1960 – 1963
Elizabeth was the third child in my parents family of five children. She was born in 1960 in Toronto. She was a happy child, sadly she was one of three children in diapers at the time. My older brother had developed diabetes and when my mother told the doctor she was tired from the burden of caring for 3 children in diapers and a fourth child with diabetes.
My mother recounted how she was pressured to admit Elizabeth to institutional care after follow up by children’s aid. Elizabeth was admitted to the smiths fall regional hospital ( Canada’s Largest residential school).
She lived only 3 months in Institutional care. There are stories in our family about how she died, apparently she had chronic diarrhea and it weakened her and she wasted away and died from an opportunistic infection.
My mother was guilt ridden for her entire life, every year on the anniversary of Elizabeth death I would talk to my mother and she would inevitably ask “Did we do the right thing”. My mother passed within a few days of the anniversary of Elizabeth’s passing and she was one of the last things we talked about before she died. A mother never gets over the loss of her child.
I only saw my father cry twice, when she was institutionalized and when she died.
Rideau Regional here
The death of Elizabeth was typical of institutional care in Ontario, which started with workhouses for the poor, included residential schools for tribal children and today continues with our penitentiary system.
Their have been many victims of residential institutional cruelty in Ontario and elsewhere
-veterans post WW1 and WW2 who were shell shocked
-children with downs syndrome and children with developmental issues
-Abandoned Aboriginal children
-people with mental illnesses of all types
-pregnant girls between 14 to 18 who had babies taken from them
-offenders in the criminal justice system today
As a society we were ignorant and poor. This was what was thought to be in the best interest of the children at the time. The only thing worse than the atrocity of stealing children from families is trying to profit politically from the acts of the past; today.
Today most children with down syndrome are killed in the womb. It is a genocide and is discussed here.
The term genocide is misused. People who are alive cannot claim they are victims of genocide.