My Grandma Was A Bear-Part Two

Family stories and notes

The Amen Corner

An old photo taken from the upstairs of my Grandparent’s house

The Amen Corner

We shared a two-storey house and garden

with a gold-veined stone fountain

in a Canadian mining town years ago

when few people locked their doors,

neighbours knew all their neighbours,

visits rarely planned or announced.

Our family of six lived upstairs;

Mom’s retired parents lived down.

Beautiful flowers grew around

Grandpa’s colourful garden there.

Four children with lots of toys,

two girls, two boys and many things

crowded into the upstairs space-

our ‘home sweet home’ not a ‘tidy’ place.

Often we’d hear someone knocking

at our shared downstairs side door.

As it opened, we’d hear “We’re here!”

You should have seen Mom’s face.

We’d scramble when Mom commanded

“Clear the decks!” Then we’d race

to tidy ‘the mess’ of our living-

the mess on ‘battleship’ flooring,

on tables, on counters, on chairs,

things spread out everywhere.

We’d grab and throw ‘with care’

everything into ‘the Amen Corner’-

our secret place out of sight,

saying “Amen!” laughing, praying

no visitors would actually see

just how ‘untidy’ we could be

after climbing the stairs

to our heavenly haven.

(Sometimes even pots and pans landed

in the pile out of sight that day.)

Then Mom would sigh and say

“Okay”, smile and open the upstairs door

to welcome the company in.

Visitors ‘talk’, Mom knew. She was no fool.

I laugh, remembering ‘the Amen Corner’-

that place of ‘saving grace’

and ‘saving face’ with visitors too

where our possessions would ‘disappear’.

They’d ‘resurface’ soon once again

appearing ‘a bit worse for wear’

or sometimes remain

hiding a while longer in there

until finally convinced

“the coast is clear!”

April 1, 2023

Shelley Audrey Wilson

Victoria, BC


This is an old photo of my Great Grandmother and her two children, all of Leeds in England. Left to right is Hannah who took on the surname Dacre then Berry. She lived in Shanghai for a while before joining her son, Christopher Saxon Dacre who had emigrated to Detroit, Michigan where he became an American and then there’s my Mother’s Mother, Dorothy Hannah Dacre who took on the surname Thicke when she married a Canadian and became a Canadian citizen… On my Father’s side, I am only an eighth generation Canadian as well.


We’re all Immigrants here in this Evolving

God’s Kingdom, God’s Queendom, God’s World,

this Alien Garden Planet, our World…

We came here, as the poet Wordsworth says,

trailing clouds of glory from God who is our Home…

It doesn’t matter what Names we assign

to that Home- Heaven, Paradise, Source…

It doesn’t matter what Names we assign

to that God- Names we hold holy, sacred, dear-

any more than how we pray to our God

in postures alone or in gatherings of many…

We can’t ever lose our Root Connection

to the Divine, though we might think it so

losing our awareness of Spirit Home, God,

forgetting God’s Unconditional Love Everlasting,

imagining our bodies as all there is…

We may claim Lands and Waters of Earth,

embrace Technological Wonders, Knowledge

of Scientific Facts, even while still clinging

to primitive beliefs like the World is flat

– or there’s some devil negating God’s power-

negating absolute, omnipotent, glory of God power

-or saying one Religion, one Race, one System,

one Country, one Creed, one Family called Humans

is superior, more worthy, Better and Best…

We are as Immigrant Children on this Planet

of many Languages, many Names- like ‘Earth’.

Even now, our Species struggles to fully Adapt.

When our individual ‘why we are here’ is complete,

we leave behind our bodies, our ‘Immigrant Stories’-

we leave behind the effects of our life-

how we touched the Earth, the Animals,

the lives of Family, Friends and Strangers-

moving back to our Home in God Source again-

where we stay or explore physical life once or

even many times more… Immigrants again…

March 25, 2023

Shelley Audrey Wilson

Victoria, BC