Remnants of Latin American machismo have remained with me. For years I had a nice Edwardian desk and metal filing cabinets for all my stuff. Rosemary had to put all of her papers here and there. It was only about a year ago that I found a compact two-drawer filing cabinet for her and put it in our bedroom. It was in that filing cabinet that my Alexandra found the necessary wedding certificate that we needed. And in those filing cabinets we found photographs of Rosemary’s high school years and graduation and this nice one of her graduation from Queen’s University. Amazingly, to our detriment we do not seem to know when she graduated. I have been unable to find her diplomas in the cabinets. They will eventually appear.
There is something of the style of university photography in the mid 60s that I find charming which is why tomorrow I am taking this photograph to be framed with a gold frame.
Meanwhile in my complete confusion of not knowing how to pay bills, put out the garbage I can remember that Rosemary:
Would feed me a steak in our first apartment in Calle Estrasburgo in Mexico City in 1968 and I was too stupid to realize she had nothing on her plate as we were very poor.
When she was about to have our first daughter Ale she told
me, “Dr. de Kanter will induce labour on Friday night. I will have the baby the
next day and by Monday I will be back in school. We need the money.” And she did just that.
Unlike other wives she got along famously with my mother who came to live with us in our little house in Arboledas, Estado de México in 1970. When we were unable to pay the rent one month my mother sold her piano. It broke both our hearts to see that piano leave the house.
It was Rosemary who decided we needed to move to Canada in 1975. She picked Vancouver as she thought I could not learn French for Montreal or like Toronto’s snow.
She said we would move all our possessions, including salt, pepper and vinegar via moving van. We were to drive to Vancouver in our Beetle.
We rented a house in Burnaby on Springer Avenue and by 1986 she said we needed our own land and a nice garden. We bought the house (she picked it) on a corner lot in Kerrisdale. Rosemary loved the name of the street, Athlone. I was given a weekly allowance as we were paying a monthly mortgage of $3500.
Before we sold the house four years ago, people would come in bus tours to see our garden. We began with my plants – your plants and by the end it all became our garden.
We sold the house and thanks to Rosemary’s financial acumen we were able to inherit our two daughters while we were still alive.
They say that behind every successful man there is a woman. I believe that the case here is not quite that. She was a successful woman, wife and mother who had a bungling, silly husband who thought that by wanting to be an artist, taking out the garbage was anathema.
God bless my Rosemary and how I miss her. The one solace, a double one, consists of me, now sleeping on the bed she died in, with our two cats Niño and Niña. If they don’t miss her I can do the job for all three of us.
Who Will Be First? May 18, 2013