had heard my sister, Pat, singing the song she had caught him vocalizing.

Despite my sister’s denial and attempts to tell the truth she received the strap and that was the day Pat lost both trust in teachers and the desire be a good student. What was the point.

Being protective of my sister I rushed into Miss Murphy’s class the next day to shout out at her, “My sister NEVER called YOU NO TURKEY!” and ran off to my room to wait for the strap which, much to my surprise,  did not come. (Maybe she dismissed it because I was only in Grade One)

It was hard enough for all of the children in our family to keep up our marks because the first few years of our school lives we had been constantly moving back and forth from Nova Scotia to Ontario. This stopped suddenly with our military father dying in a car accident just after the incident with Miss Murphy.

I hoped that the next move to Toronto would be a good way for Pat  to forget what had happened, but a light had gone out in my sister and she seemed  to develop a “couldn’t care less attitude” as her coping skill. Being the middle child did not help either. Always being measured by the achievements of her other 2 siblings who seemed quicker to adapt to change she quickly became the one dubbed “stupid”  and “Poor Pat” by the adults around her. 

Needless to say Pat never even got through Grade 9 missing out on Continued at Right...


an opportunity to begin a trade in Hairdressing that she had a real aptitude for. She dropped out of school  soon after and became pregnant. 

She barely made it to the wedding after miscarrying her baby and a rocky marriage began yet with it came a beautiful daughter and new light into my sister’s eyes.

With this new light and then her first home of her own Pat became a SELF-TAUGHT woman. Reading, watching How To TV Shows she began doing work on her home most women would leave to the man of the house. She became a wood worker, drywall installer, plumber and anything else she could be to update her home. She became an avid gardener, craft maker, and later even took a course on cake decorating and oil painting in an actual classroom with a teacher!

She has taken all her new found knowledge and put it to work with her creative talents and almost anything she makes is bought before she even has it completed. Rarely needing to promote herself or her creations. Friends and family do this for her.

Painting beautiful scenes, birds or animals, even mini portraits or homes on rocks, building and painting novelty country or seasonal items now with the help of her husband, the same husband, with whom she has created a much more peaceful life.

She lovingly enjoys time with daughter and 3 grandchildren and is inspired by them each and every day. Her love of nature ever constant as she has developed relationships with many a rabbit, chipmunk, squirrel, deer and more. This connection being of a quality spiritual in nature...sharing a form of communication most of us only hope for.

An early riser she creates in the wee hours of the morning when she is least likely to be disturbed. 

And yes she still uses her natural talent for working with hair by doing haircuts for a small number of friends and family when time permits.

 My Sister is TRULY a Very Wise, Self-Educated Woman!



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