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To my Grandmother
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#1 meggs1

Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:57 PM

When my Mum was 4 years old, her big sister disappeared.  For years she believed she had been sent away because she couldn't learn the colours.  

My Grandmother trusted the specialists that she needed instutional care, and that it would only confuse and distress her to visit.  She accepted that the only thing she could do for her daughter was to save enough money to ensure she could stay in that home (which was pleasant for its era) for the rest of her life.  

I don't know why, but today when I picked up my little son from daycare, it suddenly came to me how much my Grandmother loved her firstborn daughter.  I wish I could give her a hug and say I'm so sorry.

#2 Baggy

Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:59 PM

That's so sad sad.gif

#3 Therese

Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:01 PM

sad.gif That is really sad meggs1.

#4 Regular Show

Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:03 PM

Im afraid it was the done thing back then.

My nanas sister was also 'sent away' never to be seen again. Its caused my nana great distress over the years.

#5 Gloriana

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:32 PM

DH's grandmother had a sister with down syndrome and their mother was told to send her away as well but they refused.
She is now gorgeous lady of 75yrs old and such a joy to be around  biggrin.gif .

#6 MammaBee81

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:44 PM

You know... I think you just did give her a big hug. By acknowledging her sacrifice and by continuing her legacy by doing the best you can by your own children.

Thank you for sharing  original.gif

#7 R2B2

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

sad.gif that is sad.
I guess it gives you an appreciation of how far society has come over the years.

#8 SCARFACE CLAW

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:57 PM

That is so sad OP sad.gif Do you know if your aunt is still alive?

#9 jules363

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:04 PM

That is very sad OP.  My 4yo daughter has Down syndrome, and I am constantly grateful she was born when she was, and there was no question we were going to take her home and love her the same way we do her three sisters.  I have read some stories of people more or less forced to surrender their children to Kew Cottages (if they didn't they received absolutely no support, and that would be impossible).  It must have ripped their hearts out.  Your poor nan sad.gif

#10 BetteBoop

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

OP, that's heartbreaking. Your grandmother was not alone in her experience.

So many families with kids with disabilities were told to put their children into care and forget they ever had them. I worked with a lot of adults with disabilities who hadn't seen their families since they were little kids.

Fortunately many of them did reconnect with those kids later in life. Did anyone in your family ever get back in touch with your aunt?

#11 roses99

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:09 PM

That's awful  sad.gif

I'm so glad things have changed. My DH's parents lost their first child (almost a year to the day before he was born). She had multiple disabilities but - without ultrasound - her being born alive but incompatible with life was unexpected.

It breaks my heart that my MIL never got to hold her firstborn child. It breaks my heart that my husband's sister most likely died alone, or at least without her family.

Like the PP asked, is there any chance your aunt is still alive?

#12 JuniPooks_

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

Such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing OP.

#13 Becstarinator

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:21 PM

My DBIL was born in 1971 and my DMIL was told to leave him in the hospital and forget about him.  Don't even name him, just walk away.

Why?  Because he has Down Syndrome.

She told them she loved him just as much as her other children and he would be coming home with her.  The nurses couldn't understand why she would take him home.

I couldn't imagine being told that, especially since having my son.

Edited by Becstarinator, 14 December 2012 - 09:24 PM.


#14 meggs1

Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:14 AM

Thanks everyone and for sharing your stories.   I don't know why it hit me so strongly yesterday, I just felt really close to her for some reason.  

I know my Aunt died in her 40s/50s before my Grandparents.   Mum didn't ever see her again.  Mum is very high achieving (her yoga instructor accused her of doing yoga as a competative sport) and doesn't show her emotions at all.   I wonder how much of that stems from what happened.  






#15 bees-knees

Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:12 AM

OP, that is very sad for your grandmother, your Mum, and for your aunt, who your family never got to know. I would like to think your grandmother knows now, that you understand, wherever she is.

For those saying how much things have changed though, have they really?  When the termination rate when there is a pre-natal dx of Down syndrome is 90-95%, does that send a message that people with Ds are really valued by our society?  Certainly, when they do arrive they're treated very well, as are their families, but the assumption by so many medical professionals that a pre-natal dx of Ds = termination is a very sad state of affairs.

#16 madmother

Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:41 AM

QUOTE (R2B2 @ 14/12/2012, 08:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
sad.gif that is sad.
I guess it gives you an appreciation of how far society has come over the years.



QUOTE (bees-knees @ 15/12/2012, 06:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For those saying how much things have changed though, have they really?  When the termination rate when there is a pre-natal dx of Down syndrome is 90-95%, does that send a message that people with Ds are really valued by our society?  Certainly, when they do arrive they're treated very well, as are their families, but the assumption by so many medical professionals that a pre-natal dx of Ds = termination is a very sad state of affairs.


They have not changed really. The first speech therapist we dealt with on our son's autism journey actually said to us it is a shame it is not twenty years ago and you could send him away and start again.

OP, you are a lovely person to realise how hard that was for your Grandmother, and how much she actually loved her daughter. I do think it would have changed your mother. I know the loss of my sister changed me in so many ways.  sad.gif


#17 i-candi

Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

DH was born premmie in the early 70's and the doctor told MIL to put him in a home as she had other daughters to care for. DH was resuscitated by the nurse as the doctor walked out (so MIL says), the doctor wasn't happy and said that he will be a 'vegetable'.

DH is very intelligent and very successful, although his parents did believe he would be disabled as in the early years he had no head control and was fed with a syringe.

My nephew would be in his early 20's (passed away as a chid) and how he was treated in the childrens hospital is very sad, it would never happen today.

I'm grateful to be living in our era now. Imagine what the future would be like???

#18 morgansacre

Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:50 AM

Yes it is so sad, that at the time it was a common thing to do.

My father had a cousin that was sent into an institution at about 8 years of age, he died there at the age of about 40. From how my father described him I would say he would have had a mental illness like schizophrenia or something. It was so sad knowing that now days with the right kind of medication he could have lived with his family in a loving home sad.gif  

So so sad.

Lynn

#19 *melrose*

Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:14 PM

That makes me want to cry.




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