Who hears the cry of the child within and does not feel their pain. Does not feel their loneliness? Who hears the cry of the child within and does not sense their abandonment. Does not feel their longing for tenderness, understanding?
Little David, It seems very strange, to be writing to you, who are really me, and the fact that you are all of fourteen years old today and the year is 1957! In my place I am 72 years old today and the year is 2014.
I have been waiting to write this letter to you for many years; waiting because you needed to be a little older before you would understand what I am saying in these few lines.
I’ll begin by explaining how it can be, that two people, who are really one, are able to write and receive a letter – after a period of 57 years of time past!
Some years ago I began to think of you and how life was back in 1949, when you were only seven years old. You were a bright little berry, the eldest of four sons’. Fair haired with blue eyes, you were a nice looking boy. Probably a little on the skinny side though; but then you were a war time baby and your diet was not really what it could have been.
Daddy was back from the war, only a few years now after he had been flying those great big aeroplanes – flying boats they were called. Yes, I remember you actually named the aeroplane he commanded – ‘My Lucky Star’, because, as a three-year-old, for some reason you could not say, ’Loadstar’ which was the original name.
But back to how I was able to write to you. It started like this: I felt a great urge to go back into my past, because I had recalled very sad and sometimes frightening things that happened to you back then. More than anything, I wanted to forget those things, but I did not know how it could be done – forgetting one’s past that is.
Like remembering how Mommy would drink that horrible stuff in the brown bottle that made her go all funny and then she would sick it up in the toilet outside. I see you there now, sitting outside the toilet, crying and begging her to come out of the toilet and give you supper. It’s true that you are hungry and want your supper, but even more than that, you are very afraid that something terrible would happen to her in that little outside room; then what would you do without your Mommy?
I remember ‘Momma’, your Grandmother, arriving to look after all of you and help your Mommy to get better and stop drinking that horrible stuff in the brown bottle. Momma, who loved us all so much, came to look after Mommy and you four boys. I’m sure she came because you asked God for help, do you remember? Momma always cooked such tasty food, tucked us up in bed and kissed us good night after we said our prayers, “Gentle Jesus meek and mild, please help this little child”. I bet you are enjoying her scones, with butter and Jam, dunked in steaming condensed milk coffee; Sipping it out of Daddy’s big air force mug. You loved your Daddy, didn’t you, even though he was always so fierce and fought with Mommy every night when he came home.
Oh, I’ve wandered off again; let’s get back to how I got to write this letter. I found the house that you used to live in, because, strangely enough, I remembered the address – 21 years later! Stranger still was the fact that the house was there, unchanged from when you had last lived in it. I would love to have gone inside, but quite honestly, I didn’t have the courage to go and knock on the front door, after all, what would I say when they opened the door, “Please, may I look inside your house; I used to stay her once……”
So I just sat outside in my car and cried – great big tears that I could not control as they gushed out of my eyes. There was a huge pain inside of me, as I cried for you, wishing I could run through the gate, lift you up from outside the toilet and take you into my arms. Tell you that it will all turn out alright and it won’t be long before your Mommy will be well again.
Then, to my surprise there was a tapping on my car window – it was Momma! How could this be? I knew she was dead, from ten years back, and although she appeared as old, she somehow looked younger than I remembered her. I wound the window down, “David” she said, in her soft, almost musical voice, “why are you crying?” “I..I..I’m so sad” I choked through my tears. “It’s little David, he’s crying for Mommy outside the toilet. I want to lift him into my arms, but I can’t reach him Momma”. “I know.” She replied, very softly, “But you can write him a letter”. “A letter”? I exclaimed, quite shocked. “Where will I send it; to what address?” I cried out desperately. It was as if she was pondering on my question, smiling as she did so and then……she vanished.
I jumped out the car, crying out her name whilst running around the car. I leaned against the door shaking and mopping my now sweating brow.
I turned to see if I had anyone was looking, but thankfully there was no one and so I drove off.
For a good while I thought about what had happened, but never told anyone about that day. I also forgot about what Momma had suggested. That is, until today, fifty seven years later.
As I sit here, writing to you, I feel as if, to you, I am a mystic; you know, like a fortune teller, knowing your past as well as your future, that’s quite something for me to experience!
I know that you remember the day that Daddy left home as usual and then never came back that night. Momma told us that he had gone to another country to be a miner and was not coming back. You thought he ran away because he was angry with you, or because Mommy was always drinking that horrible stuff in the brown bottle.
How you cried into your pillow that night and asked ‘Gentle Jesus’ to please bring your Daddy back.
To be continued next week – look out for it…..
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