@ 16, walking home from the ‘dance’, just like you had done a tonne of times before.
& as you stroll down the road reminiscing on the events of the evening, the thrill of freedom that comes with dancing and singing, the rhythm & flow of the music ..
& you feel something hurting your head & then nothing.
you wake later, when its darker .. & you are bleeding. you feel woozy but cant recollect anything. youre sore all over. particularly around the genital area.
you get home & are told off for being late .. way too late .. reprimanded for the possibility of being ‘loose’ …
anyway, time goes by .. your aches & pains dissipate & then, your belly starts to swell. you periods have stopped & your mother is telling you you are getting fatter …
& you are sent away with your swollen belly.
cos girls like you aren’t welcome here ..
neither are your babies.
you have your baby.
& it is taken from you and adopted out .. well, given away.
post war .. you meet a man .. you are married .. you become pregnant.
you are happy and content & full of life .. this is a second chance .. to love ..
& when he is born ..
he isn’t breathing.
you cry ..
& cry silently.
on & on.
cos this is not the time for tears. this is no time to cry over spilt milk ..
time passes & you become pregnant again .. this time he is a healthy baby boy .. a beautiful bundle of love.
you sing to him, dance with him, love him fully & completely.
then another pregnancy & again, youre filled with joy .. another child, another chance to give all the love that you have.
she is born and she is just as beautiful as you had imagined .. you dance and sing her songs .. rock her and cradle her .. love her to bits.
& then life happens, as it does .. in between all of that beauty .. & you have moments of immense sadness & grief ..
you become pregnant again .. filled with the joy a mother feels when she desperately wants babies ..
& then she is born.
& shes not breathing.
another. not breathing.
you cry. deep deep tears. the tears & grief that a mama feels when her babies are hurt, but this feels empty.
they take her. & bury her.
you dont speak of her again.
then, life. life continues.
the ups & the downs.
& you become pregnant again .. he is sick but he lives, & this is your last chance. so you love like no other.
then life. life continues.
& your living children dont love you like you thought they would.
your first grandbaby is adopted out.
& lifes heartbreak seems to be repeating itself.
but their are more grandchildren coming & life keeps going.
as do you.
you have so much love to give.
& with each heartbreak, you rise & continue to love.
and then ..
your first living son .. takes his own life.
& the world stands still.
well, it does for you.
you can feel your heart cracking & breaking & the blood flowing where only tears once flowed.
how do you mend?
how on earth do you mend.
so very slowly.
how do you keep on loving anything ??
i dont know .. but you did.
This is my Nans story. well part of it.
today i remember her & all her babies & all the never ending love she managed to give us all.
Love You Nan xx