John and I had moved to Dumbarton to live in a three roomed ground floor tenement building, toilet outside shared with seven other families. I got a part time job at Crosslet home in Glasgow Scotland three days a week. John got a job although work was very scarce. I saw this lovely baby with huge brown eyes at the Children’s home and asked if he was up for adoption. I was told no, his mother had left him there at birth and he was about 3 months old. He cried loudly at night and kept the other babies awake so his cot was wheeled into the bathroom nearby every night.
I took John up to see him in the evenings and the Matron allowed us to wheel him about the grounds. The adoption society asked CM (his natural mother) if she would let us adopt him and she agreed as she was married with one son but said her husband wouldn’t let her bring the baby home as it was not his child.
The baby was called Lal S.T and nicknamed Tony by the staff. He was 5/6 months old when we legally took him home on my birthday 5th June. We called him Ronald S.M. We brought a white high pram with blue hood and trimmings and we received many gifts from friends and family.
One miracle happened when we received the bill for the court adoption expenses. I didn’t have any money but promised to pay by the end of the month. The Lord provided the exact amount by John getting overtime to cover the exact cost.
Lal’s favourite person in the Elim church we attended was Mrs Tate, the baker’s wife. A big lady and she always gave him hugs but every time he saw a large lady he called out Mrs Tate. At his dedicated service all family came except John’s dad.
Lal was such a blessing to all at the dedicated service. Everyone wanted to hold him and he was passed around to so many people he was sick.
He walked or ran at 10 months. On the train home he ran about asking people for money and he always got it. At church gatherings he chased the girls for a “tis” (kiss).
Paul was born the next year and at his dedicated I was still angry at John’s dad. I didn’t invite anyone but they all turned up anyway, including his dad.
We moved to Frome in Somerset. Stephen was born at home two years later.
Paul and Lal joined the choir at the Church of England just up the road. They sang at weddings and were paid two shillings and six pence each. They also sang on Sundays. At choir practice Ronnie and a boy two doors away fought so much we had to escort them to church and pick them up to keep the peace.
Lal loved the school teacher whom everyone else was scared of. The boys shared a rocking horse on springs called Gubby. It was stabled in their bedroom. Many times we were wakened by Gubby squeaking his way over the miles somewhere. Lal did well at school.
We came to Australia in 1970. Lal was 8 years old, Paul 7 years old, and Stephen 4.5 years old. Lal changed his name to Ron and he has been this ever since.
At the hostel at Bradfield Ron and an Irish boy were always in trouble not getting on the school bus and fights at school. They quickly dropped their accents to become Aussies. The food at the canteen was boring but Ron had two helpings everyday. Paul and Stephen would not eat so I had to buy food outside for them.
We stayed for five months and moved to a half way house at Gunnamatta Bay, Cronulla. All the boys went to the same school. We walked there through the park by the bay. Many times John and I walked towards home through the park and Ron would swim along side us then run home to dry off.
We moved to Renown Avenue off the Boulevard in Miranda and again all the boys went to the same school. On the first day with brand new uniforms, Ron was called to the Headmaster’s office to show visitors the new uniforms. We were proud of him Ron charmed a female whom everyone was scared of and she was kind to Ron. He must have found her soft spot.
Ron moved to Endevour High School and found it hard going. He took part in plays and I remember Fiddler on the Roof. Ron played football for the Seagulls. He was the goalie. One day the coach brought him to the door completely covered top to bottom in mud. I asked if it had been a hard game and the coach said Rod didn’t even touch the ball once.
Ron was invited to a birthday party and he told me the entertainment would be a séance so I told him he couldn’t go. I phoned the mother and told her why he was not going but she said many parents had objected so it was off. Ron was so mad at me for interfering but told me years after he was glad at my decision.
We next moved to Engadine but Ron’s choice was to stay at Endevour School and travel. Paul and Stephen went to Engadine High. Now the battle began. Ron was to be home at night by a certain time, same as the others. He was always late so we told him he would be locked out for the night. Next late night we put a sleeping bag outside and locked the door. Ron raged in vain and left to stay at his friend’s place. He always left his motorbike gear in the living room instead of in the laundry or bedroom. We warned him it would be thrown in the garden and that’s what we did and unfortunately, it rained that night.
Ron and I had a big row and I asked John to help. He didn’t want to know and I felt he had let me down so I packed a suitcase and left. I went to May’s place in Hurstville for two weeks. When I phoned John to say I was coming back, he said Ron had packed a suitcase and left 10 minutes after I’d left, so John had been on his own for two weeks.
Ron’s first attempt at suicide was when he was station master at a local station. He phoned me to say he would be under a certain train. I didn’t have a car so I phoned Pastor Wilkie who went to Ron and took him for a coffee. Next time Ron came home late, I was alone. He looked spaced out and took my bread knife to slit his writs. I took the knife away but he got his fishing knife and went down the bush towards the creek. It was dark and all I could do was pray for help. John arrived and phoned the police who found Ron and took him to hospital to get stitched up. They kept him in psych ward for a week.
Next think Ron married R who was reported to be a witch. She already had a baby girl – a cute little thing with fair hair. They rented a flat near Miranda Fair and the war was really on. The marriage lasted about 6 months during which was Ron’s next attempt at suicide. R phoned me during the night he was in Sutherland hospital with an overdose of something. When I got there, they had pumped out his stomach and was feeling sorry for himself. Ron returned to the Growth Centre and returned home to Engadine and applied for a divorce.
At the church, Ron had led a choir of men singing Israeli songs in the Hebrew language. They were so popular they sang regularly. He met M and got married and lived in Sutherland and R was born. We thought all was well but learned later of the trouble. He went to the UK with his job and returned and left again for UK and Israel and ended up in a hospital in England to dry out. My sister phoned me about his troubles.
Ron phoned me to ask could he come home. My first reaction was, “Not again, I can’t take anymore!” But why pray for someone and refuse practical help? So Ron returned home and eventually back to M. I didn’t know the exact situation between Ron and M but John died and my world fell to pieces. We had been married for 35 years. He died 17th August, 1993. This indeed opened up a can of worms for me for the pain was terrible. We bury our pain alive and it can return at any moment.
My church was changing as Wilkie had retired. Friends moved away and I did not see much of Ron or M. They were having troubles. Stephen had moved to Brisbane and I just felt abandoned. I sold the family home in Engadine and moved to a unit at President Avenue for five months until the house in Karimbla Road was ready.
R had been given to Ron but when my place was ready, I took him back and hid him from body corporate as no pets were allowed. He was all I had left of my family but he was getting on in life and died a couple of years later. I had him cremated and buried his ashes in the urn in my special garden.
Only my faith in God kept me going. Ron got divorced again. Stephen invited me to sell up and move to Brisbane. He would sell his place and we could build with a granny flat for me. Paul was in Germany and told me to go ahead. Ron also said ok as he might leave the country again.
So here I am in Figtree Pocket with Rocky’s urn on my balcony as I could not leave it buried at Karimbla Road. When I visit Sydney, Ron has been kind to me but I have witnessed a flash of the old Ron buried alive inside. Only God himself can deal with that.
I am reading a small book written by David Wilkenson called “Have you felt like giving up lately?” There is a little page called “There is no physical cure”.
There is no physical cure when you are deeply hurt, no person on this earth can shutout the innermost fears and deepest agonies. The best of friends cannot really understand the battle you all go through or the wounds inflicted on you. Only God can shut out the waves of depression and feelings of loneliness and failure which come over you. Faith in God’s love alone can salvage the hurt mind.
The bruised and broken heart that suffers in silence can be healed only by a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit and nothing short of divine intervention really works. God has to step in and take over. He has to intercept in our lives at the breaking point, stretch forth his loving arms and bring that hurting body and mind under his protection and care. God must come forth as a caring Father and demonstrate that He is there making things turn out for good. He must by his own power dispel the storm clouds, chase away the despair and gloom, wipe away the tears and replace the sorrow with peace of mind.
Ron, I hope you shed a few tears at what I have said. I know I bawled heaps. Dad and I did not have many talents but the one talent we did have, we used best we could by bringing up three sons the best we knew how and being kind to our neighbours. Dad has gone on before me and the years I have left I am going to enjoy. My boys are grown men and responsible for themselves but I can still be kind to my neighbour.