A TV broadcaster in South Korea has made it a reality, in a documentary known as ‘I Met You,’ with the help of Virtual Reality. The documentary marks the
Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget?
‘ Move closer to your mummy! Don’t be afraid…. she will be so pleased to see you, after all these months……..’
The scary looking Matron in the white hat urged me to move towards my Mother who lay asleep, pale and tousle haired.
Standing around her were 2 other women in nurses uniforms. In the large room with a big sunny window, lay my mother asleep in a huge bed. I had thought for so long she must be dead.
A mixture of emotions welled up inside me that were barely relieved by the falling tears and deep sobs.
I could barely believe what I saw as I had become convinced she was no longer living because no one would tell me where she was. I received no replies to my letters which I had given to my Dad every day, to somehow send her, pouring out my feelings of how I missed her and hoping she was feeling better and would be home soon.
But no reply was forthcoming. After a while I assumed Mum must have died and my Dad had not wanted to upset me.
So I started to try and accept this thought, which left me feeling empty and tearful and panicky at school every day.
Now here I was I looking at my mother asleep in bed and her hair was brushed back in a way that she herself would never have worn it…I was apprehensive and hot tears filled my eyes and spilled down my face and I hastily brushed them away, lest I be taken away from my mother’s hospital bedside.
So Mum really WAS alive and she was NOT dead! Inside my chest, my heart raced with pure joy and happiness but the atmosphere was very tense and I stood away from her hospital bed.
The Matron directed – almost impatiently it seemed..
‘ Get closer! Move forward! Are you not pleased to see your mummy?’
Tears choked my throat and I felt reprimanded and couldn’t speak a word but I obeyed and walked closer to the bed.
‘Look who has come to see you Cynthia!! Your daughter! Open your eyes, come on wake up…..we have a surprise for you!!’
My mother wearily opened her eyes and turned to look at me. I rushed to hug her tightly and I began to sob and talk at the same time.
‘WHO is THIS? TAKE HER AWAY!!! Now! GET her AWAY from me!!’
My mother shouted in confusion and dismay.
‘ Mum, Mum!! It’s ME!…It’s ME!!’
‘Get her out of here’ shouted my mother.
The Matron directed the nurses to take me towards the door. They rushed towards me and hustled me away from the bedside as I let out huge sobs rising from months of pent up grief.
For so long I had thought she must have died and I no longer had a Mummy.
I had asked my Dad so many times, ‘Where was mummy?’
‘When is mummy coming home?’
‘Where did my new baby brother go?’
For many months my father and I had managed to care for each other.
It became apparent that Dad could not cook anything, when one morning shortly after mum had ‘disappeared’ while I was out at school one day, I had found Dad at the cooker, boiling bacon in pan with water.
Having recently turned 7 years old, I had been glad that I could show him how to grill bacon for breakfast, cook boiled eggs and iron his shirts and my dresses.
Feeding our seven cats was the easiest job of many that I had to do, as I had done it many times before.
Running the washer had been something I was used to doing as when my mother would cry every day into the breakfast washing up water, I would run around putting my new baby brother’s nappies into the nappy bucket to soak and the soaked ones would be put into the washing machine, and set off to wash. No disposables in those days! My last task was to clean up the breakfast things before I had to leave for my school bus. Yes we were getting by, my Dad and I.
But every night in bed I would stifle my snuffling as I cried, so that Dad could not hear me, when I wanted Mum and wondered where she was.
I had been told that she would be coming back ‘soon’ and my new baby brother was staying with my Auntie and was fine. No pleading would get him to divulge any more information.
I now know this was because Dad was concerned that Social Services would take myself and my brother into care to a foster home while Mum was away as he had to work 6 days a week and in the evening our neighbour would come in to watch our television with me until bedtime, while he left to go ‘somewhere important’.
I later learned this was a long drive to visit my Mum in a Nursing home where she was recovering from Pueperal Psychosis. Little was known about this in those days, and it occurs after the birth of a baby, and is a lot worse than post Natal Depression but which is more effectively treated now and it no longer has the stigma that it held in the days when I was a child of 7 years old.
This is one moment I will never ever forget though…my own mother not being able to recognise me or recall who I was.
The ECG treatment they had given her in large doses had blanked her memory of me.
Thankfully though due to the actions of my Dad when Mum finally came home, all the family could be reunited, which might not have been the case had us children been fostered out for nearly two years.