Labrador History - 7.7 TWINS

Mary Taylor7.7 TWINS
In the middle of September 1964 a nurse from the U.K. came as my relief, and I went out on the same plane that brought her in. I left her some notes about various patients and about the general running of the station, and I was gone - going back to England for the first time since we left as a family in 1949. I was quite excited.
At London (Heathrow) Airport everything seemed very strange. I had difficulty figuring out phones. Taking a taxi to Paddington Station, I caught a train to Oxford to stay with my old friend Joyce Keene, with whom I had done my nurses’ training. She lived on a farm at Sandford, near Oxford, with her husband Gerald, an old NYLC (National Young Life Campaign) friend, and had two lovely little girls. I phoned Joyce from the station at Oxford, and she was soon on her way to meet me. My room at the farm had a feather bed, and I suffered from asthma and was allergic to feathers! What was Ito do? I did not like to tell Joyce, so I prayed about it, taking my problem to my Heavenly Father. I did not have an attack of asthma all the time I was there, nor for several years afterwards.
A nostalgic milestone was a visit to Cottingham, the pretty little village where my mother was born and where her relatives still lived. I went down the village street to the little church where (she and Dad were married, just past my Grandfather’s old house, all of which made me homesick for my mother and the happy days of childhood, when we used to visit there. My sister and her husband were also married in the little church and my grandparents were buried there. It was lovely to see all my relatives again, for I had not seen my aunts and uncle since my mother died. There were times of sadness mingled with the joy of being together again.
Before leaving Britain, I visited Mona’s family in Scotland. Her mother and sister-in-law were to meet me at Prestwick Airport, but the plane’s scheduled landing was at Glasgow (Renfrew), some distance north! I contacted them from Glasgow but they had a long drive to pick me up, and then we had to backtrack because Castle Douglas, where they lived, was in the south on the other side of Prestwick. It was quite late, therefore, by the time we got to their home.
The visit with Mona’s family was most enjoyable, and Mrs. Laird, her mother, was quite excited at the thought of Mona having twins. I was knitting a shawl for one of the babies at the time, for Mona already had one shawl which she had used for David, but I didn’t get it quite finished. Mona finished the border herself while she was in hospital.
Alas, the time went by all too quickly and it was time for me to return to Labrador. We had been to Edinburgh and, in addition to seeing the famous castle, had done some shopping, so I was loaded down with parcels when I boarded the plane. I even had to wear two coats! Mona’s mother had given me some bottles of blackcurrant jam to take back and, at the last minute, they presented me with a huge box of chocolates to take too! How I got on the plane with it all I do not know.
While I was away Mona became good friends with Doreen, the nurse who relieved me. Mona went to St. Anthony for delivery the day after I got back to Forteau at the end of November, and Doreen went too. She was with Mona during her labour and delivery, although Dr. John Cronholme did the actual delivery of the twins. The Lord gave the couple two beautiful little girls, making up in some measure for the loss of the little one the previous year.
The day the twins were born, Mona sent George a message over the radio-telephone giving the weight of the twins and the Bible verse, “0 magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together.” [Psalm 34:3]
When Mona was ready for home, she went to Flower’s Cove by road with a nurse who had escorted a patient of mine to St. Anthony. George picked up on his radio a message over the radiotelephone to the effect that “Miss Taylor had gone to St. Anthony with a patient” and that Mona was coming back to Flower’s Cove with her, and would come across the straits from there. Naturally he thought it was me.
George came over to the nursing station (with little David) to check, only to find me sitting having breakfast! He greeted me.
“What are you doing here, I thought you were in St. Anthony?”
“What do you mean?”
He told me about the radio message and I realised that he had confused me with a nurse who was stationed at Flower’s Cove at the time. Her name was also “Miss Taylor.” Little David was very upset because he thought they were going to pick up his mother and the new babies, so George consoled him by giving him an early Christmas present, a lovely teddy bear which had come from Scotland.
It was several days, however, before Mona got home, for she had to wait for transportation. In the meantime she stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Dempster in Flower’s Cove, being helped with the twins by Cornelia, a girl from L’Anse-au-Loup, who was helping Mrs. Dempster at the time. Finally, Mona got to Forteau on the last trip of the Northern Ranger. They boarded at 8:00 a.m. but sat there for another twelve hours, and did not arrive at the wharf in Blanc Sablon until 11:00p.m. on December 11th Dorothy Tucker and I went to meet them and see the new babies and, a few days later, Mona brought the twins to the nursing station where “Aunt” Mary Fowler was delighted to be able to hold them.