I’m racking my brains as to how the hell I can make this light-hearted, the truth is I don’t think it’s going to be. But it struck me on my way back from buying my daily paper, the “I” in case you’re curious; I like the crossword and that gives you an unnecessary window into my routine. As I just said it struck me that Charity is sandwiched between Birth and Death in my blog and indeed throughout life, which is a neat little metaphor. You’re born, to a certain extent we all need charity from time to time, and then you die.
So I’ll begin today’s post much in the same way I started Birth; We will all be there and none of us will remember it, much like birth although technically you’ve more chance of remembering your birth than your death. It’ll happen and that will be it; Nothing else ever for you, remember that.
My words yesterday described the wonderful work of NORCAP and all they did for me. There was one time when I was on the way back from a meeting at a golf club in the Cotswolds; not on the course, it wasn’t one of those types, I will never have one of those; Golf, when played is for mucking about and chat, not to shake hands over an arms deal. I received a phone call when I was on a high road over the hills so I pulled over into a gateway of a grassy field. It was here that I learnt I had a new bona fide Biodad who was into real ale, rock music and caravanning, 2 out of 3 I thought! So it was with a lightness of my head that I left this gateway, I had stood leaning against the gate whilst the wonderful charity gave me this wonderful news in the wonderful milky Cotswold sunshine, I smoked a cigarette as I took it all in and realised at that point and in that gateway that my life was in the process of changing forever. They told me I would receive a later call to give me the details of the address and phone number I think, although you’ll forgive me if the chronology of events are slightly askew, maybe one day I’ll re-write it all in some sort of order that will be accepted by the experts and continuity fascists!
A few days later I was at home, it was around 8pm, give or take and I remember was doing the crossword on the settee. The phone rang and it was my adoption mediator, my angel of unfamiliar Family information. She had some news she said but advised me to be seated as the news wasn’t of a good type. The next minutes passed as a blur, it’s a cliche I know but is completely true.
I was told that a woman, who I’d met for 10 days and then once more while I was an illegitimate boy at a Foster home during the icy month of December, was dead. I had no recollection of this woman, I had no idea what she looked like or how she sounded. Did she like real ale, rock music or caravanning? My Biomum was dead, I had that much ownership, a name I’d made up; a joke name I believed I might address her birthday cards or her mothers day cards. The rug was pulled out from under my feet and I felt I was floating, I felt numb. I reluctantly wrote that numb word as it is used by so many to describe so much, but it fits and I didn’t even feel the need to reach for a thesaurus. Numb, then cross then an overwhelming sadness that I would never meet and get to remember the woman who I was once attached to, who had given me my first blood and first food and first warmth. The vibrations of her heart rippling through the amniotic fluid to soothe my soon to be breached darkness. Squashed as I was. The muffled sounds of her voice calming my growing nerves.
This was the single most strange feeling I had ever had; I was sad but I couldn’t understand how I could cry for a woman I had never remembered. Because my journey was well underway, I had knowledge of a man I called Biodad who gave his sperm and loved the woman I called, for a short time, Biomum. I have some photos of Biomum, and wished I had met her, events took over and she died, sadly, on May 12th 2002. I’ve visited her grave once, I didn’t leave flowers; she may not have liked them.
She was called Pam, and one day when I’ve got enough space I’ll plant a tree for her; a silver birch, the Queen of the Woods.