I don’t know what exactly my point is telling this story, but it seemed like a good fit considering the tone of this blog lately. Its sort of a family secret, but its not…its just talked about in hushed tones. So I’ll lower my voice.
I’m not sure why its so hushed, other than the subject matter.
So…let’s say there’s this family, right? And this family happens to hail from a country that was war-torn in the late 1930s to mid 1940s. The men left to fight the good fight and the women were left at home with the kids, and the mothers-in-law, and the work camps, and the occupying soldiers.
Then…war over…lots of years pass and some of the women (now displaced because of said occupying forces) finally find their husbands and move to another country (where the husbands have been set up by allied forces).
So…there’s lots of Poles in Scotland. This woman was in her thirties by the time she saw her husband again and then another baby came pretty much 9 months after the reunion (heh. Catholics). And again about 7 years after that…and again 1 1/2 years after that. So…when the math comes out correctly, this woman was 42 when the last baby came.
Like I said, there were a lot of Poles in Scotland. This woman had friends, a bunch of ’em, in similar situations. One, I believe, walked from Russia (to Poland…not the UK). Point being…women left by their husbands in a country that was being occupied by separate forces nearly weekly and raising children and helping their elderly relatives…these were tough and resourceful women. Women whose stock I’m proud to be part of.
So…42 and pregnant. Poor. 3 kids already and with very little income. Here’s how the story goes:
Mrs. V, one of the Polish Bridge Club (kidding…they didn’t play bridge), upon finding out that she’s pregnant takes the woman aside and offers her an abortion.
This part is always the hushed part…followed by “Can you believe she would say such a thing?” heh. Catholics.
And…my reply for many years (for I have heard this story many times) has always been, “yes…she wasn’t telling her to get one, she was offering her services because obviously she felt that it was a rough situation and wasn’t sure if the woman wanted to go through with it. 3 kids, small flat, poor, and 42 (which, at that time was, like, a hundred). Obviously she’s done this before and this was her way of being kind. They were friends.”
Usually this is met with, ‘oh…I dunno’ and a change of topic. But I stand behind my remarks.
The story continues almost 50 years later and I’ve got a healthy, bouncing baby uncle. I counted his fingers and toes at Easter, and yup…they’re all there. As cute as the dickens.