Today is a day that used to cause me great heartache. Every day I longed to see that face. The one I had never gotten to know. We only had few days together. Like so many other young, first time, Irish Mothers. For us no happy return home with cards or balloons, nothing to celebrate.

Just a deep rooted shame put there by a society that didn’t want to deal with its problems openly. We were destined to go our separate ways from the moment we came together. Leading our lives as strangers that might pass on the street… not knowing the deep attachment that was there.

Like any other mother and daughter, but different. Did we ever pass each other, Ireland is a small country…

I wished every day your life was happy.

I wished we would meet again against all the odds.

Maybe you would never want to meet the young girl who gave birth to you… now older, scarred by the experiences of that day in June, all those years ago. When not 24 hours after you arrived she began her leaving cert exams in a hospital room.

Dark gloomy although sunny outside, no friends to turn to just a stranger to supervise, longing to be finished so I could hold you again…

Knowing I was going to fail again

I knew our time was limited, they would be taking you away to your new home. Happiness I hoped laid ahead for you, security things I didn’t have the means or maturity to provide.

A few Polaroid photos and a hospital tag the only reminders of my beautiful girl. Precious possessions, hidden from sight, always fearful of discovery. Secrecy became second nature, something so big it could never be revealed.

Why?

So many secret mothers still longing on their special day unable to speak of the joy and pain they have experienced.

A nation built on secrets so ingrained in our psyche. How was it wrong to love a precious gift of life that could have brought so much joy…punishment for young girls whose only crime was to be naive a heavy price to pay… too heavy

But you were of a new generation, you sought me out and Oh the joy of finding you not fifty miles away…Ireland is a small country…

Reunited now

A different relationship to the one we should have had…

Awkward at times, we were strangers with a need to connect, happy to have found the missing piece but not sure how to fit together two lives on two different paths, but determined to try.

Our bond can never be broken we were meant to be together