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Where the Disappointed Go

Where the Disappointed Go

It was as though some kindly force had left a place card on the polished table at a modest house on Kingston Road, Toronto, the home of Cora Rathbone and her adult daughter, Dottie.


A fleeting meeting at church resulted in Cora providing daycare for a toddler, Libby MacDougall, while her mother worked. Libby was three years old, her abandoned mother, instead of collecting her little girl after work, likewise vanished in a puff of smoke. At first Libby had vague memories of her parents, but gradually they became ghosts in her mind until, like untethered balloons, they floated away. Life with Cora and Dottie was rigid and routine, but emotionally secure— the church being the central focus. Male clerics were role models for the child but as she grew older, she questioned their ‘dresses’, eating ‘cookies’ in church and lighting ‘dangerous candles’.


Predictably, the teenage years were confusing for Libby. A pregnancy, followed by marriage to the father, Jeremy Ballantyne, a young man from Toronto’s wealthy Rosedale enclave, and then a miscarriage, set a scene of turmoil for Libby. Jeremy’s extra-marital affair shocked her into a catatonic state and, eventually she was diagnosed with Manic Depression. She discovered she was pregnant for the second time. And yet over the ensuing years, this resourceful and pragmatic woman demonstrated she was a survivor. Eventually she retreated to Trapper’s Creek, a beautiful village north of Toronto. Finally, her acute mind began letting her down, and a refusal to be passive dictated how she would resolve the business of life.

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