Myra Friesen

Fifty years past

Hello everyone,

After graduating in ’64, I went to the University of Manitoba for one year and passed, but did not continue. The following year I took the library course at Red River College. Over the years I have worked at three medical libraries in Winnipeg, a public library in Neepawa, Man. and, finally, at the Winnipeg branch of a company that provides cataloguing services to academic and public libraries. I retired from this job on Nov. 30, 2011.

I have three adult children, two of whom are married, and three grandchildren, aged 3, 5 & 9. I live in Winnipeg, but my grandchildren live in northwestern Ontario — so I visit them as often as I can, more so since I have retired.

A few other post-retirement activities, besides doing the puzzles in the daily newspaper, are: volunteering as kitchen help at Autumn House (where I live); sorting, cleaning, pricing and shelving at a thrift store in my neighborhood; serving at funeral lunches as part of my women’s group at church; and helping out in the church library.

My five siblings and I have drawn closer to each other now that we are orphans and elders at the same time. Do all the traditional responsibilities of our deceased parents now rest on our shoulders? Will we be more attentive to our few remaining aunts and uncles? Most of us siblings have children and grandchildren; all of us have numerous nieces and nephews, and even grandnieces and grandnephews, as well as cousins galore. Just thinking about the existence of this unruly multitude affects my perspective on my family’s life.

My great aunt Irene reminded me of the tremendous amount of work that she and many others contributed to the founding and sustaining of our school — work that was grounded in faith. During the years I attended MEI, I didn’t appreciate any of this dedication and sacrifice. Ah, then I was young and foolish — now I am much older and foolish in different ways.