Thursday, 28 November 2019
A beautiful flight above the clouds as the sun begins to go down.
We are entranced by this, my aunt totally absorbed in feelings, meanings
I had gone south to see my son perform one of his mentalist/comedy magic shows. Having cancer has severely curtailed his work and activities, but after over a year of operations, chemo, and general unwellness, he has started to feel some energy again and determines to get back to his loved work as a magician, performing, and to continue to do so despite pain and tiredness to do so as long as his body will let him.
We don't know how long he has, but he refuses to live that, although he feels it hanging over him all the time.
On stage he becomes a true performer and a wonder with his audiences, he really comes out of himself, and says he feels at home there. Something we share, although I no longer perform and have not done so for many years, it is something that doesn't leave you.
And neither has his existence ever left my consciousness for the 45 years that I had no idea where he was or if he was still alive, having been adopted when he was a baby.
I came across something the other day which was an article about psychological effects on the birth mother of having one's baby adopted. I was a bit blown away actually, you never think about that for yourself, you just think about it for your child - is he ok, did i do right by him, has he been told, how does he feel...
But you - you just get on with life as best you can. You avoid babies and children as much as you can without it looking odd, without doing anything you have to apologise for or explain about. You hide the knife in your guts when your sibling has your parents's 'first' grandchild, and say what a lovely photo, and hide the subsequent knives every time a sibling, cousin, friend become pregnant, have babies.
And when they grow up through their growing stages through birthdays and christmases, their graduations, loves, their own children, the knives are still there.
You live with it in silence. Because it is impossible to expect others to understand, the guilt, the pain, the loss.
And then i read this article which seemed to explain it all, and it felt as if it was all allowed all along, and that there had been counselling for birth mothers in recent times when they gave their baby up! I'm glad, i'm glad for them because otherwise you just go numb, and can't function, don't even know you aren't functioning, smoking dope all day.
You can get out of the dope habit or at least i eventually did. Maybe i am lucky i don't seem to be an addictive person, but it must be hell if you are one.
And now my son and I have been in touch, he found me 5 years ago!
And we found we had such a lot in common that we thought the nature nurture argument was sorted with nature winning!!
I am so bloody proud of him. He has done life a fairly hard way - but all his own way - putting himself through all kinds of experiences and survived whole and kind and caring and special.
But he now has cancer and it is terminal.
And i am not sure how to be a mother. Or a grandmother to his two fab girls, 9 and 12 this year. They have now been told, and i can't even imagine how they all cope. But there is a lovely partner to my son now - they got together before the diagnosis, moved in together, love each other madly, and then a year later the diagnosis. But the girls love her too and she is there, taking care and trying her best to cope. And I bless her for being there and thank heaven for their finding each other.
I want to write to my granddaughters but having decided that i now realise i have no idea what to say. I think perhaps i just have to begin. We have all met each other a few times, when I go south my son always makes sure they are there for a few of hours, and I feel I am just beginning to get to know them, but will I ever be able to be a proper gran, what will happen, how do i do this.
All unanswerable questions just now. The questions go round and round, the thoughts, the worries and sadness. Doing my best to keep positive. live day by day, be normal. Back in Scotland.
A beautiful flight above the clouds as the sun begins to go down. a day out at the Anthony Gormley show at the R...