Wednesday, 11 October 2017
The little boy was separated from his family on the day his home caught fire. Maybe he was too young to remember how it happened or maybe he blocked a traumatic memory, nobody knows. First, it was him, his mum, dad, sister and two brothers and suddenly it was just him. He was taken to a boys home, which he remembered as a place where he was well treated. He went to the local school and to Sunday School, kindly church people would take him home for Sunday lunch. From here the story is sketchy. He stayed in the care of the church which had first taken him in, he moved from the first boys home to another and when he was no longer a ward of the state he moved to church run accommodation for young men.
At some point he went into rehab and successfully became a recovering alcoholic. Soon after his recovery he met a woman who had also journeyed through rehab. There was a spark between the two, he proposed and she accepted. The minister who was to marry them said that either they were cheating on the survey or they were the most suitably matched couple he had ever met. Both in recovery, both with serious medical challenges, they had no money for a wedding but their church organised it all, from catering to flowers to music, everything was set and all they had to do was get there on the day.
The boy's wife became his fearsome protector and he became her encourager.
After a long time he tracked down his brothers and his dad. His dad was a stroke survivor and could no longer speak but he knew his son and was pleased to see him, tears rolled down the old man's face as he saw his sons reunited. The boy dared to hope that his brothers could explain what happened that day, the day of the fire. He thought they would tell him about their childhood without him, maybe they could explain how they had become separated, maybe they looked for him?
He invited them to his home, he asked his questions. They didn't answer. His wife thought they were playing statues. Single word answers were not enough. He sat on his bed and wept, she threw them out.
They loved each other and if life threatened to hurt, they had one another's back.
The boy died a few years ago. She still speaks of him in the present tense.