Evelyn shares . . .I treasure the fact that one of the things I have in common with my Aunt Kay is that we are the first born in our respective families. We both took pride in that we were the forerunners of the Moore and Hedley dynasties.
Kathleen Elizabeth Moore was born on August 11, 1914, in Toronto, Canada. In her over 100 years she saw many changes in her world. Her sense of humour, inquisitiveness and thoughtfulness was appreciated by all. She had a quiet inner strength and beauty about her. In her humility, she was surprised when so many came out to celebrate with her at her 100th birthday party, but it was no surprise to me.
Not until the 1970s did she start painting. She started meeting one day a week with her sister Evie (my mom) to paint and encourage each other. In a letter I received from my Aunt Lilie, she said, ”As I write this letter, I can hear giggles and squeals of delight coming from downstairs”.
Later she studied Japanese brush painting with Kou Kitagama. After many years of study, she was given seals that she could use to mark her paintings with, indicating that she had learned the craft. One seal was a Japanese name given to her in honour of this achievement -- “Gentle Spirit”. The second seal was her name, Kathleen, phonetically spelt in Japanese.
When I started painting, she was delighted and encouraged me along, for which I am grateful.
Aunt Kay was quite the storyteller and could transport anyone listening to a world without radios and computers. She was always ready with a cup of tea and cookies. I do miss these times and will always carry her in my heart.
Donna shares . . .
Aunt Kay’s living room had a big picture window that looked out over her large and deep back yard, full of trees, flowers and grass expanding way into the distance. No, she didn’t live in the country, but looking out at her backyard, you could almost imagine it was. We would often sit out on the patio when we would come to visit for lunch or afternoon tea and enjoy looking at the large pine tree that grew behind us.
I always loved the two magnificent paintings that hung above the couch in the living room, both of which now proudly hang in my living room. These beautiful pieces always make me think of her, not just because she gave me the honour of owning them, but also because she was the artist.
In her later years, I had the privilege of spending a lot of time with her, just talking, sharing a cup of tea and hearing her stories about her life and family, including my mother. Her life spanned over a century, in which she saw so many changes.
She told me about the joy she had when, as a child, she was given a crystal radio set. Although it always astounded her how far technology had come over the years -- like when I would hold up my phone and tell her that it had more power then the computers used to land on the moon -- I think that crystal set was still one of the most amazing things she had encountered.
Aunt Kay was a true artist. She and Mom enjoyed spending many hours together painting in her basement. She continued to excel with her adventure in brush painting. She talked often about how she and mom had so much fun putting together an art show of their work.
They set everything up in her basement, had refreshments set out, got all gussied up, all for one guest, their brother, my Uncle Bob.
She was a humble woman, always seeing everyone else as more important, yet, the impact she had on the people around her was unmistakable. She was a tiny woman, but in my heart, she was tall and strong, with a strength of character that was unrivalled. In my life, she was one of my greatest treasures.
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