SWEET, Margaret-Joan Ellen

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Passed away after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s, January 29th, 2019. She was 29. Or so she always claimed. Born in Kitchener, Ontario on September 14, 1930, she was wife of the late, great, Frank Sweet. My father, back in the early 60’s, was out one afternoon with a bunch of students, enjoying themselves over a few drinks at a hotel.—It was a different time back then, socially, one of separate entrances for women at such establishments and all that.—He made room for his new wife who had just arrived, for her to sit at the table, much to the consternation of the waiter, who, distraught at noticing this social faux pas, deftly strode over to speak earnestly to my father, leaning over his shoulder, clutching his tray to his chest: “Sir! There are too many men at this table for this women!”. My father, never at a loss for words, looked up at him and replied ever-so-drolly, “Sir! You underestimate my wife!” Marg always smiled when he told that story. Humour was a great part of their lives together. She’d swear she was gonna leave him, but said she stayed just to find out what was going to happen next. They loved each other very much. No indeed, Margaret Sweet was not to be underestimated. Frank said it all: “She could’a done a lot better. I could’a done a lot worse”. Marg didn’t want a funeral, “Oh-hh! Too much fuss.” she said. The Sweets would like to thank everyone who helped out over the years, with special mention going to Hellyer’s grocery, the Hardware Store, the Post Office, the staff at the Hospital and to Rusty. Special mention to the nurses, Chris and Tanya, and their team, for all their help, and who made her days much brighter the last few years. Ralph and Shane and all the others who gave her a hand over the years, too. Marg loved to play bridge. It was the highlight of her week for many, many years. Come hell or highwater, she was off to “Tuesday bridge”. I’m sure she’s sitting at a table, dealing out a hand right now, wherever she is. She was a great cook. Her rhubarb pies will be sorely missed. I have the recipe though, amongst many. She taught us how to cook. I still have her hand-written recipe cards that she gave me when I went off to school. There were always sausages or chicken legs from Hellyer’s in the fridge when I arrived home on a Friday from the city and our ‘catch-up’ conversations that would last well into the evening. Politics, local and national or financial events were always on the table to be discussed. She loved her garden, working it up until only a few years ago. She made her own jam and preserves. She was amazing seamstress: Homemade Hallowe’en costumes and our pants and socks were always miraculously darned and rips repaired. Gosh, I miss that. Frank arrived home, late one morning, after a bike ride, to find Kim in the kitchen, drinking tea, sitting in his underwear chatting with Marg as she was busily sewing the rips in his work pants. I lament that I never spent the time my sister did, learning how to sew from her. It is a dwindling skill now, vastly under appreciated. She sewed her own curtains. She loved her animals. Snuzz the cat is now, once more, content and cared for again, endlessly. To say he was insistent, as he would leap up on her lap as she sat down in her favourite chair after supper, would be an understatement, to be combed and stroked like the little Prince he was, for the evening. He was served trout, venison, and goose regularly, amongst many treats, carefully cut up for him, as he only had one tooth. She doted on him. Marg was an old-school feminist and original ‘women’s libber’. She proudly loved to tell the story of being out on a date in Guelph one evening, being told it was, “My way or the highway!” Marg walked back to Kitchener that night. She worked as a single woman right out of school, and later, advanced to the position of office manager with the Economical Insurance Company, an unheard of accomplishment for many reasons, for a woman back then. At one of those dinner parties kids have when they leave home, after supper we all started to clear the table and do the dishes. It was pointed out that I was the only man helping to clean up. The guys were in the living room relaxing. That was my mother. You pitched in, man or woman. Mom taught me some good stuff. I found this quote that Marg had written down. I think she quite liked it. “Every human being who loves another, love’s imperfection, for there is no perfect being on this earth–nothing is so simple as that.” She ran a good home. Marg was someone you could count on to be there. She taught us much. She raised her family. As the old man would have said, “She has all the answers now.” They both do. Donations to the Alzheimer’s Society would be appreciated. It’s an awful disease. Let’s hope they find a cure and soon.
Good bye, Mom.