COLUMN: An ordinary hero — not hard to find

Most of the women on my block were “housewives,” a label not many would be happy to bear today

Back in the 1950s, it wasn’t uncommon for women to stay home and look after the kids. Most of the women on my block were “housewives,” a label not many would be happy to bear today.

My Mom was no exception and since she didn’t have a driver’s license, she really was housebound for the most part. With four small children underfoot, she needed to have some downtime every once in a while.

Mom would wait for Dad to come home from work, then take off on foot to run some errand for an hour or two.

We lived in Richmond, which in those days was largely made up of farms with subdivisions springing up.

Drainage ditches ran alongside the roads to accommodate the rain. These ditches made awesome “trenches,” “roads” and “tunnels” for us kids to play in when they were dry during the summer months. It wasn’t unusual to see neighbourhood kids pop up on either side of a driveway, dusty, running and happy as you could ever imagine.

In the winter and spring however, these ditches did what they were intended to do and at times were full to the level of the road — about three feet deep.

One day, Mom was on her way to the local bank and was walking parallel to the ditch, which was full to the brim in the rainy season.

As she passed a driveway, something red caught her eye and she stopped to take another look, thinking someone had lost a hat in the ditch.

She quickly realized that it was a hood rather that was attached to a coat worn by a small toddler.

She then saw a tricycle tipped over partway into the ditch a little further down and putting the bits together, clambered down the bank and into the ditch.

She managed to grab the child and pull him up out of the water.

Mom could not see if he was breathing but heaved both the boy and herself up onto the edge of the ditch.

After laying the little one on his side, she began screaming for help.

It took a few moments for the boy’s mother to come out of the house, then run straight back inside to call for help.

The little guy survived this harrowing event and Mom came home soaking wet, not saying too much about what happened.

All these years later, with Mother’s Day approaching, I think about what Moms actually do, then and now.

I also think about the gift my Mom gave that day to another mother, who was so grateful.

For some interesting insights into Motherhood, try The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner, Finding your Inner Mama by Eden Steinberg or Mothers and Sons by Mariana Cook.

Sue Kline is the Community Librarian at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library and the mom of three capable adults.

Just Posted

Kelowna Ribfest launch faces animal rights protest

Animal advocates draw attention to abuse suffered by factory farm pigs

Super League Triathlon makes North American debut in Penticton

Making its North American debut, the event brings a new twist to the traditional sport

No end in sight, smoke is here to stay

There is no anticipated change in weather for the Okanagan-Shuswap this week

Summerland winery wins platinum at WineAlign awards

Thornhaven Estates Winery recognized for 2015 Syrah in national competition

Animal rights activists to protest Kelowna’s RibFest launch

Animal rights activists plan on sinking their teeth into an annual event they say is unethical and unhealthy.

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Fredericton widow swears at Trudeau during condolence call

Widow of man killed in Fredericton shooting says she swore at Trudeau during condolence call.

Tim Hortons promises leaky lids on coffee cups to be phased out

Tim Hortons looks to rebuild its brand with better lid, new marketing campaign

‘There’s been a lot of devastation:’ man whose family lost homes in B.C. fire

The provincial government declared a state of emergency Wednesday as more than 550 wildfires burn in every corner of B.C.

Capsized tug now out of the water at the mouth of B.C.’s Fraser River

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor capsized late Monday.

Aheadbyacentury looking for Triple Crown breakthrough in the Breeders’ Stakes

The consistent Aheadbyacentury has $513,800 in career earnings, including $311,250 this year thanks in large part to his Triple Crown performances.

Olalla fire grows to 50 hectares

A wildfire near Olalla is currently not threatening and structures

Search for mudslide victim becomes recovery mission

Valerie Morris was swept away by a mudslide on Highway 99 near Cache Creek on August 11.

Snowy Mountain fire now held

The Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos remains at 13,359 hectares in size

Most Read