Image used from www.gofundme.com
I am a real being brought into this world by mistake. Along the way I managed to acquire a deep understanding of what a home truly means. I guess it might have helped if there’d been ‘A once upon a time fairytale’ when in reality, I didn’t have a home. The truth, there was no belonging, not anywhere... I repeat with great sadness that we had no place to go. So if you can... come close, let me share a few dark secrets of a journey which once smouldered within a framework of tortured thoughts.
In their terrible dilemma the young couple didn’t know what to do, beat by life, and unrelenting poverty their all consuming thoughts of seeking refuge might be a good idea... In a moment of madness they use the last of their money to buy tickets so that they can return to his beloved Emerald Isle. There was a real need to seek much needed solace.
Hidden from sight, their tiny bundle is screwed up in a dirty blanket, semi-protected from icy cold wind, and freezing spray from the raging Irish Sea. The threesome, make their way on an uncertain journey towards his goal. Smoke billows above the young couple as they share one cigarette after another, and when they share alcohol too, their already confused minds decide this is the perfect thing, the only thing they can do. The new father stuffs his newborn infant further into his oversized, waterproof coat; he doesn’t want to lose this cargo, not when he’s made the right decision to protect his family. With a faraway look on his drunken face, mystically he hears panpipes of Celtic music, and remembers home... Home is where they should be. His mother was a hard soul but she would accept them, she had to.
Though the journey is long and arduous, it is nothing compared to the hysterical screams of abuse which follow as he, his new wife, and tiny baby are chased from his childhood home.
Wind and rain thrash madly about them, but equally it matches the mood of his mother.
Breathing heavy, holding her hip she chases them.
“You are not welcome; things are hard enough without another three mouths to feed” She screams.
If in that heart-stopping moment you’d held on to your breath, and listened hard enough, you would have heard the distinct sound of fractured fear in her voice.
Tears mix with rain that day, exhausted and defeated, they walk wearily back to the harbour. By the time they arrive back in England, the impact of the whole horrendous journey on their newborn baby had taken its toll, and in a flash of inspiration, the father takes his sick infant to a convent. The nuns waste no time at all; the sick child is whisked away, and admitted to the children’s hospital. Unfortunately she’s diagnosed with a list of difficulties, the most apparent one being the fact she is struggling to breathe... It takes eight months for the child to recover, and in-between that time the couple still fail to find a home; they decide on another move... But first they have to wait for the baby to be released from her magic bubble, the only home she’s ever known. Shaking his box of matches through the glass in her bubble is the only way the young father gets his little girl to smile.
The second home is a single room in a run-down Victorian house. Invasive damp, black mould, peeling wall-paper, cold, fighting, unsavoury individuals, and their ever increasing alcohol fuelled violence. Then her brother is born, which put’s further stress on the young couple. Minutes turn into hours, and hours turn into days, all of which see a definite longing in the little girl to return to her magic bubble, it had been safe, quiet, and warm with smiley faces. Her heart feels forever sad...
The couple unhappy; they struggle, and always find something insignificant to fight about. Another baby sister is born and dies. The damp, cold, smelly room is depressing and sad.
The mother cries, and the dad is always missing.
This is their life, her life... so why didn’t they see that all she wants is a warm, safe place, with a soft clean bed, and parents who understand the basic requirements of how to love, provide, and protect.
The story doesn’t finish there... because despite her young years she is often found sitting in the soulless Victorian room, which inevitably becomes someone else’s version of home. She knows, as if from a magical sense of a long-held memory, that this isn’t so. And then, god help them, another beautiful baby sister is born and dies.
By the time she is seven years old, and the powers that be take a keen interest in her family’s life, there is a change, a big shift, and along with four brothers and one sister, at long last she is gratefully removed. Her placement is dreamlike, a wonderful experience. The magic bubble she’d left all those years ago, was about to reappear, and this brought the most amazing sense of belonging. She arrived; she was home, with real people who knew how to take care of children, they knew what was important in the life of a child.
So dear reader, the outcome for this little girl was the overwhelming importance in finally arriving home, and once she was there, she found love, enveloped in warmth, and a true sense of belonging, as well as having peace, and joy in feeling safe, and secure knowing it would all be there every single day...
Home is many things to many people, but when a being is brought into the world, and has no home, the importance of getting one is paramount; even if that means having to leave your own family to acquire that very basic, fundamental need, which is normally granted to most... then, it simply has to be.