I am asking myself should I also mark my son as an ex family member? It is nearly 11 years since this man decided he no longer wanted any contact with me or any of the family including his own father, his sister and her family not to mention his step-father of whom he was always very fond.
None of us really have any idea why this happened of, if they do, they are not telling. Suffice to say I can only tell the story of my son from his birth until he was about 44/45 years of age.
He was born in September of 1955 and once again this baby was 4 weeks premature. Unlike his sister he had some respiratory problems so was kept in a humicrib for the first few days of his life. He was a plump baby at birth but apparently had fluid in his body caused by me suffering from what is now called pre-eclampsia....high blood pressure and severe fluid retention. He lost 5 ounces of weight during the first week so when I took him home when he was 10 days old he looked a little like a skinned rabbit.
He was a good baby and slept well with no problems of colic or the kind which was pleasing but he was a terribly shy baby and this shyness carried on well into his childhood. I think he was what one would call a 'mother's boy' who clung to me in any situation that frightened him. I remember when he was a toddler visiting a friend who lived close by and as we arrived at her front gate her mother-in-law was just coming out the front door. Now Steve would normally have been quite happy to go in that gate as we'd visited numerous times but when he saw a strange woman coming out he just lost it and screamed and screamed. He was terrified and it was not until she had gone that he would venture into that garden, let alone the house. I remember my mum telling me I was also shy but never to that extent.
School was another hurdle that we had to get over as he developed tummy pains which were to all intents and purposes quite real. I took him to my GP who suggested seeing a child psychologist at PMH (the children's hospital). The psychologist asked that Steve's father attend the next time but he refused as he said "no shrink is going to tell me what to do." Great help he was!! This doctor was very understanding and we devised methods of making it easier for Steve to accept school much better than before. He did quite well with his lessons and had several friends but not as many as his sister had had when in primary school.
Even at age 12 he was still terribly shy so another trip to see a psychologist and fortunately this time his step-father came with us and was very helpful. It was decided that joining the Boy Scouts would do Steve good so we arranged with the chap that ran the local Scout troop that he should join them. MOH (his step-father) drove up to the hall on the first night but Steve wouldn't get out of the car. MOH got him out without harming him and then in a fireman's lift took him through the front door of the hall saying "Here's a new member of your Scout troop." It was one of the best things we could have done as from then on Steve seemed to be able to stand on his own two feet much better than previously. In later years he told his wife that "If it wasn't for P..... I wouldn't be who I am today." (He admired his step-father and they always got on quite well.) I find it a great pity that thought didn't stay with him in later life.
Steve had many good jobs and was always eager to learn more to help him with his career. Quite honestly I don't know what he is doing now but I believe he has quite a good position. He and his wife have built a couple of new homes and where they are now is a beautiful home on 5 acres which sadly is only several kilometres from where we live. We have not seen either Steve, his wife or his two children for close to 11 years which is a huge loss to me. My grandchildren were at school when I last saw them but are now in their 20s and I'm not sure I'd even recognise them if I met them.
I could say a lot more than I have about how helpful he was at times and that sort of thing. We have a substantial pergola at the front of the house that he built and a smaller one at the back. He seemed capable of putting his hand to anything and I'll always be grateful for the things he did for us.