The 60’s were still swinging, the Vietnam War dominated the headlines, and Bugs Bruton had to start School.
How I cried on that first day of separation from Mom.
She ushered me through the large double railing gates, into the noisy mayhem of the playground, then, after a few brief words of reassurance, she turned and started to walk away. My attempt to follow her was halted by a set of towering green railings. Sobbing and sniffling, with my head hung low, I followed their length, stroking the green bars with the fingertips of my right hand as if to reach out for Mom’s hand. Mom was now walking on the on the opposite side of the road, the few yards between us may as well have been a few miles.
Just when I thought things could get no worse, that morning from Hell delivered the coup de grâce.
Mom turned right onto Pinfold Lane and she was blocked from my view by the hedgerow that separated the footpath from Mr. Plant’s garden; and the railings that I was following turned sharp left.
Wide-eyed and panic-stricken, I grabbed hold of the railings and pressed my face against the bars, as if trying to squeeze through the gap, and yelled in a hysterical voice “MOM!”
My knuckles were white, tears ran down my face, the cold iron railings cut off the circulation in my cheeks, making them look pale and sickly, bubbles blew and burst from my nostrils. “MOM!”
She came back and made everything good. Bless her.
This traumatic experience could only have lasted a few minutes, but the memory of it has lasted a lifetime, a wonderful lifetime.
Categories: Burning the Midnight Oil