NWR elder, daughter, collaborate to write memoir as a family surprise
When Mina A. Hibbs's kids were called to attend a sudden family gathering at her home in North West River recently, they had no idea what their mother was going to tell them.
"She had recently traveled to Halfax, and there had been a big lotto win out that way, so we thought she might have won millions of dollars!" chuckled son, Pat Hibbs.
"But when she told us she had something to show us that was two years in the making, that idea went out the window!"
Instead, what Mina had to announce to her children was the surprise that she had published a book of her memories over her 78 years - all in secret with the help of her daughter, Margaret (Marg) Osmond.
"I always told stories (to my kids)," said Mina of her decision to write a memoir of her life. "My children were always telling me I should write them down. Marg told me I should write a book."
And write a book she did, along with Marg, completely unbeknowst to the rest of the family.
"Everything was done over the phone," said Marg - who lives in Halifax - of her and her mother's collaboration process. The book is called 'Mina's Memories' and that's exactly what it is."
Two years from the moment the two decided to make a book a reality, Margaret picked up the first 20 copies from the printers in Dartmouth. Although Marg couldn't be in North West River for the official announcement of the project to the rest of her siblings, she was able to hear them over the phone.
"I heard their reactions," she said. "Some were crying...they just couldn't believe it."
"They were all speechless," added Mina. "They didn't expect that. It was a good surprise. It was worth it to see the looks on their faces!" she chuckled.
Son Pat said the rest of the family "never had a clue" their mother had written a book, much less published it.
"When we are at the house, and she said she had to go into the bedroom to get something, we figured she was going to come out with one of our neices or nephews we hadn't seen in a while," recalled Pat. "But then she came out with the book. She never told a soul! Plus, she had told us on a Monday to come to her house on Friday at 7 p.m. for a family meeting, so we had a whole week to stress about what it was all about!"
'Mina's Memoirs' includes various stories from her life, including family, work and everything in between.
"I got lots more memories that could be used for the book," she said.
"After the book was published, Mom kept saying, 'I forgot to tell you this one and that one' - I said, you should have told me before this went to the printer!" laughed Marg.
The book is available by contacting Mina at 497-8208 or her daughter, Jeannie at 497-8802.
Mina and Marg will be at NorthMart in Happy Valley-Goose Bay today, tomorrow and Wednesday (Aug. 17-19) from 1 - 4 p.m. for those looking to purchase the book.