almareallymatters (15430)

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Thursday February 28, 08

Big Chief

03:08 AM

As it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday I thought I’d tell you a tale from my childhood….a tale about what it was like with my Mum.

It was a blisteringly hot summer’s day and I was about six or seven years old (1973...74) and out playing in the garden. At this point in my life I was an only child. My siblings didn’t come along until much later…a reason why I don’t think I was ever that close to my brother and sister. They were a little “gang”...the two of them...still are...and I was always on the outside looking in.

My Dad was inside cleaning the house and making it all “nice” for a very special visit. You see as usual my Mum was “away”…resident in a victorian mental instituation miles away. It was a horrible place with padded rooms…screaming…and people walking backwards! Needless to say my Dad didn’t take me to visit my Mum there very often…it was a terrifying place to a “grown-up”…to a child it was the stuff of nightmares.

On this day my Mum had been deemed well enough to come for a ”home visit” after weeks of Electric Shock Treatment…a delivery of volts to her brain that would jolt her back to mental well-being. As we didn’t have a car my Uncle Des had gone to collect her in his old Ford Cortina. I was desperately excited…I hadn’t seen my Mum for almost a month.

As I played outside I heard the chimes of the ice-cream van coming down our road and ran inside to ask Dad for some money for an ice-cream. He came outside with me to the van and I chose a lolly. It was called a BIG CHIEF as it had pictures of red indians on the packet. It was a strawberry lolly covered with nobbly multi-coloured hundreds and thousands. I was delighted with my BIG CHIEF and hastily ripped off the paper and started licking away on it like my life depended on it sat on a deck chair in the garden. Life seemed pretty BLOODY good at that moment I can tell you….I had a lolly…and my Mum was coming home (albeit just for the day)

After a while I got to thinking that my Mum might like to try a bit of my BIG CHIEF! I went inside and told my Dad I wanted to save a bit of the lolly for my Mum. I put it carefully in the little ice-box at the top of our fridge next to the fish fingers and went back outside in the garden to play and to wait for the back gate to open and Mum and Uncle Des to come walking up the garden path towards the house. I wanted to be there to greet her and run into her arms the very moment she arrived. I watched that gate like a hawk I did the entire morning!

That lolly was on my mind though. I was boiling hot and that lolly was so cold and tasty. I went back inside and told my Dad I might just take a few more licks. And that’s what I did! I licked and licked until it was about half gone and then put it back in the ice-box for Mum. I was sure she would love the BIG CHIEF as much as I did.

Inevitably after a while the lolly called to me again from the ice-box….”eat me…eat me…eat me….come on…just one more lick!” I was drawn to that lolly like bees to a flower in the sunshine of the morning!

The BIG CHIEF was just a tiny blob of strawberry goo looking all sad on it’s little wooden stick…hardly worth saving now…so I popped the final bit in my mouth just as Dad came into the kitchen with the mop….

“Oh!’s all gone…I thought you were saving a bit of your BIG CHIEF for your Mummy?”

“It’s alright Dad…she can smell my breath!”

My Dad laughed and ruffled up my hair…

“Go and wait in the garden then…I’m sure she’ll want to smell your breath the minute she get’s here!”

So I went back out into the garden to wait…grinning from ear to ear I was...and sure enough after a while the back gate opened…but Uncle Des was on his own…my Mummy hadn’t wanted to come.

Love Alma xxx

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  • It's funny how some of those hot sunny summer days are burned into our memories indelibly. When the sun shone, the grass turned to dust and the tarmac melted into goo.

    Yet each comes with associations. A family trip to the coast, a Birthday, grazed knees, sports day, a lost toy...

    My parents split when I was small, but in later years my Father developed severe mental illness and as teenagers we (the children) used to go visit him in the closed ward. It was tough, and a 20 mile round trip for maybe an hour's visit.
    It must have been hard on you, being so young and not really knowing what was going on.


    Anonymous -- Thursday February 28 2008, @10:53AM (#297393)
    • Re:Sunny days by almareallymatters (Score:1) Thursday February 28 2008, @11:48AM
  • Happy early mother's day to you :) We don't have it here until May so when I read your journal I was like, OH NO! Mother's day! but then I realized it's not until May so I've still got time :)

    Isn't it strange how certain memories are so vivid and so impactful? My younger siblings will bring stuff up that I have said or done and not only do I have no recollection, but I also didn't realize that it had such an impact on them. My younger brother started working out like crazy when he was like 12-15 or so, and my mom just recently told me that it was because I used to tease him about being fat! first of all, I don't even remember calling him fat in particular and if I did, it was because my brother's called me fat and so I just passed it on - it was just another insult. I mean, we were all teasing each other and fighting a lot when we were younger. But I guess it really meant something to him and now I feel really bad.

    Kids break my heart sometimes - they are so innocently hopeful and they want to share and be acknowledged. I tricked my godson a few weeks ago (he's not yet 3) - he pulled me upstairs and wanted to "read" to me so I humored him for a bit and then I snuck back downstairs to hang out with the adults. He came down and *caught me* and started crying, like real big tears and doe eyes and everything, because he had wanted to show me his books and I had left. I nearly cried myself!!

    I'm sure your mother didn't realize that you'd be waiting all day for her or how much it meant to you.... if she wasn't having a good day, it was probably best she didn't come.... it's so great that you're dad was there for you though..... I can see why you were extra close to him, seeing as how it was just the two of you, taking care of each other......
    aw, little alma!!
    everybody's lost -- Thursday February 28 2008, @10:57AM (#297394)
    (User #12791 Info)
    ...a chat with you and somehow, death loses its sting.
    • Re:Mother's Day by almareallymatters (Score:1) Thursday February 28 2008, @11:59AM
      • Re:Mother's Day by everybody's lost (Score:1) Friday February 29 2008, @08:42AM
        • Re:Mother's Day by almareallymatters (Score:1) Friday February 29 2008, @08:50AM
  • See you truly are a special momma..
    You remember how important it is to be with your children..
    Sighs.. I miss that a lot..
    My kids are all grown up..
    and How I managed is just unbelievable...
    See I just did my best..
    Just because I had such an arrogant momma..
    Yet, I know she did HER best. I came to terms with that much and became very close to her..
    I took care of her while she was so sick, till she passed.
    I miss her so much.

    Is your momma alive?

    Or maybe it is time to make amends, somehow..
    So many situations in life..
    **Can we blame them, can we blame them...

    Hugs and heart to you honey..
    And Happy Mothers day to you!
    Now go get some loving from the children..Show them how much love you have...while you can:)
    You're the one in control of your adult hmmm mommiehood!!...

    you are a fine Adult.
    Marisela -- Thursday February 28 2008, @11:58AM (#297407)
    (User #1865 Info)
  • I can't promise you a big chief as I don't think they make them anymore but I will get you a big ice cream on mothers day. Any flavour and with a chocolate flake too if you fancy it. Although I can't guarantee our little indians won't try and scalp you for it!

    Happy mothers day for Sunday darling x
    The Sarge -- Thursday February 28 2008, @02:06PM (#297425)
    (User #20717 Info)
    Aka Mr Reallymatters
    • Re:Pow-wow by almareallymatters (Score:1) Friday February 29 2008, @12:58AM
  • Alma,

    I dont comment as much as I used to but I love reading your ALL your journal entries. I honestly think you have a gift for writing.

    Laugh or cry they are always great.
    Stuheff -- Friday February 29 2008, @07:36AM (#297478)
    (User #14637 Info)
    "This once was me"
  • Dear Alma, Happy Mother's day to you. This story is precious. I want to reach out and hug the little girl inside you who had to go to sleep that night wondering why her own mother didn't want to come see her. That's just heart-breaking. You must have felt such a longing to see her.

    I hope you are well and happy these days, my fellow mozzie mummy. I haven't been posting here lately but I miss it. I hope the Suedeheads are moving forward in your quest for tv fan and fortune. And I hope that you are still enjoying being a whistle-blower.

    love, XXXOOO Dodger
    artful dodger -- Sunday March 02 2008, @12:05AM (#297614)
    (User #13974 Info |
    and as for me, I stand with the tribe of Morrissey.

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