Ms N. H-S, DOB 5/7/48

You were born on 5th July

In 1948.

The love child of a South Wales miner and a Wren

A birth at home,

the midwife on her bike got there to catch you, just in time

Briefly stuck, but all ok. The birth went well.

You told me Gradcha paid the doctors extra

not to intervene

To wait and see. The child was better than they’d thought.

Your early years were happy ones.

Affection, hugs: some teething pangs, a few tantrums, but nothing much

Except

12 dreadful weeks. A scarlet fever ward. With no parental visits.

In your mid-teens

the Pill came in

and not long after, shocked; your first abortion. Not really choice,

what else

could you have done; you were so young, so poor, so green.

Then golden years,

unnoticed then

You set up home, learned fast, worked hard, laughed, loved, conceived,

gave birth

Innumerable times,

all out-of-wedlock, more than you could raise, but still

We did all right

you managed fine

Look after the pennies, make do and mend, try harder

So we did

though looking back i don’t know quite how we coped so well

In 1988 you split with dad

You lost your stamps, your pension book. And after that, it wasn’t ever quite the same

I know

it was a forced and awkward pairing. You told me. “Not your real dad.” But he was, to me

At 49, you said,

let’s do things right,

and bring your brother home from Shenley. A family belongs together.

But it took too long.

He died in there

Its Cinderella nurses scared to tell the boss,

my brother’s fits unnoticed til it was too late.

Guilt hit

Then rebound, but affairs

Are fun to start with, flowers, meals, a Tory boy.

So when we warned you to be wary of false words, fake smiles and cash

You said

“You’re jealous, pining for the past, move on.

Bygones must be bygones”

Yet still you came

when I had the babes.

Always there. Still there for me, and for our little ones.

The midwife said she needed you.

Maybe… though Alan wasn’t good, we’d cope.

But anyway, you were still Mum

He went

Replaced by one who tried

to drive a wedge between us, to stir up rows. We’d never really fought

till now

But suddenly, we could not stop, whilst he sat back

and smiled at our dismay

Your birthday

came and went

Quite fast. A massive party, celebration of your life, such fun, so great.

It felt as if it were a wake

And then we saw your pain,

as you blew out your candles. All 65 of them

We noticed then

how thin you were, your fear.

Of him, of course, but also something more was there

We tried

To find out more, to help, but you refused. I’m fine.

Life’s fine, don’t worry, nothing’s wrong.

Your LPA

In 2012 was signed

and then enacted. Welfare, finance, he’s in charge.

Six years are gone, but still we try. we are your kids

And he is not your next of kin,

he’s not your lawful husband,

not our dad;

Not even a friend. So we will not give up

Quite yet, although it’s clear

you’re getting closer to the end.

I see you signing up for things against your will

Confused,

upset, distressed, misled, your assets sold.

In danger, harming others too. Betraying daily what you once held dear.

Your essence there, but you feel absent, gone.

Not lost. Aphasic?

or a shadow; not your normal self, Locked-in. I wonder

maybe

if we could get you back,

Or act in your best interests.

Your good name should not be trashed,

it means too much to us. And we will guard its meaning, come what may.

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