MY EARLY CHILDHOOD
I am now in my ninety-first year and looking back over my life; I’ve had many experiences, good and bad, hilarious and sad.
I was the second child of my parents’ four children – each born twelve months apart. When my sister was born, I was sent, as a one-year-old, to live with my God-mother and her three sisters in Sydney, as my mother was not well enough to care for three babies.
My very first childhood recollections are living with those four wonderful ladies. They were very close friends of my Mother’s. The six years that followed were the happiest years of my childhood.
My Godmother, Aunty Hope, worked at Farmers Department store on George Street in the city. Aunty Bet was an accountant and worked for a firm at Mascot, and Aunty Heather had a studio in the city in Martin Place, where she taught elocution, speech training and dramatic art. My favourite was Aunty Norma who looked after the home. She was a wonderful cook and was like a mother to me.
I grew up in a loving environment. I was happy and felt secure, and at the age of six, I started school. I believe those early years gave me the solid foundations that are so important to every child’s future and I look back on that time with love and gratitude.
Returning to my parents’ home was a huge adjustment for a seven-year-old. Moving to a place I didn’t know, to people I didn’t know, I suppose, is why, for some time, I felt that I ‘didn’t belong’ – that I was an outsider and that I wasn’t really part of this family. I feel it must have been difficult for my Mother and my siblings too, as I hadn’t been a part of their lives for those early years either.
But we all need to count our blessings, and I think we do that best and more often in our later years. When we are younger, we are too busy living; learning from our experiences and making the best of our different situations.
Today, I am blessed to be the mother of two wonderful daughters who grew into loving, caring, thoughtful young women, and two awesome grandsons. They have all given me great joy and looking back on their achievements fills me with much pride and love.
When I count my blessings, I am rich beyond measure.