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What Happened to My Mother
At age six, I was living in England, surrounded by men and women in uniform, anti-aircraft guns poking up through trees, air raid sirens going off day and night, skies filled with planes hurling bombs at us. My father was in France with the British Army trying to repel the German advance. The one thing that made living bearable in the midst of the chaos and destruction was the watchful, loving presence of my mother. Yet a year later, to my stunned bewilderment, she took me to Ireland where my grandparents lived and left me without explanation, not with them but at a boarding school filled with strangers. I never saw her again. No one in my family, including my father, spoke of her other than to say she was dead and I was to stop asking about her. I was left to flounder with my unresolved rage and grief over my beloved mother's seeming abandonment of me until, as an adult, a personal crisis compelled me to resurrect a past I thought I had long left behind and find the answer to the question that had haunted me all my life - what happened to my mother.