It’s as simple as motherhood and rhubarb pie! Yes, rhubarb!
It was 58 years ago, what was to be the final year of World War Two, though nobody was counting on it in those days. The war had impacted millions of lives for six and a half long, long years. Moby and William Taylor, both natives of Toronto, had set up their newlyweds home in Halifax, where William was posted in the navy.
Moby was waiting the birth of their first child. As a bride during wartime, she’d moved a long way from home, with few resources and certainly no motherly figure to help her through this first pregnancy.
The final days dragged as slowly as waiting for the end of the war. Moby was tired of being pregnant. She was tired of waiting to become a mother. Her doctor said her ‘due date’ was April 8. It was now April 2. She’d had enough.
However, mother nature will take all the time she wants and Moby says the days and her firstborn were both weighing heavily on her mind. She took a stroll to the grocery store where fresh rhubarb, brought in from a nearby garden for sure, caught her eye. Home she trudged, intent on stewing the bitter fruit in some brown sugar to prepare for dessert that evening.
Mmmmm. Tastes good. Mmmmm. Tastes very good. Mmmmmm. Well, what do you know? The bowl’s empty.
And less than 20 hours later, baby Donald was born.
Two years later, Moby and William excitedly awaited the birth of their second child. The war was over, and post war cheer was producing those infants that became famous as ‘the baby boomers.’ It was a cold, bitter January and Moby and William were living in Montreal where William had a job with Northern Electric. The days were long and Moby was hardpressed at nine months pregnant to keep up with two year old Donald.
Her due date was January 7 and she had every incentive to ‘produce’ this baby before January 1; big income tax savings were promised for babies born before the new year. A couple of days after Christmas, she acquired more rhubarb. And daughter Susan was born the next day.
And when the third little Taylor was on the way, Moby played havoc with her March 7 due date and decided that she and her child should share the same March 1 birthday. Rhubarb to the rescue! Moby and Norah now celebrate their birthdays together.
And is there a sequel for Mothers Day? There sure is! Moby’s grand-daughter, Cindy Clark, was impatient about her first pregnancy and anxious to meet her baby. Cindy’s 88 year old grandma handed her a bag of frozen rhubarb. And last Friday, May 3, baby Sophia met her mom, her grandma and her great grandma.
There’s a postscript here, too.
William Taylor, the young naval officer who captured Moby’s heart, passed away two years ago, but not before the Taylors left Montreal and moved to Barrie. And why Barrie? Well, they looked on a map and decided Barrie was the farthest north they’d move. They visited communities all along Lake Ontario, taking notes and checking out their priorities… yacht clubs, libraries and tennis courts.
After their home-hunting excursion, they each made a list of their top priorities and individually each selected Barrie. They didn’t know a soul!
And now daughters Susan and Norah live nearby in Orillia and Donald in Montreal where he’s a professor at McGill University.
All in all, a wonderful Mother’s Day story. Thanks, Moby!