|me age five|
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!