We don’t ask to be born and have no choice of the lifestyle we are born into. Some of us are fortunate to be the result of a loving, caring relationship, while others are not so lucky. For some of us the start is easy with plenty of food, water and all the creature comforts we need. While there are other children born to poverty that quickly learn to beg or steal in order to live. Then there are children born as the result of greed, lust or rape.

I worked with a lovely well mannered young girl years ago from the North Coast of Ireland. Alice (not her real name) moved south for the job and was enjoying her new life in Dublin, away from home for the first time and sharing a flat with a couple of pals. One weekend the girls were invited to a party. Alice did go, but alas she didn’t remember any details about it the next day or even later the next week. Drink had been consumed, something she was not used to before hitting the Big Smoke. She accepted the teasing for a week or two, but it had well faded by the time Alice discovered she was pregnant following that one drunken night. She had no recollection of the man involved. She did tell her parents and although they were shocked and upset for her, they provided the necessary support.

Alice continued to work for as long as she could. Being young and healthy she coped well. About 7 months into the pregnancy there was a shock! The baby was not alone! Alice was expecting triplets! With this news she returned home to her parents and I later heard the babies were all delivered safely. News filtered through for a few months but like so many instances in life, I was engrossed in my own family and lost all touch. I often thought of Alice over the years and wonder how she coped. The children would be in their late twenties now.

So if you think you are the best thing since sliced pan, and that nothing can go wrong, step back, take a breather and think! To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.


4 thoughts on “Life

  1. Grannymar,

    I fear she would have gone back into a community that was at once very supportive and very restrictive. After that there would probably have not been too many suitors and not too many opportunities for a life outside of home.

    (At least the kids growing up in the 1980s would have been more affirmed than one man whom I knew whose mother was unmarried in the 1950s and who was never given a surname in anything involving the local church – things like Sunday School prizegiving saw him being called up by Christian name alone).

  2. There but for the grace of God go I is all too true. How many cocky, complacent people have thought their life is going splendidly and then suddenly are hit by total disaster? That’s why I’m always very much aware of all the losers and victims in our society who struggle on against hopeless odds while others swan along in well-padded lifestyles. And why I always consider my own fairly comfortable existence to be as much due to good fortune as to my own efforts.

  3. Let me tell you my very positive story: as a result of family pressures and a painfully religious background, I was given up for adoption 26 years ago. I have had a good life and am very happy with my lot. Last year, I got back in touch with my Biomammy and have had a brilliant year getting to know her, her husband (not my biological father) and her family, who were all very welcoming.

    So, it’s true, some people do not appreciate their lives. I realise how mine could have gone and I am very grateful each day for what I have.

    It’s sad that the restrictive nature of small town Ireland in the early eighties/late seventies left so many women with no option other than to give up their children, but I’m proud to say there are some very happy and very positive outcomes from it too.

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