Monday, 16 July 2012

Dellie - A Friend to All!

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In this post, I would like to remember a very special person named Dellie. Dellie was a very nice single older lady in the community where I grew up. She was about ten years older than my mother but she was a really good friend to our entire family as well as everyone in the community regardless of ones's age or ethnicity. My earliest memories of Dellie would be of her at around 50 years of age.
 Dellie's life had kind of an odd start. She was born somewhere around 1915 and would celebrate her birthday in February. The woman who would become known as "Mother" to her  found her in a ditch when Dellie was just a very tiny baby, so she had no idea who her birth parents were. Dellie was raised by this elderly woman whom she called Mother. There was also a sister in the family named Chrissie who was about twenty years older than our friend Dellie. I never got to know the Mother or Chrissie though my parents did know them also.
Dellie lived all alone in a very old house that was located on the edge of my parents property. She also had 80 acres of land that was mostly bush. Her property sat right between property that was owned by my parents so she was our closest neighbor. Before Dellie's Mother passed away, the Mother made an agreement with my Dad that Dellie could continue living in that house ( the house was on my parents property) free of charge with no rent or any expense of any kind for 30 years. So the 30 years all passed by and after the time was up Dellie was able to continue living there without ever asking if the 30 year agreemet could be extended. It just was never mentioned.
Dellie was everyone's friend. She didn't have much as far as worldly possessions go but she did have friends. She didn't have hydro electricity in her house for many years but she did always have a telephone. She didn't have a car so she walked to all the neighbors places within two miles in each direction from her house. She had 2 or 3 cows and a few chickens on her little farm. She milked her cows by hand, separated the cream and  would sell cream to the local creamry and that is how she made her living. In the summer she would pick berries ( saskatoons, wild raspberries, currants, chokecherries) in the bush and make fruit preserves. The fruit preserves together with the homemade bread she baked was her main food supply for the winter. I remember our school bus driver would bring out her mail from the post office as well as some groceries and she'd get them right off the school bus. That way she didn't need to get a ride to town.

Dellie was hard working. She would cut and chop a lot of her wood that she needed for the winters. She used a bucksaw to cut the wood. She heated her house with wood and also used wood for cooking her food.
Dellie would come over to our home often for meals and for coffee breaks and snacks. It was so good to have her over and share meals with her. Sometimes she would come for morning coffee and snack, stay for lunch and then stay for afternoon snack. She was such a good friend.

Dellie loved dogs. She had a big German Shepherd dog named Shep. He was so big, I was afraid of him. One day when another neighbor lady walked over to Dellie's for a visit, Shep attacked the lady and she was hospitalized for a time. Shep had to be tied up for safety reasons after this. In later years Dellie got a little black poodle named Benji. Benji was a house dog but one day when he was outdoors for a bit he got away. Benji was lost for some time and we put out advertisements to help Dellie find Benji. One day, many weeks later a phone call came that Benji had been found. So my sister drove out there with Dellie to get Benji back home again.
Since Dellie was really good friends with everyone, she got invited to a lot of homes and places. She would celebrate Christmas with her English friends but then every year she would also get invited to our Ukranian neighbors for their Christmas which was on January 6 and 7. The same with other holidays like Thanksgiving or New Years, Dellie knew she would be invited over to somebody's house for the celebrations.
As I mentioned earlier, Dellie was very poor. She did not have a car until her sister Chrissie's husband passed away and then Chrissie gave their car ( a small pink Rambler)  to Dellie. Dellie did have her drivers license because back in those days you could purchase your license without any test. You simply purchased it as you would a jug of milk today. So when Dellie received this little pink Rambler she was able to get out and about more to visit friends and go to town.
I remember when Dellie turned 65 years of age. As you know, here in Canada seniors receive their pensions from the government beginning at age 65. When Dellie got her first pension cheque, the first thing she did was to buy a pail of ice cream, bring it over to our home and we celebrated together with her. She was so happy that now finally she would have money coming in regularly. Shortly after this, she also got hydro electricity installed in her house and life became easier for her.
I do not know if Dellie ever accepted Christ as her Savior or not. My family witnessed to her on various occasions, and the other Christian neighbors around did also. Dellie would go to Bible coffee with some of the neighbors. My parents brought her to revival services and she was invited to many programs at churches in the area. I remember one time when Dellie got a really bad nosebleed. It just wouldn't stop. We brought her over to our house to help her. My Mom wanted to bring her to the hospital but the hospital refused to take her. So Dellie stayed at our house. My Dad read the entire chapter of John 3 where the way of salvation is clearly explained. Dellie spent the night at our house and we were all so glad when she got well again . She didn't seem to reject the gospel at all and she was always respectful of our family's faith practices.
Dellie passed away several years ago. I have such fond memories of her. I so hope that I will see her in Heaven some day. It would be so good to get together with her and talk again.

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