Well, the story isn’t really stupid, it more about someone being stupid and that someone was me!
I’ve been asked many times why my name is different, but I’ve never told anyone until now. It’s been fifty years, and I’ve regretted every moment, so now it’s time.
Before I start, I have to say that most, if not all, teenagers, and in my opinion that including those from about 11 to 20, should be put into suspended animation. It is a terrible time for all, parents, teachers, and mostly themselves! Hormones are running riot, and they think they know it all!
I was 17, and I fell in love. It was love at first sight. It is as clear to me now as that moment all those years ago. As for any 17-year-old boy, love is a powerful and all-consuming thing. There were many things going on around the person of my dreams, but I was smitten, and I would do everything I could to be with her.
The relationship grew, and I thought we had the chance to spend our lives together. I helped her move and knew I would have to move too.
I’d never really spoken to my Dad before. He wasn’t really someone that you talked with or sought advice from. However, I had to tell him and asked for his possible help and advice.
I’ve only seen him lose his temper once before, and that was when he was going to drown Paul. He said I had to stop seeing her, and I was a fool that didn’t have any idea of what I was doing. Many things were said, and the more I heard, the more I was sure he was wrong, and I was right. I don’t know to this day why he was so against the idea, but he was! I was told that I had to get out if I didn’t leave her.
I left and didn’t come back. I can’t remember Mum being there other than turning around as I stormed out and saw her start to raise her hand as if to wave before quickly going in. I didn’t see or speak to them for years.
I was 18, still bitter and hurting when I had the notion, ‘I’ll show him!’ I saved some money and changed my name by deed poll. The second major stupid thing I did with my life!
The move to Birmingham was the next step. I realised that to look after my new family, I had to take responsibility and start to build a home. The third stupid event took place!
I was outside of the Army Recruitment Office in Birmingham. I explained my situation; I had a common-law wife and understood that accommodation was available for families. I remember the reply, ‘Yes, that quite right!’ So, you can guess what I did! The outcome is that the services do try and help families, but they have to be married. Common-Law didn’t apply!
Several years went by with me growing up fast but missing so much.
I did have a beautiful wife and a fantastic family, and I was, for all purposes, delighted with life.
It was Mavis, and I’ve never thanked her to this day for her help, that arranged the chance for me to go home and see Mum and Dad. Mum held me like I’ve never been held before, and Dad smiled, shook my hand. I’ve never felt such regret for what I had missed!
I have learned a valuable lesson, but for a cost, I wished I had never paid! I will never turn my back on any of my family, including my ever-growing extended family. Life is too short, and when it’s gone, it’s gone, and it never gives you a second chance!
As for my name… I’m still me… whatever I’m called; McDonnell, Aucote, Matthews, Marson, Arnold, Routledge Mitchell, Perry, Smith, Butler Whatton…… Mr Monkey! or Page. My blood and genes haven’t changed!
As for me, well, I still do stupid things, but don’t we all? It’s learning from those things and not reinforcing that stupidity that’s the secret. I think I’m less stupid now!
The stupid things we do that hurt the family and those we love are most damaging. When stubbornness and stupidity go hand in hand, it is devastating.
I will always admit my fault, whatever because it takes less hurt to retain a love than to lose it!
This may sound stupid to you, but then it’s all about knowing the difference! So please learn from my stupidity and show your strength and love by not being stupid, or if you can’t help it, admitting your fault, whatever!
Categories: Odds & Sods