Jump to content

To my Grandmother
May be sensitive

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Feral-as-Meggs

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 JazzyWeasel

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 .

#5 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

#6 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.


Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:57 PM

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

#8 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

#9 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?

#10 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?

#11 SuboptimallyPooks

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

Such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing OP.

#12 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.

#13 Feral-as-Meggs

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.  

#14 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.

#15 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

#16 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???

#17 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.


#18 *melrose*

Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:14 PM

That makes me want to cry.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.


What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.

Mum's desperate plea as whooping cough alert issued

A desperate mother has shared a heart-breaking video of her baby struggling to cope with a coughing fit caused by pertussis.

Coffee could help you live longer

New US research found people who report drinking three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease.

The joy and dread of playdates

To live vicariously through your child is to rediscover anxieties you thought dead and buried.

Sick baby could die without scarce special formula, mum says

Lizzie Cann is down to her last three tins of a special formula in short supply.

Adorable toddler's strop foiled by squeaky shoes

We're probably all familiar with the pouty bottom lip and tightly crossed arms of a tot mid-strop.

More sex during World Cup created more baby boys

More sex during South Africa's World Cup meant a disproportionately high number of boys were born nine months later, a new study has found.

Win one of two ABC Shop prize packs in time for Christmas

What a boon it would be to have your toddler's Christmas gifts covered this year. We have two awesome ABC Shop prize packs to give away to two lucky winners.

Do fitness challenges really work?

Fitness challenges aren't new. There's Michelle Bridges 12WBT and a bunch of other programs if you really want to lose weight.

What are pregnant women Googling?

Pregnancy is a huge change for any woman, so it's natural we'll have questions - and turn to Google to ask them.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.