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The Day Before Yesterday: 92 - Can We Have Your Daughter

Gladys Schofield's brother Harold is keen to adopt her latest child.

Gladys continues her life story. To read earlier chapters please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_day_before_yesterday/

We got visitors about two weeks after our daughter Susan's birth. My dear older brother Harold and Eileen his wife came to visit the new baby. We were surprised as we had not seen them for a while. It was an unusual mission. They had no children. I never knew the reason, he always being a very private person. It seemed they didn't want for anything now, only a child or children to make their lives complete.

Harold asked me if I was willing to let him and his wife bring up my newiy born daughter, saying they would not even change her name as they were both fond of the name Susan. They liked Rodney also. I was rather taken aback and had to tell him even if I had a dozen children, I could not part with even one of them, although I knew they would be given a loving home and would never want for anything.

"Why don't you adopt?" I asked my crestfallen brother.

"We like yours," was his answer. "We wouldn't like to take a chance on any other.''

I was sorry to disappoint them. I don't know how much he had read into my life but he had not seen into my heart and that was the strongest part of me. Harold always remained my dear brother and friend and often turned up to see us. He was usually on his own.

I received a large gift when I got big with this baby. I had still been doing all the washing in the primitive way in my Dolly tub. We got a modern with powered powered rollers. I can't remember what happened to the Peggy tub and don't care.

My Aunty Miriam, being all alone these last few years, had moved to the coast. She went to visit a great aunt that was still alive at eighty two. The old lady died but Aunty had grown to like the place and stayed on, or was it that she had met a man there, a few years younger than her and they were attracted to each other. They were married after a time. This was Dick's first marriage and he had always lived in the small coastal town of Saltburn. Aunty brought her new husband to visit her sisters and I was pleased to see her so happy again with this quiet gentleman. "When you get a holiday" she said to me, "come to see us for a week. All you will have to pay is your bus fare.''

We had never had a holiday up to now and kept her invitation in mind.

Susan was five weeks when David got measles. He had a bad case, the same as Alan had, and had to sleep downstairs. He had bad earache and rambled in his feverishness. I stayed downstairs with him. Cliff was complaining of a badly ulcerated throat. His tonsils were so large the doctor was attending him also, so I didn't get much sleep attending to them.

Of course I lost my milk again and arrived at the local Chemist, who had got to know us by this time.

"Hello," the assistant said, smiling at me. "What have you named your new baby?"

I opened my mouth but couldn't utter a sound. I felt such an idiot, unable to think of my baby's name. All I knew was I needed a bottle and a tin of baby food. My mind wasn't geared to think of anything else at the moment.

They soon realised the state I was in and in time I managed to make them understand all that had happened, including my baby's name. but I will never forget that moment when I opened my mouth and it seemed to just lock there, with never an utterance.

Susan didn't gain as well on dried milk as she had on my own milk. She was very much like Rod in size. She talked early and walked by ten months. Being the earliest of my children to do this, having mastered the art of conversation she never stopped from morning till night.

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