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It is 1972 and for a 17 year old life as she knew it, changed in a heartbeat.

Her parents had agreed to her getting married to a boy that allegedly had fallen in love with her. He was 6 years older.

What were her thoughts and her reactions to that announcement from her parents, I don’t know. I never thought to ask whilst she was here, on this plane.

The decision was made for her without her even being present, without her being aware that the man she thought of as scruffy, and that he

ought to get new clothes, her neighbour had romantic ideas about her.

So, she gets married in 1974, during her engagement she knew that this man had a volatile personality and at times he seemed aggressive in his manners… But she did not break the engagement, it was unheard of and didn’t want to upset her parents.. Mind you, she didn’t know how to discuss matters like that with them.. Most of the time she’d get the response that’s men for you.

So, they got married. But this wasn’t to be a happy marriage.

In her first pregnancy, he pushed her down some steps and that send her to false labor.

In her second pregnancy, he kicked her on her growing belly.

He used to drink heavily, one night baby number two was whining like babies do.. He grabbed it by its feet and threw it in the air- luckily the baby landed on the bed.

She had to leave a gathering one night, as the kids were tired and needed their bed. AS She’s walking hastily…She twisted her ankle which slowed her down. By the time she got home, he was there. They had to hide themselves (her and the kids) under the staircase leading to the house,because apart from shouting abuse, he was also throwing at them the flowering pots that were spread around the veranda.

Another night after some guests had left their house, drunk, he picked another fight with her. And he ended up hitting her on the head with a small side table.

And that’s how their life rolled. Till their three daughters grew older and could see what was happening and would stand up for their mother. But even then there’d be the occasional hairpulling.

Her daughter’s begged her to leave him but she didn’t. She was worried about what people would think of her. You see for everyone else, he was a beautiful man, sociable, and smiling making everyone feel welcomed. Relaxed and very forward thinking.

She was also petrified of starting over, where would she go…her parents home was a no no for her, as they would encourage her to go back. Set up home on her own, how could she with three kids in tow and a small salary?

So, she stayed.

Years go by , and one day he fell ill. It was admirable how she stood by him, went with him to his hospital appointments, looked after him like she always did. How could someone show so much caring to someone that has been hurting them for almost all their life?

How can you show, so much compassion to a person that has afflicted emotional and physical pain? I struggle to comprehend.

But her sense of duty , and her predisposition to care for people in need, helped her to assist him during this brief moment of his incurable illness.

He eventually died. And that’s where she felt a burden had lifted. However she never said that, this is my spin on things.

But , life can be cruel sometimes and it was for her. Months after, she had a diagnosis of terminal cancer. The doctors gave her months, if not weeks to live. However she managed to carry on for a few years. She so wanted to live, to keep on living. To enjoy her daughters and grandkids.

Though, as I said life was a bit hard on her.. And finally she rested in September 2011.

You’ll ask me now, so what is the point of all this…

My response to your question dear reader, is that I wanted to tell her story.

I wanted to ask her forgiveness on behalf of all those that failed her…her parents, her husband, life.

I am sorry darling girl with the beautiful smile, that you had to live this life.

Always in our hearts 💕.

#domesticabuse

#womeninneed

#domesticviolence

#standuptoviolence

#storytelling

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