Today I’ll share the middle section of this writing collection. #2. 3. 4. 5. and 6.
I picture my writing like an exhibit in an art gallery or museum.
A 3D paper icosahedron presents the stories of many. The first three stories come from a text message conversation between my mom and I, excerpts from my grade 8 diary, and lastly a piece of writing in my Grandma Lainie’s book. Each story occupies a triangular face on the figure.
February 9, 2018.
Previous messages back and forth, then…
What happened with the kids? Sorry, even thinking of this stuff is sad. In grandma’s book she said that he couldn’t get to them but I remember stories of him getting to them / carrying them and knowing they were gone.
That part I don’t think Uncle Kel remembered after so we never mentioned again…guess we thought best if he didn’t…house was filled with such black smoke couldn’t see anything…he crawled on the floor to kids bedroom…went to each and felt for a pulse…when realized no one breathing jumped out window…think he tried to get back in house as remember them saying blood on outside of house from cuts from glass…when couldn’t get in ran to neighbours for help.
You got the phone call at night didn’t you?
They sent police to house…but Dr. Moorhouse called before they got to house…he was working emergency that night…said my brother was in the hospital because of house fire…asked if rest were ok and he said no…
Were we sleeping? [as in my brother and I, when she got the call]
Yep…fire happened around midnight…was never sure if they died on April 10th or if was April 11th…was Easter Weekend…they had been up at Flanders…Auntie Lynne and them had stayed up there…Uncle Kel and them came home for Easter bunny…
(Some may find it strange to have a conversation like this over text. For mom and I, it was a way to privately talk about something without my dad knowing and getting involved. That’s a whole story in itself).
Lainie, 12 years old.
Monday, April 12, 1993
[Diary entry details graphic descriptions of what my uncle saw and experienced in the house in relation to his kids. I have no idea if the information is accurate and it is only his story to share.]
An excerpt from her book, At Home on the Trapline
It was the day before Easter and both Lynne and Kel were visiting with their families. It was warm and sunny, and the kids spent the entire day playing outside. Out from the dock, Kel had drilled some holds in the ice so the kids could catch a few Northern Pike.
After supper, Kel and crew packed up to head back to Mine Centre so they would be home when the Easter bunny came the next morning. Dustin, our 3 year old grandson, insisted that he take his two little fish home. I remember him heading out the door with them in a plastic bag, saying goodbye and telling me that he loved me.
Early the next morning, Brian was helping Kelly-Lynne and Amy look for Easter eggs when a truck came down the hill into the yard; inside were some of Kel’s friends from Mine Centre. They told us that Kel’s house had burnt the night before. Kel was badly burned and was in La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances. Shock hit us all.
In the silence that followed, I reluctantly asked, “Lyd and the kids?” With their eyes towards the floor, they slowly shook their heads. They were all gone – Lyd, along with Jessica and Seth (ages 10 and eight, from Lyd’s previous marriage) and Dustin and Dillon (ages three and two).
Kel had been unable to make his way to any of his family. The heat was intense. Miraculously, he was able to get out of his bedroom window. He had passed out when he hit the ground. When he awoke, he ran to a neighbour’s house for help. No one was able to do anything against the fierce heat.
EMW.2011.05.01. (my museum-like codes. Gram’s initials. The date it was written.)