Of course I wouldn’t remember what I was up too in the first year of life … so I’ve worked with the stories I remember being told.
My Grandfather was a constant … the Love of My tiny little life x
What I’ve also learnt since the original writing of this, was I was a happy baby … a happy child. Now thats a nice thought ay xo
I’m not sure what time I was born, I must ask…but I arrived mid year, 1972. From what I remember being told, I was late…are we surprised? No! lol
I was born into a climate of change….revolution I guess. From what I can gather, this was the era that Maori were reinstating their rights and making a shit load of noise to be heard…their protests and cries changed history. My mother was part of this. Again…am I really surprised I am like I am then?
At home, once again from what I’ve been told, my mother was ‘sad’…she was married to my father, but not in a happily married sense. My father was mean to her. Which is a nice way to put it…he said he was cruel to her…she never really said anything. Just that she wasn’t happy with him.
She wasn’t happy at all though. She had glimmers of it, but not much. She said she thought about ending her life before I was born, but she didn’t because I was in her womb. I think that was supposed to be consolation at the time. I don’t know that I took it that way initially. It just made sense. My own sense of aloneness and unwantedness, made sense. I didn’t belong. I wasn’t looked forward too. Or so it seemed. It left a wound.
My mother left my father when I was about 7-9 months old I think. Grandad came and got her and me, and took us back to their place. I loved my Grandad :). Apparently, my father told me this, my Grandad decked my father when he came to see us at their home. Apparently it was the only response Grandad ever had to my father. My father didn’t come back. I don’t remember missing him. I don’t ever remember him till later on in life. So he was neither remembered of missed.
I think we lived with my Grandparents for a while. I love my Grandparents…I was a good baby….my Nan wanted me to stay with her and Grandad. But I didn’t, not all the time.
This is what I’ve been told. It feels about right…and of course I don’t recollect this period…but it feels right.
It’s so easy to remember what’s seared into the memory, the things that you’ve been told…the hard wired fear.
It’s not so easy to recollect the good things when they seem to be swamped with the negative. My life has always seemed a negative.
But, after finishing last night, I remembered other things id been told.
Both my Grandparents adored me….I was the first moko for my father’s side, from my father; his first child. I was named after my paternal Grandmother. They were from the east coast; Maori speaking, and a huge family. Indigenous peoples.
My paternal Grandfather, said to be a violent man, had died before I was born. Turns out he was also in WW1 and died upon return. My father was his name sake.
My maternal Grandparents were hearty old schoolers. 5 am start, garden, breakfast, washing out before 7am, in and folded before 10am. Lunch at 12, afternoon tea and 3, dinner at 5, the news at 6, bed at 830pm. Hard working, they both ran their own businesses; Nan a self-taught hairdresser, and Grandad a builder by trade after returning from WW2. They were healthy, not always happy, but healthy and strong. They were solid people, reliable people, giving and loving people.
My mother was the second of three live children. The only female. She was apparently quiet, reserved, pleasant and sweet. Super talented introvert.
Her older brother was outgoing, loud, a fighter and a lover. He was passionate. He was an alcoholic also. I remember his love and roar. A drummer, singer…super talented introvert disguised as an extrovert.
My mothers younger brother was an asshole. A sickly child and a tortured soul. He turned into a sick man.
My maternal Grandfather was indigenous, his family coming from the river. His was the era though, that being ‘white’ was encouraged. The native tongue was discouraged. His father was Scottish. And I think it was his father’s father who was French-Canadian; id have to double-check that though.
My maternal Grandmother was from a small town up the west coast, her parents immigrants from England I think. Her father was Irish or Scottish I think. I strong stroppy woman who had had her fair share of shit to deal with. She recounted stories of being treated unfairly, being unloved. But I think these were some of her darker times.
So I was born into a climate of depression, separation and anxiety. But I was also born into a climate of innovation, entrepreneurship, survival, hope, strength, talent, music and love. I came with deep indigenous roots, a soul that searched for meaning and justice. A multi layered, faceted and cultured heritage.
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