A CRUEL TWIST OF FATE

At the vulnerable age of three and whilst living in Remark, South Australia, my Father coerced my Mother to send me to live with her Mother who lived in Wellington, New South Wales for two years. Additionally my Mother was forced to leave Remark and my Father also to live and work in Adelaide, thus causing considerable hurt and significant dysfunction and trauma to both my Mother and myself.

My Grandmother lived a short distance from a railway bridge that passed over a small river.

I recall the long lush rushes gently swaying in the summer breeze and rustling in the autumn winds. I did not dare venture near the river during the winter months, it was too cold and bitter to go down to the river; too dangerous to.

I recall the kookaburra that would fly down from the highest branch of the huge grey silvery striped barked gum tree in my Grandmother’s big back yard and eat stale bread crumbs and wriggly worms out of the palm of my hand.

I miss my Mother.

I recall sitting on the petrol tank of Uncle Glenn’s motor bike and going for rides with him; the exhaust barking all the while and upsetting the neighborhood dogs.

I recall, on a warm sunny day, standing on the cross bar of Uncle Jack’s push bike while Aunty Nola rode along side as we journeyed to the river for a swim in its cool clear water. May be we would catch some tadpoles today, just maybe!

I miss my Mother.

I recall stealing chunks of ice from the back of the ice truck while the ice man was delivering the ice to our next door neighbor, stuffing them down the bib of my bib and brace overalls my partner in crime likewise, then scurry back to my Grandmother’s front verandah sitting in the far corner sucking and crunching on our spoils; getting soaking wet, teeth chattering all the while, but thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The ice man comes out of our next door neighbor’s place and starts walking toward my Grandmother’s verandah. My startled heart begins to beat faster; is he going to stop and rouse at us; my heart is really beating faster now; is he going to tell my grandmother; my heart begins to beat faster and faster the closer he gets; it is really racing now and I become frightened. He keeps on walking by to his truck; past me and my partner in crime back to his truck for his next delivery, his eyes smiling at us, his ice clamp bouncing upon his shoulder. He gets into his truck, starts the engine and drives off. Will we pluck up enough bravado to steal another chunk of ice tomorrow, perhaps even a bigger chunk? Tomorrow comes; me and my partner in crime are sitting in the far corner of my Grandmother’s verandah sucking and crunching on our spoils. The ice man comes out of our next door neighbor’s house.

I recall seeing a plane fly so low overhead that I could reach up and touch it! Yes really and truly it was so low that I could nearly touch it, really, cross my heart, I could nearly touch!

I miss my Mother.

I try to recall …….. my memory dims!

I try to recall ……… my memory fades!

I miss my Mother.

I hurt, I ached, I cried, I cried and I cried and I cried some more. Some nights I cried myself to sleep. On other nights my Grandmother would hear my cries, come and comfort me, stroking my forehead or cuddling me to her bosom while rocking me on her lap until I fell asleep. She then tucked me into bed and I snuggled down beneath the cosy fluffy blankets ........... and the sand man came!

My Mother only told me recently why my Father did what he did and I find the circumstances too cruel to divulge why he would commit such an inhumane act.