Family and friends used to refer to us as the Graham girls. There were only 4 of us in our family, our Mother and her 3 girls. The oldest was Irene in the middle of the picture.
2 years later along came Dorothy on the far right of the picture. 5 years after that along came Freda, far left of the picture. I am assuming I was around 7, Dorothy around 12 and Irene around 14 when this picture was taken. It is the only real photograph we have of the 3 of us. Money was tight for my Mother and no money was available for extras. Even though times were tough and money tight, we had a happy childhood.
We all married and had wonderful husbands and children. My Mother loved her SILs and we used to kid that she liked them better then her daughters.
5 years ago last Sept. we lost Dorothy to a lung disease called Bronchiactisis. I had never heard of it until Do came down with it. That was my first real loss in life.
Almost 2 weeks ago on april 30th. I lost my other sister Irene of bone cancer that went right through her body. She had breast cancer 29 years ago and had a mastectomy. When I came down with BC 14 years ago she always encouraged me by reminding me of how she had remained cancer free and we thought she had won the battle. Well that was not to be. It came back very quietly and by the time they found she had it it was throughout her body.
One week I was talking to her and 2 days later she was in the hospital in palliative care in Barrie, Ontario, north of Toronto where all 3 of us lived until I left at age 30. It was a blessing that the end came so fast for her but hard on her family. She had just 1 daughter, Janice who is married and her son Jason was Irene's only grandchild.
Well the Graham girls are now down to 1 girl but I too intend to go out fighting. Cancer is a terrible disease and there is not a family among us who has not been touched by it. Some day there will be a cure and that generation will look back at our fight with cancer as we looked back at tuberculosis which was a terrible disease in our day. I had an uncle who died of it in his late 20's.
This is just a little tribute I wanted to pay to my beloved sisters who were known as "The Graham Girls".
Freda Marie Butler (nee Graham)