A Word In Your Ear - May 1, 2014

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White rabbits!

Isn’t that what you’re supposed to say on the first day of a month?

Never seen the point of it myself - and I’ve been around a while.

May is my birthday month and this year sees me applying for a state pension.

To me, May is more associated with white lambs - gambolling with sheer joy at life.

Being born in 1949 can make you feel ancient.

However, the website for pension applications is uplifting - its date-of-birth years starting from around 1914.

Recalling the circumstances of my birth makes me feel humble and grateful.

It was in a ‘cottage hospital’, across from the house we lived in until my 20s.

As a boy, then young man, I knew everyone down our avenue, went in most of their homes and even knew the names of their pets.

Nurses who delivered me knew my mother well.

Her second child, after my six-years-older brother Mike, had died shortly after birth.

When my mother later told me about brother Clive who I never knew, she was emotional but didn’t cry.

I was only tiny.

Years later she took me to his grave.

Its epitaph read ‘Clive Edmonds, Aged One Day’. She wept, even after all those years.

The nurses shared her joy when I was safely delivered.

Afterwards, they would send over restless fathers-to-be to our house, to get them ‘from under their feet’, for tea and cake while they awaited the great event.

Often in the evening, from the secrecy of our stairs landing, I would watch these young men pacing our hall awaiting a new life to come into theirs.

In those days most people settled for two children.

It made me feel humble, but also fortunate, to think that if Clive had survived then probably I wouldn’t have been born.

That’s why I enjoy life every day, even now.

* For Roy’s books and more visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.