Sunday, 4 March 2012

Deathbed confession

me age five
I might have said before that I am an only child from a large family. By this I mean that while my parents had just me I do have an awful lot of cousins and removed cousins on both sides of my family. This story is about an aunt. It doesn't matter if she is maternal or paternal or perhaps honorary she was my aunt ok?

She had several children older than me and a couple who were younger. She was born in the 1920s and her first child, a daughter, was born in the middle of WW2. OK, that's the background.
When Aunty got older, and her husband died, she decided to live in sheltered accommodation. This was great for a long time as she had a panic button to wear around her neck and pull switches in every room. Then she fell in her bathroom. She was rushed to the hospital and the prognosis was gloomy. A lot of internal injury was suspected and she was not expected to survive. Her children were called and gathered around her bed. The hospital priest arrived to give comfort. Into the silence Aunty says to her eldest daughter
"I have something to tell you"
Everyone else moves away from the bed to the chairs out in the waiting room. My cousin leans in towards her mother to listen.
"I know I am dying and I have to tell you, the man you thought was your father is not. Your father was an American soldier. His name was Bill." Aunty lapsed into silence, her eyes closed, her deathbed confession made, she was at peace.
My cousin was not, as you might think, horrified. She went out to the waiting room and said "See, I've always said that I was adopted, that he wasn't my father. Mam just said that Dad wasn't my real Dad. My Dad is an American soldier!" Her brothers and sisters had to agree, she had always maintained that she was adopted and her father wasn't really her father. Everytime she was told off or punished she would mutter "He's not my real father." Now she had been proved right. She contacted everyone and told them and asked for help on how to find her real father.

But Aunty didn't die.

She soon rallied, the results of the scan showed that she didn't have the internal injuries that had been suspected - (maintaining our faith in doctors and modern technology) were non existent. As soon as she could she called her eldest child to the bedside and told her that she must never say a word to anyone about what she was told, that she must swear it! My cousin swore that she would not speak of it to anyone who didn't already know and that satisfied her mother.
However, this left my cousin unable to find out the surname of her father or any other details. We, the other cousins, think that this was a cruel thing to do because telling just enough to ease your conscience but not enough to give your own child the chance to learn more is just ...........well, not fair.

So, quite a funny story but a bit sad too. This has been brought to you through Storytelling Sunday started by Sian fromhighinthesky why not pop over there and read all the other stories, but get a cuppa first because there are lots!

20 comments:

Mad about Craft said...

Oh! how I hope your cousin finds out that name one day!

Ruth said...

Oh, my goodness, the things parents do to their children. I do hope your cousin is successful in her search one day.

Jimjams said...

Aww that was a bit hard on your cousin - did anyone ever get to the bottom of who the father was?

Miriam said...

You are such a wonderful story teller! I hope your cousin finds that name one day.

Gem's Crafts said...

Gosh what a story! I hope your cousin was able to find out more about her father eventually?

Becky said...

Oh my word! I do hope she manages to find out about her father eventually.

Sian said...

What a fascinating story. Wow! I've got to admit that I was waiting for the twist at the end (and of course it was there!)..your storytelling repuation precedes you! Terrific stuff

furrypig said...

gosh that is an intersting dilemma! I know someone who was worried about not coming through surgery so confessed to something, she survived her op and subsequently ended up in prison!

Clare said...

This story is familiar to me as my MIL found herself in a similar situation. Her Aunt told her recently that her 'father' was not her real father but could not give any other info. Sadly there is no one else alive who can help. For her it would have been better if nothing had been said. I hope you cousin found the answers she needed.

scrappyjacky said...

I,too,hope that she will be able to find out further details.

Barbara Eads said...

If it were my mom, I would definitely press for more information. Life is so unpredictable---your aunt could take any further information to her grave in the event of a sudden accident or heart attack. Still, that's quite a deathbed confession!

Sabrina S. said...

Wow, that is sad indeed. I was brought up believing that the man who was with my mum was my dad. When you learn the truth, the world looks completely different. I feel for her.
Cheers from France

S said...

Oh my that story tells of so many mixed emotions; thanks for sharing with us.

Missus Wookie said...

What a thing to have to wonder about! Hope she finds out a bit more later.

Amy said...

Hopefully, one day, further details will surface for your cousin.

Kirsty.a said...

Oh wow. What a shocker!

Amy said...

Best of luck to your cousin! And you are right about needing that cuppa to get through the other entries!

Jo said...

Oh that is a sad story, I'm glad your aunt recovered and I hope you cousin finds her father

Angelfish said...

Goodness, that is some story. I hope for your cousin's sake she can find out what she needs to one day. Fingers crossed my comment gets past Word Verication today!

Chipper said...

Oh my ... I hope your cousin finds out one day. That really isn't very fair.