Wednesday, June 30, 2010


                                                         For all who feel ...

Even as a caterpillar, when coming to an end of a blade of grass, reaches out to another blade of grass and draws itself over to it, in the same way the Soul, leaving the body and unwisdom behind, reaches out to another body and draws itself over to it.

   The First Rejection

It was raining heavily with some biting cold sleet mixed  into it just for good measure on that gray winter Irish October Sunday morning when and after agonising days of thinking about it Maureen Roe took the noon city train to visit her parents in the small sea-side-resort-village on the coast. Before she was married she made this journey many times to a job she had for a couple of years now in the civil service in the city. She went straight from secondary school  into this good paying  job that any young woman starting off a working career were trying their damnedest to get into. The country was on the 'up' and it needed an intelligent workforce to 'back it'. The then government was going to 'drag' the country by the neck into the 'real world'. The civil service was the place to be if you wanted to be 'involved' in the making of the  new country. It gave the promise of the  secuirty of having a job for life and a pension at retirement.  At this time men dominated the work force but for the young career minded woman the civil service was the place and Maureen Roe was on the move up, she had a future and she believed in the future .... and then she got pregnant. It was not planned.

The journey from the city takes under an hour along the coast line looking out to the cold gray-blue Irish Sea.  The railway system was at it's best now because people used and depended on the trains ... if you owned a car it was a sign you too were in good 'shape' financially and were on the move.  The train pulled into the small  light gray coloured granite station on the coast ... and on time. Familiar faces were now around her, it was where she grew up, nodding to her with smiles and some hinting on the smile across their faces knowing she was back to visit her parents. It was a small community of people living in the sea-side-resort-village that boasted off it's fine golf course and long clean white sand beaches.  By the time she got back on the return train to the city most of the villagers would have known she was there. As Maureen Roe walked in the rain that could sting over the small hump-back bridge made from the same stone as the railway station and that crossed over the railway line she could see her parents house all of the time and it's light blue front door standing out like a welcome beacon she takes in a deep breath  of sea air realising how much she really missed this place she grew up in and thought she would never get out off.  A small single storey cottage with pebble dashed walls and tiled apex roof ... what was called a labours-cottage, facing a decent green area with the dark green painted water hand-pump that supplied the surrounding cottages with their water for all of their needs. There was no running water or bathroom inside the small cottages where large families were brought-up in cramped space of two bedrooms and like most of the inhabitants turned one of the rooms in the front of the house to make a third bedroom. living space was tight and hard for the women who raised families of up to ten. Water was carried from the outside pump several times in the day depending on the demand in galvanised buckets.  The pump freezed up in the winter months and that brought it's own problems for the inhabitions but this  was solved by each house having their own large out-door water barrels that would collect rain water from down pipes running off the roof of the cottage and when winter came it was just a matter of braking the ice on the top of the barrel and fishing your bucket in to bring out the water. The toilet was housed in a small out-house that needed to be emptied by hand several times during the week and deposited into a dug-out pit at the bottom of a very long garden which all of the cottages had  where vegetables were grown to supply each cottage it's own basic needs and all cottages kept their own hens and some even kept pigs and a cow for milking. It was a time when men did a days work if they could get it on the large local farms that supplied the city with it's vegetables and local fruits when in season before the imported stuff got a hold on  the market and came home to to do a few hours in the garden before nightfall and then most went to the  pub .. there was always money for stout. 
Now standing on the concrete step with it's mat for wiping your shoes before entering at the light blue front door with the key in the lock ...  Maureen  was feeling  nervous. The front door was never locked, it was a time when people just 'knocked' and walked in announcing themselves,  a time when during the summer months the front door was left open all day and only locked at night.
Her mother was not expecting her, they had no phone, none of the houses had land-line phones and communication was by letter or passed by word-of-mouth. For Maureen to be standing in the small kitchen with it's cream coloured walls and it's deep farmhouse-sink where many a child was bathed and all other washing facilities of the cottage was carried out in on a Sunday without her new husband, her mother felt something was wrong and reached for the green pack of  'Major' and another cup of strong tea, one of many for the day ... 'Major' and tea, the 'poor' woman's Valium. Maureen came straight out with it and told her mother she was pregnant after a couple of months of marriage. She was happy with the good news and it would be her third grandchild whom she had more time for then maybe she had for her own children because she hadn't the worry of feeding and caring for them ... but she also could see Maureen was not happy with her new situation in life, and the rest of the day was spent with cups of tea and in mother counselling daughter who did not want to  give up her independence and career. Maureen's mother was a strong willed woman who had seen enough troubled times in her own life what with practically rearing her own family on her own for her husband who worked on the railways was gone for all of the day and when his working day was finished he liked his stout. His time was spent in the company of hard men working on railway lines. From a days work to the pub then to the garden and maybe back to the pub for the last 'one', this was the routine through out their life and the life Maureen was brought up in. Her father was a hard man by the life he lead but would soften to a 'gentle giant' in old age and the past was not spoken about, not even between themselves.
Maureen's mother stood at the light blue front door, her eyes misting up watching her daughter walking back towards the train station to catch the 5:30 back to the city. Daughter turned and looked back at her mother with tears in her eyes, and the fetus in side her body knew it was rejected. It was the 'first rejection' and many more were to come as reminders of the first rejection through out the child's  life and into adulthood.  If a woman could abort her baby by 'thought'  Maureen was doing it and did so till the bitter end. This child was not in her 'plan-of-plans'.  It was not wanted .... not wanted.

  Many Rejections To follow

Simon was born on a hot July night at 2:30am. It was a long and difficult labour for mother and son and Simon so much so that he will be reminded of the 'details' of the birth in graphic detail from a young age right into adulthood even when he himself will be married and when ever his mother got the chance, regardless of who was listening,  she would remind him of the 'trouble' he was and pain he gave her when he was being delivered into this world. 
When Simon finally decided to give up the 'fight' and come 'out' there were some problems and he was placed in an incubator for two days. It was a breech-birth and there was another problem too, his small ears had not opened up. They were like two small pink rose buds waiting to open but only when the time was right for him.  As mysteriously as they were closed they began to open. It was four months before they finally did open and just as well for Simon, because the doctors were advising his parents on an operation to open them for they feared that if  it was left to late it could affect his hearing in the future and besides the skin could graft together. It was not a physical problem that his ears had not opened up but Simon's way of protecting himself in the womb from not hearing the 'words of rejection' of his mother. Simon would not take to the milk of his mother at first but his survival instinct 'kicked in'  if he was going to live but the taste of her milk just added to what he already knew when he was inside her womb, that he was not wanted. The milk was already sour to his sensitive taste  but  the 'harm' was already done,  imprinted like some code into his conscious and subconscious mind for his entire life time, so much so that he would find it very difficult to be in the some room as her without him feeling sick or nausea.
Simon did not speak his first words until he was after two years old and it was already assumed from this that he would be a 'slow leaner' but something he did learn very fast at this time and it would stand to him for the rest of his life from watching his mother was ... 'body-language'.  By the time Simon was one and a half  years old he had a brother and four more siblings were to follow over the space of eight years. He knew from a younger age that favouritism was given to the others and that he was to become the 'punch bag' for his mother both physical and mentally. His father worked long and hard hours in the printing industry. Then got his brake and opened his own business specialising in printing 'bill-boards' and had the new market to himself for many years. The hours were long and hard and extra-so due to the smell of print fumes on the 'print floor' and the noise from the print presses was another problem, but it was the time when industry safety was not in the workers and employers agenda.  Over the years working conditions did improve for the employees but back then people did  die due to their working environment.  Simon's father, who felt he was already doing his part for his family by keeping a roof over their heads and giving them a yearly family holiday in some beach resort in the country that he, and just like Maureen's father before him, left the rearing of children  to his wife.  He was doing his part by providing a good home in a safe district on the out-skirts of the city but was 'blind' in being a 'father' to his children and came later in life to realize it but was too late now in  life to undo what was already done.
Simon, as a child would seek the 'comfort' of his father, when he was at home but who was not there when he went to bed and was not there when he woke up. It was not a relationship where father and son shared 'thoughts' but his father had a 'closeness' for Simon but this 'closeness' would reverse later in both of their lives and would always be coming from Simon till and after the day his father died.
Simon attended a government national school which was over crowded and stressful for the teachers to teach in, in that if you could not keep up you got left behind and Simon got left behind. He left that school with no papers to his credit to show for his seven years there. He failed the National exam and was barley able to read, but he had other talents to his credit. He was good at drawing and a keen eye for color, but these were not provided for in the school curriculum and were not encourage or given any amount of praise by his mother. When he had shown her something he had drawn her remark was that he had 'traced' it from some book. Simon was use to her put-downs of him but he was trying to win her affections and only gave up trying  later on in his life. Simon entered vocational school at the age of twelve ... a school were along with the basic school subjects you got the basic training for a trade. On the first day of enrollment the classes were assigned to each pupil on their National exam results from their previous school. Simon was assigned to the bottom level in all classes. Simon being shy and with-drawn and as regarding his 'safety' he had a better chance of surviving in prison than he had in that school. They were a tough four years for Simon while he was there and he made few friends but the 'bullies' of the school liked him, he was easy pickings and each day was a survival for him apart from trying to learn something apart from avoiding the kicks and thumps from the 'bullies'.  His mother did not want to know about it but  he did make one friend by the name of Owen Doyle. Owen came from another school, a 'posh' school and looked out of place due to his 'good' cloths and even by his good clean looks. Owen seemed to have a better upbringing than the other so-called students but Owen and Simon became good  friends. They recognised they were both 'outsiders' ... you could say. He was the first 'true friend' Simon had but it did not last more than two years due to  Owen's destiny and him trying to 'fit-in'.  Owen, like the initials of his name O.D'ed and Simon was with-out a 'friend'. Simon left this school in the same way he came in ... with nothing. He failed the exams for obtaining any sort of 'good chance' in getting a decent job or moving on to third level education and so moved on and out and into the world as he was, unequipped, and from here on it depended on his faith in life.
His brother got a better shot at life. He attended a semi-private co-ed school in a better part of the city and for most of the kids attending that school their parents were wealthy and he was mixing with a better 'type' of people. He had lots of friends and was already familiar with girls company long before Simon was and because of all of this his brother treated Simon as 'different' and the divide had already opened up between them ... never to be 'brothers' again. It also applied to the rest of the siblings, like a bad dose of cancer on a rampage through the body eating away anything that was 'good' and therefore the family was never close then or ever will be later on in life. Love was never on the agenda, that was a 'four-letter' word. Simon was in and out of jobs to try to make a go of it on his own but he liked the printing and had excellent color-sense  and Simon therefore was drafted into work with the family business. The hours were long and the days were longer and time off was scarce. It was slave labour 'approved' because it was a family business. Simon was a good worker and worked hard for his father, it was the longest and closest time he had ever spent with his father, but it was a boss and employee relationship they had. There were times when father and son relationship did brake the spell but it was rare. The years passed by and Simon build up the expanding business until one day Simon confronted his father as to what would happen to the business if  he, the father, was to die and he was going to die with 'complications of the heart' {what a nice way to say stress}.. the short answer that he gave was ''it will be divided up between with the rest of the family''. Simon was not prepared to be a 'slave' to the rest of the family for the rest of his time, especially to his two sisters who one day will have husbands of their own, and therefore walked out with nothing to show for all of his years of work for the 'family'. At this time Simon's first marriage broke down. She turned out to be a living, walking, breathing replica of his mother. Two 'doors' had now closed in his life at the same time. There was no children and it was easy for them to go their separate ways. He was now on his own ... totally.
As the years moved on Simon remarried and became a self-educated-man in the ways of the world and in all he liked. Read on all topics and subjects and was well equipped to hold his own  place in conversations with people who were highly educated or specialists in their own fields. His love and passion for painting was his 'life-saver' and all his 'free' time was given to his painting. Simon became a 'specialist' too in print and had his own small business that was the favourite amongst the artist's both in his own country and abroad for reproducing their paintings in print ... sometimes it was hard to tell the original from the print that it was said Simon was ahead of his time when it came to reproducing color into print ... but it will all change.
Simon's second marriage for the first couple of years was a long 'honeymoon' until their first son was born and then Simon was delegated to second place. Three more sons arrived and Simon was 'demoted' to the bottom in all things. Maybe a good mother but a bad wife, their was no balance and she forgot who was bringing in the money ... but for the sake of his sons Simon kept it all together, until .....
Simon, like his father before him worked hard and tried to be fair in giving each of his four sons equal time as a father and son relationship. Trying to keep the business running and a 'trying relationship' between his wife who now had other interests in 'new-age things and beliefs'  was starting to show all the signs on the road to another failed marriage. In all of this time Simon's mother was still alive but his father died in his early sixties, to early for him to go, but the mother will live on for another twenty four years without the man she kept reminding people that she could not live without. Over time it all became to much for Simon to bear that he signed everything over to his now ex-wife and left enough for his sons future education that even his solicitor said he was being to generous. Simon wanted no more guilt to bear in his life, he already had more than enough indoctrinated into him throughout his life that left it's 'mark' on him from his mother. It was going to be hard for him to 'forgive'.... and he may never be able to totally free himself ... for the mind has it's own way of reenacting the memories. 

  The Final Rejection

Simon moved on and lost contact to his own sons not due to him not trying to keep in contact  but them being brain-washed by others and by their own mother ... the vicious circle continued. It was not planed by human intention but planed by destiny's 'grand-plan' in all things.  The years passed by and Simon was back on his 'feet' and standing proud in his own achievements ... and then the news came. ''Your mother has died''.  It came by text and sent by a friend who kept in touch with Simon. His 'flesh and blood' family made no contact to inform him of their mother's death, but when it did come to him it came by text by his ex-wife with exactly the same words, ''Your mother has died'' ... nothing more. Not a word on how or anything else related to her death or when the funeral will be taking place. Simon did not return for the funeral, he already predicted many years back that when that day comes around no matter where he was he will not be there ... the past hurt was too deep, even to stand at her grave-side.
Some weeks passed and Simon sent off an e-mail to his father's solicitor in knowing that his deceased mother would not change solicitor, he was a family 'friend' and besides she had no reason to be changing solicitor and starting all over again on old ground.
Simon was curious as to how his deceased mother divided up the 'cherry cake'  though he had his own 'feelings' on it he still had the right to know ... being 'flesh and blood'.  His first e-mail was not answered and two weeks passed and still no answer. He started sending e-mails until he received an answer ... and it finally came, like this .....                           

Thank you for your email. This is the first one I have received. I received it yesterday and am now catching up on my emails. My father has retired from the practice and your email to him will not have been read.
I am acting in the administration of your mother’s estate. Ann is the Executor. At this stage, only she can direct whether the contents of the will should be revealed to anyone or whether someone should be provided with a copy. She has asked me to confirm to you that while your children are mentioned in the will, you are not. She is not prepared to furnish a copy of the will to you. Ultimately, when a Grant of Probate is extracted, it will become a document of public record and you can get it from the Probate Office.
I hope this answers your queries.

Norman Friel
Managing Partner
Peter J. Freil and Company

It was the final rejection, the final cut and the deepest for Simon. A 'premeditated message' sent from her grave. She wanted to have the 'last word' and  she got it, but maybe not, for time will tell.  Simon was born into this world knowing he was not loved and he will leave this world never knowing his mother except for the hurt she passed onto him but from Simon's experience of such negative feelings he is conscious of  it's vicious cycle and will not live by example.

''Count your blessings and not another's
 for there will be times when you may think
 you can't have your cake and eat it ...
but sometimes you can ...  
for salvation comes from within.''
daf Registered & Protected


David Brophy said...


daf said...

David, thank you for your wonderful and deep meaning comment.I would feel many people can relate to my story on the grounds as Human beings how hurtful we can be and how rooted in hate we can be towards each other in that to ''let go'' for some is just not in their capabilities ... but there are 'lessons' in everything we encounter that can only but make us 'better' Human Beings.

Anonymous said...

Helo Daf, to me this story tells the importance to 'break away' & be our own. Simon really inspires me to try to make do with what we have and make it a good one.


daf said...

Hi Jeff ... I am very happy my story inspires you in your Life's Journey but If I can say ... you can make do with what you have but it's also in youe 'power' to improve it if you so wish and this can be done by 'loving' yourself and in doing this 'doors' will open and then it's up to you to pass through can have 'your cake and eat it'...