A further excerpt from Jeremiah Walkers book 'To be somebody's father'
My memories of Weymouth are very few but I do remember my time in Paddock Wood in Kent. I still remember the day I went to the house of Mummy G & Daddy K. They like my first family were and are wonderful people. I was about three and a half years old and remember going from the train station in Paddock Wood and walking to the house. At the house there were two sons, whom I later came to find out were adopted and another young black boy like I who was also fostered, we will call him Simon. The neighbour’s kids were also at the house and so there was a lot of activity going on.
You know as a child you are aware of everything and naturally I could see me mum seemed to be getting ready to go, but I was not being made ready. What happened next has probably scarred me for most of my life up until the age of my mid to late thirties (actually that is in correct, it has never left me). I understand why it happened, but at the time, I did and could not have understood or comprehended what was going on.
My mother had to leave to catch her train and I was running to her by the door. I can’t remember who or how many, but I do remember trying to hold onto my mum, whilst I was being held back as I could not go; the problem being, I don’t remember being told that I was staying and what, with strangers!
That is how I felt as I returned to the sofa. Mummy G, Daddy K and all the others were and are wonderful people, do not mistake me on that, but as a child, you want your mum, dad hopefully both and nothing else is quite the same.
Do I blame my mother, No, not now; in my teenage years, well let us say I was unreasonable, due to not knowing about all that my mother had had to go through and what with being a teenager anyway, we all know what that is like. Do I blame my father? No, having faced the pain of a failed marriage/relationships, how could I.
At this point in time (August 2009) I have just dropped off three of my children back to their mum. The forth did not come because he was ill. The pain that I feel as I see my eldest son (four) looking at his daddy as I drive away, rips my heart into pieces. I am driving, crying, and thinking just how much I had struggled over the eight years or so in my marriage to provide for my family, only to end up with my son possibly feeling abandoned as his dad did when he was a little boy. Feeling as I do now, I understand why there are so many men in prison because of hurt and pain. Many, not having known or been taught how to channel their feelings and frustrations in less destructive ways. The image of the macho man, that a lot men are brought up to believe they should follow (in one form or another – This also relates to those driven by success to hide their inner feelings also), still seem to win over the sharing of one’s true feelings within. Whether it be downing ten pints in the local, keeping a ‘stiff upper lip old chap’ or using some stimilance to help them through, many men are struggling to deal with the challenges that are stacked up before them. I say this as one who struggle too. To be someone father, heck, that in itself is the greatest challenge of all. More of this later and I would also like to add, that there are also many men and women for that matter who are in prison due to the hardness of heart and failure to forgive or search out themselves, finding it easier to blame others and then these people have gone onto cause great pain to their victims. It is important to bring balance and acknowledge the pain of those who have been victims because of crime. No life though is irretrievable and that is not only as my Faith sees it, but a core part of my very being.
Jeremiah would love to receive some feedback on these excerpts from his book as he has said that his only reason for writing the book is to reach out to others. Please feel free to drop off your comments here and I will forward them to him.
God bless you,