Thursday, 28 April 2011

Parallel lives

21st June 1982, London, England.

Two maternity wards, two young women; each of them putting aside the pain and exhaustion of the preceding hours as they reach out to hold a new-born child.

Two boys.

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Families and friends, school and work-mates, loosely connected by-standers, all influenced them as they grew, shaping their actions and recording their histories in photographs and memory.

Each boy was a first born son, growing up with the hope and expectation that brings, knowing that one day, in  a different century, they would be expected to learn the family trade, take it on, build and nurture it to support another family.

Each of them thrived in the early years, spontaneously talkative and affectionate, confident in their parents' love.

Each struggled to make sense of the bitterness and struggle of the separation and divorce that came later.

Somewhere along the way, each defined a role for himself as guardian and protector, the man of the family; taking care of his mother whatever his disappointment in her; accepting the role of elder sibling, whatever the annoyances and embarrassments of a younger brother who was more than reasonably prone to seeking out trouble.

Both grew up tall and handsome.

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Tomorrow, one will stand in Westminster Abbey, with the eyes of the world on him, as he pledges his love to the future queen of England.

I will be among the millions watching that boy on TV, but my hopes and my love will be with the other one. The boy relaxing with his friends over a pint or several, somewhere in south London. The one that the world will never know, but the one who makes me as proud as any mother of a king.

My son Gerard.

22 comments:

Sensible Footwear said...

Dear Sharon,

That was so tender. Absolutely beautiful.

Nessa Roo said...

Wow...tears. very moving.

Baglady said...

Aw, that was lovely!

I'd venture a guess that Gerard has more chance of being happy, very possibly more hair and definitely a better mum.

Bless them both (though especially Gerard as I imagine Will is doing okay).

lladybugg said...

I wasn't so sure where this was going when I started reading, but I was certain it was going somewhere good.

This is lovely.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Sharon:
Could any son ask for any more than this? Total, unqualified love.

Have a wonderful day tomorrow.

Barbara L said...

I thought maybe your son. Your son is fortunate to still have his Mom who loves him so.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Wonderful story, wonderfully told.

Pearl said...

Lovely tale, and well told.

Pearl

Rohini Prasanth said...

wow.. your son is lucky to have you in his life. If he ever gets to read this (and I hope he does) he will know how truly cherished he is. this is a lovely lovely post.
haha.. and I so agree with Baglady :) couldn't have said it better.

Technogran said...

I too have a son born practically at the same time as William Sharon, and I will share your thoughts today. It brings home how different a life a person can have depending on circumstances and fate. I just hope that one never forgets the influence that his mother gave to him all those years ago.....

Shopgirl said...

So tender and well told, full of a mother's love and esteem for a very lucky boy.

Starlight said...

Brilliant! I've read this story twice and I'll probably read it again because it's simply perfect. When I read it the first time I didn't know where was going and was plesantly surprised.
The story is ful of mother's love and pride and I hope Gerard will read it. He's lucky enough to still have a loving mum.

Caroline said...

Oh gosh, I'm crying as I write this. What a beautiful baby he was too and a lovely young man now. xxx

The Idiot Gardener said...

Beer, or a shot at being King?

Since beheading is frowned upon nowadays, it's not really a difficult choice!

Kristen said...

I admit I was very curious as to what would be written in regards/about the royal wedding on blogger, but I wouldn't have imagined this. I absolutely liked it very much and found it very touching. Btw, your son is very handsome ;)

Whirlochre said...

If Gerard had managed to breach the security — and been in any way arsed — I'm sure Rowan Williams would have done the biz.

But for the grace of ludicrous beards...

Pat said...

And if you're VERY lucky - in the fullness of time - you may get another joy - a grandson;)

Nicole said...

Makes me smile. Very sweet, Sharon.

Jayne said...

So, so sweet, Sharon. Bet it made your son cry. Got me teary-eyed.

Naked Girl in a Dress said...

What a beautifully written piece. You are gifted as a writer. thank you for sharing your talent on your blog. We all benefit as a result.

Tony Murphy said...

Hi Sharon, Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. I just found your from that and feel like I've stuimbled across a treasure trove. As a proud father of 2 boys and a girl this really struck a chord with me. Thanks for sharing it. I look forward to delving deeper in to the archives now that I've found this. Happy writing
Tony

Bth said...

Sharon, I just stumbled across this post quite by chance from Sensible Footwear's blog. Capturing true love in a piece of writing doesn't happen often, and you wrote this with such love, that it made me well up with tears. I hope your son read this.