Carol McMaster - Psychologist Superwoman

Renaissance Woman

Over the past few years I’ve had the joy of watching as many of my close friends have become mothers; many of whom I’ve known since we were practically babies. These are true renaissance women, achieving impressive milestones working full-time, leading rich personal lives and raising young families at the same time. Nothing is ever perfect as we all well know, but these super human feats deserve recognition.

One new member of this mommy mafia has been in my thoughts often, not because she is one of the most kind, generous and inquisitive souls I know (and she is), but because she lost her own mother shortly before becoming a mother herself. Inasmuch as words can never provide the support truly needed in such a time, I dedicate this to my dear friend and her mother.

 
 

Carol was a mother to many, even though she only had two children of her own. Her psychology practice was a solace and a source of power for many in our community and far beyond. In addition to blazing a trail by becoming the first woman to open a practice in the area, Carol’s impact was felt in many different places. Her contribution to the First Nations community and her involvement with the local Ukrainian diaspora will endure beyond her life.

Carol was a pragmatic woman, but when you stumbled upon a topic she was passionate about, her energy was infectious. One such memory brings me back many years to the family’s famed Ukrainian Christmas celebration to which I was graciously invited. It happened to be during the time I was studying jewelry design and knowing this, amidst serving the borscht, pierogis and other native fare, Carol flitted away and reappeared with a box full of the most enchanting pieces of jewelry.

She showed me the pieces collected throughout her lifetime. Each piece had a fascinating story, imparting some wisdom and history, a signature of Carol’s rich interactions. You always walked away from those conversations feeling like you had learned a quirky tidbit of information you wouldn’t have otherwise come across.

Always a supporter of the academics and of learning of any kind, Carol generously gave me some of those pieces that evening. And I’m so glad she did. Those pieces served as inspiration for me as I set out in my jewelry studies.

One necklace in particular, a set of sage green beads that hangs down to the knees at full-length, stands out. Carol described these to me as ‘poison beads’ which I found so intriguing and alluring. I imagine her wearing them in the 70s as she set out on her adventurous global travels.

I wore that necklace often that summer and now it holds an even more special place in my collection. It will go on to collect more stories I’m sure, but it will always belong to Carol first.