Image: Caerlynn Nash
My mother went to the shops. Said she’d only be a minute.
I was five.
I waited and waited.
Still I wait.
When you are five and afraid you stay where you are left. At least I did.
I was hungry, upset, my mother always came back.
But this day nothing like that happened.
A policeman came and took me to Aunty Beth’s.
I stayed with Aunty Beth, I watched the street each day, hoping.
I still hope for there is no word of what happened.
While hope exists you hang on to it.
I refused to believe that I was abandoned.
My mother was not like that.
In recent years I have explored the possibility that she was taken, that my abandonment was forced on me and not one of choice.
The police have nothing despite their best efforts.
It means I wander the earth with this awful sense of loss. Every child needs a mother and I am thankful to Aunty Beth who did what she did out of love and a sense of sorrow that her sister had abandoned her child.
One day I know there will be closure for me.
But thirty years on I still sleep with her photo beside me.