Guardian Angel With A Wooden Leg (Part One)


Kenora, Lake of the Woods did not know it harboured a beautiful lady that had also suffered much grief in her young life, and would also be known as mom’s guardian angel.

Just down the lane on River Street; there nestled a little old house that was the home to a lovely Christian lady by the name of Nell Lodge. Nell Lodge lived with her brother Jack Lodge for many years, and never did marry. Nell was the sister to my mother’s mom Constance Kenora, the first white baby to be born into the Kenora district, part of the pioneers of this beautiful Lake of the Woods.

Also known as Nellie, she was recognized as a tender dedicated christian woman who attended lakeside Baptist church regularly, and was picked up by taxi with bible in hand, as not to miss a Sunday or weekly prayer meeting. Nellie did not drive or ride bike, and walking would be difficult given her wooden leg. Sadly as a young girl Nellie had lost her leg to cancer, and lived out her years with a cumbersome wooden leg. As a young girl she had been aggressively kicked by another child, and her leg had bruised quite badly. The bruise never did heal and tragically turned into cancer and had to be amputated, in its place a wooden leg with a brace. Mom said, “Auntie Nell was never one to complain” and she looked at life and its trials that they were meant to be, as God had a purpose for her life. Unknown to her one of those purposes would be to give shelter to my mom and be one of her lovingly guardian angels.

My mother moved down to her Aunt Nell’s after her father had come back from fighting in World War Two. He had come back a changed man and held unto demons from the war; this would have a lasting impact on my mom’s young life right up until this day. Mom recalls packing up her few belongings and leaving the little red mushroom house that was her home. Left behind sadness, abuse, and shadows of night terrors that still sometimes haunt her today, Thelma Sharpe (known as Holly) would leave her footprints in the dust of River Street as she made her way down the lane to be welcomed into her guardian angels arms of love, the arms of Nellie Lodge.

Mom recalls going to Lakeside Baptist church with Nell, and one time in-particular when the young people were singing. it just so happened that Lawrence Peters was on the platform singing when Auntie Nell leaned over and said to mom, “now there’s a nice young Christian man for you” , in time mom would court Lawrence Peters and walk down the isle in Lakeside Baptist church and say their vows. With heart brimming with love Nell her guardian angel attended their union revealing a luminous smile on her face.

Many years later and through chapters of life, Holly would follow her husband to Eastern Ontario, where they reside today in the town of Hanover in a little apartment. Due to distance, and lack of funds mom was sadly unable to make the 1846 KM trip to her old home town to say good bye to her dearest Aunt Nell. Nell Lodge would later move in with her sister Constance until moving to PineCrest where she would live out her remaining years, and it was there she would hear the call of her Lord, and go to her heavenly home to meet her Saviour.

Mom’s dream is to go back to Kenora and visit Aunt Nell’s grave, bring her flowers and say good bye. This will be her final trip to Kenora, part of her “Long Good bye” closure to another chapter of her life, that held sorrow, but also was covered by the love, dedication, and protection of a dear soul; a Christian lady that I would come to know as my Great Auntie Nell, my mom’s guardian angel.

Kathy J Snow

Her daughter ~ advocate for dementia awareness and “For the Love of a Mom”

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A Death Sentence To Memory


We take for granted occurring thoughts that travel through our minds highway everyday! Miles of crowed lanes, speeding and passing, “I wonder why’s” and “I should have” but what about those REMEMBER WHENS? To someone diagnosed with Dementia, these are privileged, high valued precious moments, that may only take place on rare occasions, sadly becoming less and less with each passing day!

…It has been a little over six months since my mother has been diagnosed with MIXED AGGRESSIVE DEMENTIA. To see it written in black and white signed by the physician was startling, but witnessing it starting to play out in my mother’s daily life is heartbreaking, and excruciatingly life changing.

A Text book case?

Statistics show that this horrific disease is occurring in younger people everyday! this is both terrifying and alarming! I continue to review charts, graphs, and I refuse to let mom be just a chart, a number, another statistic, yes she has been handed a death sentence of MIXED AGGRESSIVE DEMENTIA but this does not mean her life has to stop and end without her dreams coming true! Educating ones self and creating awareness is one of the best swords in fighting depression with this disease! Every person that is afflicted with this demon is affected differently, no two are the same. The end result may be the same but the road and corners, trials, tests, and fears are different with each individual. I have worked and continue to work as a Caregiver with Alzheimer and Dementia, I witness this demon first hand, and pray for a cure everyday!

Find what avenues bring relaxation and release of sharing thoughts together…

Taking my mom for drives is the time when she seems to open up to me in her early stages of dementia. Driving back from a baby shower celebrating her great granddaughter mom turned to me and said, “Kathy I’m scared, I don’t know what is happening to me” I said, I know mom it is hard” I proceeded to share with her again how the doctor said her memory is going little by little, and some days faster than others. Mom shared her fears of her memory loss how she struggles remembering names, and what she did yesterday; “I want to go back home Kathy before I forget” I wept silent tears as I reassured my mother I will be here for her! I will do everything in my power to make her wish come true, “I will be with you mom when you cannot remember your stories and treasured memories I know them I will share them with you, together we will walk down this road of dementia together!”

Learning to Let Go

Learning to let go as a daughter, to let mom do things that make her happy, and not what I think is best all the time. Mom may want to wear her same favourite pink outfit five days in a row, let it be, just make sure it is kept laundered and let her wear it. If mom has decided for the time being she wants a brown hand towel hanging in her kitchen instead of the nice blue one that was bought to match, let it be! Educate yourself to learn to let go of your own wants for mom and let her have her own way, as long as it is not hurting her and makes her happy there is no harm.


Hints of paths
Decembers snow
my heart knows to follow
when cold winds blow
All but one
too many draw near
snowflakes of memories
are melting I fear
Captured magic
in moments of time
try to drift over
my journey inclined
Traveled often
as not to hide
keeping footprints visible
to hearts passing by
Untangling thoughts
of Christmas past
sharing the joys
making them last
With arms linked together
hearts trudge through the snow
my mother and I
catching memories as we go


Please take a moment to stop by moms dream page