Christmas Memories .

Here we are, already 5th December and the time is closing in fast. Shops are crowded with people dashing from place to place. Christmas music rings out in stores and restaurants, sometimes outside in the streets. A time of happiness or at least is supposed to be? For myself it’s a mixed bag, I do enjoy the season with family exchanging gifts, eating too much etc. However, it also brings back memories of very unhappy times. Of my childhood growing up without my parents without my brothers and sisters. Strangely the war years were not unhappy, we had nothing material but we shared it anyway. Christmas was special, a time to forget the hardships of war and the shortages of everything. If I was fortunate enough to get a toy, it was home made, usually by a neighbour.. My unhappy memories began at the Wars end. I lived across England during the war with my elder sister. She was married to a British sailor, and we moved often to be near his home port. After the war her son was born and her husband was home having left the navy. From around 1948 my life took on a more boarder/lodger type of existence. I was often angry and unhappy, never feeling a part of their family. As I grew older I came to understand Lily wasn’t my mother but my sister. Nevertheless ,it was never allowed to be discussed, she was my Mum and that was that. I hated that I had to use her married surname of Cook, I wanted to return home to my real family. It all came to a head at Christmas 1951, the day started out quite pleasantly but quickly turned sour when I was ordered to my room. My crime was refusing to eat marzipan, I didn’t like the taste. Lily insisted I eat it or be sent to my room for the rest of the day. You can probably guess, I spent Christmas Day alone in my cold bedroom. It was the start of my rebellion of refusing to be bullied, of demanding I be sent home to Belfast. Perhaps I will post the whole story in a later blog. God Bless and keep reading.

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
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