Letters to my sons.

Trying to explain the world to two very small children.

Chicken Pox

without comments

Dear Son,

you have chicken pox at the moment although you are now over the worst although you look horrible. It is quite frightening to see you covered in yellow spots and then seeing those spots fill with blood and then turn into scabs. The scabs are now starting to get smaller but you didn’t enjoy your bath tonight or being dried.

When Grand Pa John rang and I told him that you had chicken pox he informed me that I had never had it. Luckily I was old enough when I got chicken pox to remember getting it. If Grand Ma Audrey was alive she would have been able to tell me the exact dates because we were on holiday when I got it – she could have told me which parts of Scotland we were in.

I was 8 years old; Uncle Phil went on holiday with Chicken Pox and I came back with it. We lived in Grimsby at the time and on the way back from the Borders we stopped off in Skipton to see Uncle Denis and Aunty Kath. Aunty Kath decided to lotion me up because I was at the scratching stage. The lotion helped stop the itching and the attention she gave me made me feel better. She tied my hair up and made sure my face was plastered with white calamine as well as my arms and hands.

On the drive back to Grimsby we went through either Leeds or Bradford – a journey we had done many times before. The route took us through a black area and, having rarely seen anyone non-white, Uncle Phil and I though these people were funny and had nick named them “burnt sausages”. When Grand Ma and Grand Pa cottoned on to what we were going on about we received a stern rebuke. This didn’t stop us, for being children we acted in a childish manner. But this time as we drove through the black area, black men and women of all ages would wave and smile at me in the car. It took us all a while to work out what was going on but they saw this kid with his hair tired up out of the way of his forehead, red spots and scabs all over his face and a covering of milking white liquid. Instead of staring at me like a circus attraction when they saw that something was wrong with me, they attempted to lift my spirits with a big heart felt smile and wave. Being marginalised them selves they had no desire to make anyone else feel unwanted or less than human just for looking different. The few miles of that journey struck a cord with me at the time although the memory has stayed locked away in my sub conscience until this last week. It reminds me that to be human, to be different from the other animals that inhabit this earth, we have to show our humanity to others at every possible opportunity. Something I’m afraid son, I haven’t always been that good at.

Written by Administrator

March 30th, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Posted in Family,Memories

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