Memoires of Marie Albina Bibiane LaPerriere Coté Goodwin
Born April 24, 1910, Trois Rivieres, Canada, daughter of Antonio & Azelica (Pellerin) LaPerriere, 2nd of 16 children. - Died October 28, 2006, Naugatuck, CT.
As early as I can
remember, I was 3 years old at my grandfather's General Store when I use (sic)
to visit my grandfather, he use to sit me on the counter, and he would make me
sing "Ture lu lu capuchon pointu maman a veut me batté, j'ai passer
par la petite rue, elle ma pas batter" My pépère
use to make me sing in front of the customers, then he would reward me with a
cookie. It's funny I can remember that like it was yesterday. Getting ready for
my first day at school I can remember my mother fitting me for a nice white
dress with a pink satin sash tied in the back with a nice big bow. That stayed
on my mind always.
When I was 8 years old in 1918, I came down with influenza real bad, I remember it was in the fall. I was sitting on a pile of lumber across the street from where I lived. My girlfriend "Alice Ricard" and I was watching a house being build, all of a sudden I started to feel sick. I had the chill and I was dizzy, so I went home, maman was sick in bed with the flu. My girlfriends mother "Mrs. Ricard" was at our house helping my mother, when she saw me, she knew I was coming down with the flu "she always knew some home remedy" she made me take a tablespoon of Kerosene with a lump of brown sugar that was suppose to kill the flu. "It almost killed me" then she made me soaked my feet in a bucket of hot water. Then she put me to bed with about a half dozen blankets. This was to make me sweat. About 1/2 hour later she would take off one blanket at a time every 10 minutes, until there were 2 left. I thought I was going to die. There was an epidemic and many people were dying from it. I was very sick and so was my mother. I layed in an upstairs bedroom, and mamam was in a bedroom downstairs, the doctor couldn't keep up with all the sick people, so they called in serviceman doctors for help. I remember one night two doctors came in at about 2:A.M. I got scared when I saw them with their uniform. I thought they were policemen. They use to come see us every night, one night when they came to the house to check on me, "I was real bad then" the doctor told my mother that I wouldn't make it through thru the night. "she cried" she said to my father, were going to make a novena to the Blessed Virgin, and she promised that if I got better, I would wear white and blue " the color of the Blessed Virgin's Robe until I was 15 years old. That night my father slept on a cot next to my bed. During the night I woke up screaming. "I had been in a coma for 2 days. It seems that I could see large cats all over the room, some were on my bed, and on the dresser, on the window sill. Miraculously my fever had broke, I remember I could see my father chasing all those cats away. "Of course he was making believe because there was none." My mother was so happy. I could hear her say "Thank God she's safe". Needless to say, I wore white and blue faithfully until I was 15 years old. I was sick for a long time. I remember I started with the flu in the fall and I didn't go back to school until spring. I had lost so much weight, my friends from school didn't recognize me.