Footprints of Uprooted Lives

Now in print & available for purchase.






Two totalitarian powers were unleashed upon three Baltic states during World War II.  The tiny country of Estonia had been occupied by German and Soviet forces.  On September 22nd, 1944, units of the Red Army captured the capital of Estonia marking a change in foreign regimes and the beginning of an occupation that would last for nearly fifty years.

It was September 23rd and this was Koidula Roiser's last opportunity to made a bid for freedom.  Like thousands of others who took to the sea on just about anything that floated, she risked her life in search of freedom.  With steely determination, she announced, "I will swim across the ocean if I have to, but I'm not staying here."

The sea rose around the Walnut ship like many great angry skyscrapers, turbulent and unforgiving.  The ship's pump had stopped working, the icy sea water was rising dangerously close to the steam engine.  A minesweeper meant for a small crew now held hundreds of lives of human cargo.  Would she make the trip across the Atlantic during a stormy December?

While some refugees fled their homeland for freedom during the war, other's were later dependent upon the compassion of bureaucrats.  Written by an immigrant's daughter, this is a story based on actual events and characters about lives that were ravaged by time and circumstance.  These are the footprints left by the journeys of uprooted lives.


Copyright 2017 by Tiiu Roiser

44 Coledale Road, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 7W9

Printed and bound in Canada
Cover illustration by Tiiu Roiser

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Roiser, Tiiu, 1960-, author Footprints of uprooted lives / Tiiu Roiser. Issued in print and electronic formats. 
ISBN 978-0-9958591-0-4 (softcover).--ISBN 978-0-9958591-1-1 (PDF)

I. Title.

PS8635.O4429F66 2017              C813'.6    





In memory of my mother Koidula.



For my son may this collection of stories and memories give you the opportunity to learn about family members of long ago. May you come to know them through my words and theirs. May you witness their dreams, sorrows, hardships, joys, service to others and love of God.

For my sister who never knew about the little box and the letters contained therein and who helped to fill in memories Id forgotten.

For my husband who took care of everything while I sat behind a computer and wrote.

This book is also written for all the people displaced during the Second World War for all those that had to leave behind everything that they knew and held dear.


While roses are flashy flowers that draw attention to themselves by their beauty, no-one notices the quiet, tiny violets growing at our feet. Beware of the roses thorns hidden amongst their leaves and behold the simple unassuming beauty in the bloom of the violet.

For my mother humble, modest and unpretentious - a flower that was ravaged by the winds of war.

For my grandmother - a simple woman with caring, loving hands, whose life was spent helping all those around her.



About the Author...

Tiiu Roiser is a graduate of Ryerson University and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.  She was a member of the Ontario College of Teachers.  

She is the daughter of immigrants to Canada with her roots tracing back to the Republic of Estonia, a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe.

During her career, Tiiu has taught school, worked for a labour relations law firm, owned a catering business, and has worked as an administrator for a number of charities.  She has taught children as well as adults. 

Now "retired", she is currently assisting other educators with curriculum design, research and lesson plan creation.  She owns and runs a website at where thousands of images can be downloaded for teacher and student use for non-commercial use.  She also continues to work with charities and publishes websites for non-profits.  

Tiiu's writing has been published in newspapers and charity publications.  Her photographs have appeared in numerous books, magazines, newspapers and websites.  



A note from the author....

The passing on of oral histories was the norm in days long ago, as children sat and listened to their elders speak of times gone by.  These days, everyone seems to be too busy with activities of every type to just sit and talk with one another.  Some of us don't even live near our relatives.

"We'll talk about this the next time we visit," is a statement I hear often.  But, none of us know when our time here on earth may be over and what if it is too late?  Wonderful stories and recollections may be forever lost.  I strongly urge everyone to take the time now, today, to meet up with your relatives and talk.  Look at old photographs and record the stories.

As each generation passes on, the next becomes the keeper of the memories entrusted to us.  They are like heirlooms of history, priceless antiques to be cherished.  May this book encourage you to share your family history with your loved ones. 



Order information


Soft cover book:  ISBN 978-0-9958591-0-4
5.5 x 8.5"  -  280 pages

Price  $19.99 + shipping.


Shipping rates via Canada Post

To Canadian address:  Using Lettermail
$4.70 + 0.61 (13% tax) = $5.31

To US address:  $10.30

To International address:  $20.60

Payment currently via cheque only.

Print copies may be ordered by contacting the author and sending your cheque for the price of the book plus shipping to:

44 Coledale Road
Markham, Ontario
L3R 7W9


The book will soon be available at some store locations, as well as in e-book format.



Page last updated:  March 23, 2017


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