Forgiveness is my gift of liberation to myself
I was thinking, as I usually do, about my formative years. You know, those years of which you carry your earliest recollections. How deep does a Mother’s love run? For her children? I mean; I’ve read the books and I’ve seen the movies and still I’m confused. My earliest recollections of my verbal interactions with my mother date back to my pre-school years and continued until her death aged 84 years and one month. It’s funny how these little details stick with one. My parents married in 1950 and were soon told by their doctors that they’d never have children. This suited them down to the ground, especially so, my Mother. She worshipped my Father and was greatly relieved at the prospect of having him “all to herself” for time and eternity.
Things were hunky dory in their little household of two. An idyllic love nest which seemed destined to blossom without the intrusion of interlopers. Mom was as happy as a little pig in the brown stuff and Dad was making his way in the world unfettered by extra concerns and added responsibilities.Life was good and they bought a “dream house” complete with a pair of imposing gates and a horseshoe driveway all set in an acre of manicured garden. A bit indulgent but with two incomes filling the conjugal coffers they lived the life of Riley. Large homes on expansive grounds have never come cheap. And the fifties were no exception to the rule. But, dual income, childless couple with good jobs could manage their chosen lifestyle just nicely.
The following is from my best recollections of my Mother’s intermittent confessions to me. Sometimes touching, sometimes unbearable but never exaggerated. The unbridled truth lumps and all.
One day, towards the end of 1954, after four years’ of idyllic cohabitation my Mother dropped a bombshell. As she later related it to me the conversation with my Dad went something like this. “George I saw the doctor today and I have some news.”
My Father replied; “Really Dear? Are you alright? Is something wrong?”
“No darling, I’m perfectly fine. I’m just pregnant”
“Good God, woman how the hell did that happen?”
That was greeted with acerbic wit and questions as to my Dad’s knowledge of the “birds and the bees” after four years of blissful marriage. Sixty two years later and the poor man is still trying to live it down!
The net upshot of the matter was that I had announced my presence and I was quite determined to go the full distance. I was later told by my Mother the full extent to which she went to terminate her pregnancy with me. Mom jumped off of the verandah, she drank vast quantities of gin while bathing in really hot water. She pulled every old wives remedy to rid oneself of an unwanted foetus. And then she drank some more. She wasn’t going to give up her sole proprietorship on her husband without a battle of epic proportions. All to no avail. Against all odds and in the face of murderous efforts to abort me I hung in and was delivered on May 25th 1955.
The butcher of a doctor who attended my delivery was slow to notice cranial-pelvic disproportion of an alarming level. He proceeded to a “forceps delivery” which was not immediately successful. Not to be denied his scheduled knock off time he then attempted to kill me in the birth canal by plunging the forceps spoons through the fontanelle and into my brain. His plan was to then crush the skull to facilitate a more expedient delivery. I was not amused by these machinations and proceeded to pass through the birth canal with alacrity.
What a fucking welcome to the land of the living! And in my case fighting considerable odds against my survival. And to be delivered to a Mother who later told me, when I was five or six years old, that quite frankly, she didn’t want me. How does a six-year-old respond to and attempt to deal with a statement like that?
Thanks for calling by. And thanks for reading. Heavy subject matter but my truth must out as it’s been eating at me like an acid for nearly sixty years. This is, I hope and pray, my catharsis. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for bearing with me in my journey. More of my story next time. Blessings be upon you and yours. 😉
March 26/27 2017 © Peter Mark Wells-Garnett