When I came to write the introduction for Letters from Our Hearts: The Children We Never Had, Our Unborn Children I realised that the best thing to do would be to participate. I can’t ask you to share your deepest thoughts if I am not prepared to do the same. So here is my letter to my unborn children, and the very first time I have shared the names that I chose.
Dear Kizzy and Joshua
I have to start by saying Kizzy that I have not written your name first because you are the eldest or more important than Joshua, but you are the first one I named.
Kizzy, I first heard your name and fell in love with it as a child watching a children’s television show. In all honesty I can’t clearly remember the programme details anymore, but what I do remember was the personality of the main character Kizzy. She was a free spirit, not afraid to get messy, enjoying the freedom of running without shoes and wild hair that was uncontrollable. I hoped Kizzy that you’d be full of curiosity, mischief and love of life. You’d be happy to just be yourself and not worry about the restraints and expectations of society. You’d enjoy the simple things in life and follow your heart.
Joshua, I’d have shortened your name to Josh and only shout “Joshua” when you were being naughty. Your name came from an older gentleman that I met in my early twenties. The first time I was introduced to him I saw a man with the biggest smile and beautiful eyes that twinkled. He was always laughing and seemed to emit happiness whenever we met. I hoped Josh that you would be a happy person who sought and found the best in people and the best in life. That you would turn into a gentleman (not just a man) with a warm heart and beautiful soul. That your life would be filled with happiness that reflected in your twinkling eyes.
What saddens me is not being able to pass on the simple things in life. Not those of monetary value but memories, morals and what I feel in my heart are family treasures. Treasure because their memories lighten my heart and I hoped they would have lightened yours too.
Firstly I am a proud member of the Cow Club. I was initiated into the Cow Club by Ogie (your great granddad) as a young girl. I remember being stood in my grandparents hallway feeling a little nervous about what was about to happen. It was a serious scenario and when I walked into the front room my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were all standing to attention.
I had to stand in front of everyone and kept eye contact with Ogie as he explained the seriousness of the Cow Club. I was informed that everything that happened was confidential and could not be talked about to non members of the club. I could not tell anyone about the ritual that was about to take place. It felt very serious and very grown up.
I was told to stretch my arms out in front of me. Next I had to place my palms together and stick my thumbs up. Then I had to pull my arms a small way apart and twist my wrists until my thumbs faced downwards. If I didn’t get it exactly right I was corrected. As I stood there Ogie grasped one thumb in each hand and pulled gently downwards exclaiming “two pints please”.
That was when everyone laughed, including me, as I realised it was all for fun and not quite as adult as I thought. However I felt very proud as the oldest grandchild to be the first to be initiated, especially as I stood to attention with a serious face as my nephew waited nervously in the hallway outside.
Something that I remember with a smile on my face was trips to the beach and the moors on Bank Holidays and Sundays throughout the summer. We’d play the usual car games and Granny (your great grandmother) would always start the singing. Those I remember most were Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, I went to the Animal Fair, You’ll Never get to Heaven and The Quartermaster’s Store. The latter two were always funny because it gave us the opportunity to make up our own rhymes. Your Granny Pam was always rhymed with “eating ham” and your uncle Gary was usually “talking to Harry.” My nickname is Stevie which always caused problems because it never quite fit with anything.
Kizzy you would have probably ended up “getting dizzy” and Josh you may have ended up “playing with Tosh” or “shouting out Gosh.” I’m sure we would have spent many trips thinking of alternatives that made us laugh.
There is so much that I could tell you and so much that I want to tell you, but I’ll leave that for another day. Just remember that you have never left my heart and never will.
Lots of love, big squishy hugs and sucker fish kisses (ask your Gran)
Founder, World Childless Week