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The Day Before Yesterday: 139 - Feeling Unsettled

...Rod would be leaving us in February. I felt very unsettled, our family was being torn apart. I think this was the hardest part of my life, seeing our young men so independent, going out into the world to try to make their fortunes...

Gladys Schofield was feeling unsettled as she prepared to leave England for a new beginning in New Zealand.

My brother Harold would often call to see us now as he worked in the neighbourhood, they made material, for the skirts they sold in Marks and Spencers and had a chance to buy cheap, any surplus to requirements. I got four smart skirts this way. He would try to persuade us not to leave the country but he tried in vain I'm afraid. I think he would miss us more than anyone and Brenda would be flying to Australia before we sailed. I had passed one of the pink coat and bonnet outfits when outgrown on to her. I was pleased to see it had a new lease of life, on her youngest daughter.

Rod would be leaving us in February. I felt very unsettled, our family was being torn apart. I think this was the hardest part of my life, seeing our young men so independent, going out into the world to try to make their fortunes. What had happened to this country to make them have to do this? I dare not let them see the aching I felt inside, each one was so dear to me.

I like to tell myself that we do not choose our children, it's them that choose us as parents, to nurture them and guide them through the many pitfalls of childhood, until they are hopefully able to take command of their own life and live it to the best of their ability. It's hard for a mother to let go, I've done it so many times and it doesn't get easier, as each one reaches this stage in life.

Maybe I did put my children's welfare before my own. I can see now it was the right thing to do in my case, as I look back at my confident independent children I feel so proud, always close by communication, although so far away.

Cliff changed the car at this point in our iives. We got a tweive month old Cortina. The little dark blue car was going on our journey also, a useful asset in our new country. We also bought suitcases and clothing for everyone to set us up for a while.

I think homes must echo the sounds of the people who live in them long after they have gone, for the house we left always felt so welcoming, as though it had enjoyed happiness there but this house had a miserable feeling you felt as though you wanted to escape from it, if only into the garden. Not one of us enjoyed our small stay in that sad and lonely house. We were pleased the time seemed to go so quickly, our second son had departed to join his brother, so many familiar faces were now gathered together in Montreal, they would not be lonely anyway.

As soon as the weather improved enough as Easter came around we took the children into the countryside to try out our new car. One weekend we went into the Dales and took the opportunity to meet Pat, the girl our son was spending so much time with these days, by inviting them along.
I think her mum was thinking on the same lines, as she suggested we call and pick up her daughter on our way. This all went very well. Pat was a shy and thoughtful girl who got on well with our own children. They paddled and gathered their treasures to take home just as children always have done. Pat came over more often now and fitted in with our family. I was pleased David had chosen so wisely.

We had news, our car would have to be dispatched one month prior to our sailing date. It was being shipped out on a different ship. Our belongings also that were being crated, had to also be packed in good time. We had decided our washing machine would go as it was almost new and this was packed along with most of our personal things, before the end of May. It meant I must use the old Dolly tub again that stood in the kitchen of this old house.

I had already had to be selective of the children's toys, before we left our other house. Anything that had lost its usefulness was not allowed to travel. I'm afraid 'Pom Pom' the curly haired dog had reached this stage and was looking worse for wear. When I spirited him away, along with many more forgotten treasures, he wasn't even missed until the crates were opened in New Zealand to reveal the ones we brought.


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