Yesterday was my birthday and today is the anniversary of my going into care at the National Children’s home Harpenden UK.
22 February is a day of mixed feelings and unless I am in a relationship I tend to forget this day. It is always odd because it is the day my Mother was separated from me. Most often I have said I was separated from her but in respect of how it must have been for her. It isn’t really a day of celebration. Though my friend Dawn always made it a good day
My Mother had succumbed to the dreaded disease of the working class Consumption also known as Pulmonary (right now I am not sure this is spelt correctly) Tuberculosis of the Lungs. This can be a killer on its own and the birth to me nearly did. Due to the situation and the health of us both I was named by the hospital staff. My first name David was given by a Welsh Staff Nurse my second Ewan by a registered Scottish Nurse. I got them in rank order 🙂
I confess I have never liked David that much and my closest friends would always call me Ewan (Little Warrior in English ..I show off 🙂 I later adopted Davie as it represented more my passion for my Country Scotland Oh well you get that it was also my football name and boxing name.
My Mother told me years later about the day of the separation She was not able to hold me due to the infection of the TB and the closest I came to her that day was being held upside down the other side of a glass screen. Apparently babies with a condition like me were often held (hung)in this way to help clear the lungs of fluid.
How hard must that have been for her?
I was also told that this bear “Teddy” played a big part in encouraging me to live especially when I was hospitalised with hooping cough for 6 weeks in my second or third year. I have to check the records as I can’t recall right now. However “Teddy” is clothed in one of my ‘Home’ uniforms.
REAL MEN LOVE THEIR TEDDY BEARS
Let me say this ….real me love Teddy Bears…real tough men love them even more 🙂
I only recovered him in 2004.
He had been in the custody of my Mother and half brother. I carried him all the way back from the UK sometimes on my lap on the plane. I sure people thought I was quite barmy but when I told them the story he became quite the celebrity.
Australian Customs allowed him through so I was very lucky as he is still stuffed with straw.
Now at this point to emphasise just how selfish people can be and you may find this curious…my partner of then aka on twitter ‘curiously minty’ aka AmandaGreenaus aka anyresemblance aka ruthless who I have previously mentioned
but not by name said that we didn’t have enough room to put him on display!
The reason “Clutter”
Those of you who know the house in Manuka/Griffith will find this unbelievable.
WHY I AM PRO CHOICE ….let women decide
As a result of my early child experience and what it could have meant for my mother and any woman faced with similar conditions and circumstances I have intellectually come to the realisation that I am pro-choice for women and planned birthing!
My birth nearly killed her. The circumstances were from a health, socio economic and existing family perspective not good for a completed pregnancy.
With out doubt I believe I would have arrived on this earth one way or another.
I have had a great life …sure its had its challenges and probably the worst experience of my whole life was August last year (you can catch this in “my about” page and in my first posting here)…
However I have a great number of friends. I have had a richness of life experiences that I have been blessed with. Many [friends] are often left open mouthed about. I have had great times and like us all…. some not so great times.
Most of all I have a lovely son who for nine years I was the primary carer for. I hope he understands why I believe in pro-choice in the context of my Mothers experience.
LOOK OUT FOR OTHERS
I had a wonderful house-mother and the children in my children’s home family I guess imbued me with the spirit of looking out for the community.
This last point is very important as it isn’t something we are born with I believe. The older children always looked after the young ones and as I have read in the children’s home records I was the first baby taken into the NCH, So they all looked out for me. My mother was to spend the next 5 years in hospital at a sanatorium. While she was alive I never thought about how all this must have been for her.
My mother was constantly in and out of hospital which meant from the time I left harpenden Children’s home I was in and out of Foster homes. The challenge has always been from the time I left Harpeden is there I was leaving the home I knew to beging the journey to my new home. I have never arrived
RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
I am especially concerned about the rights of the child and I believe not enough attention is paid to children who are phisically brutalised within families. and those who are abused by being allowed to become obese by their irresponsible parents.
My Father was the first person to knock me unconscious when I was just 13 and my brother the first to break my nose. By the age of 15/16 neither came onto me physically again. Such was the pressure of families under strain.
This is the letter my Father wrote when appealing for me to be taken into care. I was just 1 year old and it came after a period of fostering and being with a variety of neighbours.
What a gallant man how hard must that have been for him He had my mother in Hospital and was looking after 2 children from my mothers previous marriage . Their Father had fought in the Spanish Civil War and he too had died of TB. My brother and sister had their deprivations too.
Each in their own way went without…. My brother overcame a litany of illness and my Sister was the glue that held me together when things were not so good at home for me
This is why I am Pro choice.
It is a woman’s right to choose
This my Father and Mother on their wedding day
Thanks Mother XX
When I left the home it was a little car like this an Austin 7 that I was collected in for the journey from the home I knew ……to my new home.
As I wrote before I am not sure I have ever arrived .
FINALLY GOING HOME:
In April 2007 I was asked [written to]and promised by “Amanda Green ” aka ‘curiously minty’ to come “home to me” [her] .
MY BIRTHDAY TODAY:
I will post here later some pictures of my gifts and I forgot to tell you that friends in Sydney quite out of the blue produced out of the blue a birthday Gateaux and surprise gathering. WOW
I must also confess that though I gave the recipe for Queen Mary Tea I actually didn’t have any at the time and in fact my supply was only replenished as a birthday gift yesterday…how sweet was that?
This was an unplanned posting and so back to the schedule previously mentioned. I am now thinking about a Facebook page
“Real Men do Love their Teddy Bears” 🙂
” Will you join me there if I do ” ?