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By Her Mother-Helen Kate Jones
Compiled By Paul L. Jones
So after nine long months of waiting, and wondering, and suffering, came into the world, and into my arms, Ruth.
I could never forget that episode in my life- How Could I? A happening so poignantly longed for, so anxiously look forward to.HBZSEL28
All the day before, Sunday the 21st. June I new my baby was coming to me, very soon; that at any hour now, I would be able to hold it to my heart and look into little face- the wee face I had so far only seen in dreams, and speculated about so often- Fair I new it would be, that is why I had chosen blue for everything that needed colors. Sometimes I had been sure it would be a boy, and almost more often that a little girl was coming to me, to keep me company, and make up in some degree for the loss of my sisters. I think it was chiefly this loneliness for the feminine sympathy that was responsible for my preference being almost if, if slightly, for a daughter. But in my heart I new I would welcome the little stranger with the warmest of Mother-love, be it girl or boy.
Yes, I knew all that day it was coming. Yet I felt well and happy- and made date-scones for lunch. And in the afternoon, when my Mother and sister Nancy came over from there week-ender "Thalassa" to see how I was, I told them I intended going to the hospital that evening, just to be on the safe side; I made them a cup of tee, and sewed some urgently needed buttons on my husband's trousers.
I had packed
my suit-case some days beforehand- So after tea, in the cool calm of the
evening my husband and I set out for "Strathmare" Nurse white's private
As it was I might nearly as well have waited for the bus, as the young mum who occupied the car, were in no great hurry to end what seemed particularly jolly conversation with the Conner girls. I sat among them in the back seat and waited; Yet I did not feel very worried at the delay, though the pain I had, had in my back all day, was getting very slowly, but visibly worse.
I joined my
I had a talk with the nurse on reaching the brown brick building at the end of the street. When she had heard all I had too tell her, she remarked that though I could stop if I liked there was every probability that it may be a day- or two yet before the actual event- that the pain I had all day may have been a false alarm.
I went out and talked it over hurriedly with my husband on the veranda, and being guided by instinct rather than the nurses reasoning, I decided to stay.
The room I was asked to wait in until they had time to fix me up- they seemed frightfully busy- was actually the little operating theatre! From time to time one of the two sisters who ran the place, peeped round the door, to ask me some questions; or if I would like a cup of tea- I said I would; I had not realised until then that I was somewhat over fatigued for the need of it, haven eaten no supper before I left home.
But that promised cup of tea was not destined to reach my lips- at least, not until hours after. I became so rapidly worse that by the time I had been shown my room, and got into bed I was well and truly on the way to the greatest ordeal I had ever faced.
The sweet faced, auburn- haired girl that shared the room, and had also only just arrived, fearing a premature birth and the probable loss of her child, but who was so far, not suffering herself, was full of sympathy for me- she said she new at once when an attack was due by the way my face changed colour.
Soon after they took me to the theatre. What followed is best described in a letter I wrote to my sister Betty four days latter, and which I will copy here----------
Dearest Sister mine-
Mother and Nancy have just been to see me, and I have bought me your letter, which I have duly perused- Betty, it is a lovely letter. I read it to M. and N. the rhyme at the bottom is very, very good., I mean to keep that letter- some day I will show it to little Ruth Pauline- The letter her aunt Betty wrote me when she was born.
Yes, we have called her Ruth Pauline- because they are the only two names that Tom and I both like; There are quite a few other names I might have decided on had I only myself to please, but after all the wee mite is Tom's daughter as much as mine, and it is only fair he should be satisfied too. What brought it to a final decision was signing the birth certificate- we found we had to sign the baby's name- and so all of a hurry we had to decide finally. And then your letter came, sister-mine, suggesting Lesley or Shirley! And I could have cried! If only that letter had come a day or two earlier! I was longing, while you were with me, dear, that you might express a strong preference for some name- Do you know Betty, your wish would have weighed a lot with me; and that is why I felt, and still feel quite melancholy over it. I know you have always liked Lesley, but you never expressed it so strongly before.
Tom is delighted it is to be Ruth Pauline. He loves these names, and I Like them very much; I think the two go awfully well, and Pauline, which is French, gives it just the musical sound it wants. Mother loves the name of Ruth, but doesn't care much for Pauline. It is hard to know just what Nancy thinks-- And here I am using up precious space talking about a mere name, while the reality, the reason for it all has been not so much as mentioned-- So I'd better begin at once:--
Well I was perfectly well as usual in every way up till last Sunday morning, when I woke in the morning with rather a nasty backache, and slightly tired; but got up and got breakfast- Sunday morning, so rather late. I was expecting Nancy and Mother over in the afternoon, so hurried up and made some raisin scones (which by the way turned out beautifully light) But all the time the strange pain in my back kept coming and going- growing a little worse,
I knew what it was now, but it did not worry or frighten me in the least--True enough that ignorance is bliss! All the same I decided it would be safer to be at the hospital. I told mother and Nancy when they came over, that Tom was going to take me in by the buss that evening.
When we got here the nurse didn't seem sure if it was really necessary for me to stay. She said one often gets pains some days before.
Tom and I talked it over, and decided it would be safer for me to wait...............Sister had no sooner shown me to my room (not a private one, as mother had tried to get me) and I had got into bed, than the pains began to come on in earnest, getting much worse every time. So they made me bundle out again, and took me to a funny kind of little room with a white operating-table, on to which I climbed--and didn't leave until another wee human was in the world!
But Oh! I would rather have my whole mouthful of teeth pulled out all at once than go through one hour of what I had to put up with for five, or nearly five hours, until they called the doctor to give me chloroform, which they do not give to the very last. I new nothing then until waking slowly out of it, I herd the doctor saying "Well, you've got your baby-- a little girl-- that's what you wanted, isn't it?" And through the mists of half-conciseness I heard somewhere in the next room, a baby crying, lustily--And all of a sudden I realized it was my baby! I asked if I could see her, but they told me, not just yet-- they hadn't bathed her or anything.
Then I was given a cup of tea, and carried back to my room, and told to go to sleep-- which I promptly did, out of exhaustion, I think. But later on I kept waking up, and thinking of my baby, and feeling all thrilled, and wondering when I would see her. It was not until five or six next morning that Sister brought her into me, wearing mother's little cream nighty, and wrapped up like a wee mummy in a blue bunny-rug.
Oh that first sight of her! Can I ever forget how she looked then! So very very tiny-- wide open blue eyes, like little luminous pools-- and the most wonderful rose-bud complexion I have ever seen-- I didn't think a new-born babe could have such a white skin, and such almost brilliantly pink cheeks and lips. That part of her was undoubtedly from me-- but oh, she was terribly like Tom! The nose in particular-- and she was very nearly baldy! Except for a little bit of fine hair, much the colour of what Tom's and mine is now-- perhaps a bit fairer. Summing up my impression of her:-- Not exactly pretty, because of her nose, which I thought spoilt her, but very very winsome, in her tiny wide-eyed way-- a veritable wee pixie-- in fact I am not at all sure I wont end in nick-naming her pixie, and having done with it.
But for my description of her, You'll probably see her looking quite a bit different when you come down; for in various little ways she is changing slightly. There is a definite, if slight, improvement in her nose-- and her beautifully pink cheeks have almost gone-- in fact she is rather a pale wee mite this last day or two-- though I believe it is quite natural hue for small babies. Her lips remain, as yet, unchanged, a glorious colour to behold. She will never need rouge any more than we have to.
The nurses and the doctors are pleased with both her and my progress. I have got on splendidly and what is more, I am feeding baby all right so far. I am sharing the room with an awfully nice girl, whose first baby, a boy, was born on the same morning as mine.
Little Ruth was born between half past twelve and one o'clock on the morning of the 22nd of June, weighing at birth six pounds fifteen ounces.
Well must end now, dearest sister. I will be seeing you very soon; and I am so thrilled that you will be at "Southsea" when I first go home.
Give my fondest love to dear old dad, and let him read this after you.
The letter I received from Betty and which I believe crossed mine, being written shortly after she and Dad had received a telephone call from Mother telling them merely that a little daughter had been born to me, reads as followers:-
" Willow Grange"
Here I am endeavoring to write to you; and absurd as it may seem I feel almost incapable of putting down on paper how I feel and what I want to say----- Oh darling--- I am so happy for you-- because I know how much this means to you!- I am sure of this-- I am strangely, strangely happy for you!--... How does it feel to be a Mother, Sister-mine? is it nice, and are you terrible fond of the small wizened creature who is your daughter?
Even though it (or should I say she?) is your baby I expect it (or she) isn't very attractive or charming, just yet.
I know so little of human babies and have made such ghastly mistakes concerning them, re their eyes opening etc., that it will be most awfully useful and funny to really have a little niece......... By the way was she born with her eyes open? or did she look much like a little kitten or puppy?
(I hope I am not saying anything awfully rude, but if she proves as sweet and irresistible as the aforesaid all will be well, and I will doubtless grow to love her very much. About the name-- Why not call her Lesley? It is a beautiful name I think-- In fact personally I like it better for a girl than a boy. Then again Shirly is a pretty name "Shirly Helen" would go nicely. Oh I would ask a thousand questions all at once! Of course though she is fair!
But is she fat, is she lean?
Forgive this horrid letter and give my love to little---(Blank!)
Hoping you will soon feel better dear sister mine, for I am sure are feeling a bit queer at present.
With much, much love from
(Who is an Aunt)
__ A LITTLE PROBLEM__
I liked the time I was in hospital: Mrs. linch my room mate was such a nice young woman, and such company. By the way I might mention that when I had been carried back from the operating-room the auburn haired girl had been removed to a private room, soon after 6 o'clock Mrs. linch, a thin, pale woman, dark young mother had been brought in and placed in her bed. She had been hurried to the table as soon as I had left, and after a very hard time, I believe, her baby boy was born about 6.AM. as for the other , Mrs. Evans, her baby was born a couple of days later-- Premature of course, weighing less than 3 lbs. and a girl-- but contrary to what she had feared-- it lived!
Yes I enjoyed my stay in hospital.
That first year of married life, though interesting in the extreme, had been full of hard work, and not a little sickness, and this sudden and utter rest coming on top of it all was delightful holiday to me. When I first was there I was bitterly ashamed of my hands whenever I had to put them out for the nurse to wash-- they were so work worn, and stained, and rough; yet before I left they were white and soft and slender.
Every one was so nice so kindly, that there seemed to be a happy, cheerful atmosphere radiating round about, like a sunny hello that lasted all the 12 days of my sojourn there.
True I did not have the flow of visitors that flocked to my companion's bed-side every visiting hour, and I confess it hurt me a little, but yet these very friends of hers, rarely failed to speak to me too, to take notice of my baby; and they invariable brought such cheerfulness and interest with them that it materially helped to make my sojourn at "Strathmore" brighter than it would have been had I had a private to my self.
And then best of all there were those belonging to me to pop in and see me-- my husband, and my Mother and Sister Nancy; And when these came little miss Baby Jones was brought in by one of the nurses so that they may have a peep at her. And sometimes I would persuade them to leave her lying on my arm beside me while my visitors remained.
Her father would, if he were not busy talking of financial worries, sit beside my bed and gaze at her, trying to come to some conclusion as to what he felt towards this small speck of humanity-- but would end in confessing he did not know what he felt.
And I could not help noticing that Mrs. Linche,s husband never appeared to question his attitude towards his offspring-- he loved his child from the first; and his wife had all she could do to keep him from repeatedly kissing the wee thing while suffering from a cold in the head-- There was that advantage anyway, little Ruth ran no risk of
contracting a cold from her father
Mother and Nancy loved Baby, and were ever eager to see her and hold her in their arms. The only regret Mother had was the little thing was so terribly like her father-- naturally she had wished her to take after her daughter.
Oh how I looked forward to feed-times "baby-time" as they called it, when they would bring her to me, and lay her in my arms, and when I could put her to my breast, and feel the suction of the little mouth, as she drew the life giving milk that nature had placed there for her.
Even this early I new she wasn't a greedy baby, she never hurt the nipples with the strength of her young jaws as did Mrs. Linche's Neville; and she was very prone to fall asleep long before the twenty minutes was up-- but then Neville too was not exempt from this latter failing. Will I ever forget those last meals at night, at 10.pm?! How Mrs. Linch and I, sleepy enough ourselves in all conscience, would wage a wearisome struggle with babies that were dead to the world, and were very nearly as difficult to raise as the actual dead! And all the time the Sisters would keep urging us to tickle their noses and under their inert chins to keep them awake and sucking-- And sometimes when these measures failed, as it not infrequently did, they themselves would take the babies away and after some lapse of time, restore them to our arms-- awake--How the miracle was performed remains to this hour a mystery to me.
When after the first week they weighed baby, and told me she had lost a few ounces, I did not worry-- I did not- even enquire how many, because I new that this was usual. Mrs. Linch's child lost I believe about 4 ozs.
The vivid cheeks, with which I had first seen her, slowly faded. She became, often some what pale, but her lips though not quite so crimson were still a very good colour. How I used to study that little face as she lay there nestled beside me-- I new every feature by heart, even the few hairs of her head-- but then perhaps this latter fact was not surprising-- there were so very few! I felt certain, even from the first that I would have been able to pick her out from a thousand babies without hesitation-- there was only one baby, all my own, in all this world-- and how I loved her-- pretty I did not believe her to be, but oh, how quaint-- how quaint!
I to , used to try and analyze my feelings towards her, tried to discover in all the new, strange turmoil in my heart, that mysterious thing they call maternal instinct, and because it, the human soul itself, is invisible and intangible, I imagined I could not find it, and was puzzled and inclined to tell myself that such a thing did not exist-- but looking on it all, nine months afterwards, I know it did, even as it still does today.
Dear little baby things, I can see them still Mrs. Linshe's and mine, being carried in one armful by the Sister into and from the room, a little dark head, and a little fair one, so much alike in shape and size in those days-- I have often wondered since what kind of little chap Neville Earnest has grown into in all these mouths.
We used to exchange notes on our babies, Mrs. Linch and I, that is why, I think, we seemed to have so much in common. And it was comforting too, if one was worried over any little thing, to find that the other infant was subject to much the same trifle what ever it was:
On the eleventh day I was allowed up for the first time-- I could hardly believe I had grown so thin, my clothes
seemed to hang on me. And I was so weak in the legs that I had to run my hand along the wall to steady myself when walking down the hall to the bathroom.
But after the first day this wore off to a great extent. They bathed baby in our room that day, and I watched, to see how it was done-- strange as it may seem, it was the first time I had seen baby with out any clothes on.
I left the hospital on the following day, being the 12th day. Before I left I bathed and dressed baby myself, with Sister close by of course. The bath process I managed with flying colors, but got into disgrace when attempting to manipulate the nappy-- I was evidently about to fasten it on quite the wrong way, judging by the rare bust of annoyance from the Sister.
My husband arrived soon after ten, and we both went home in the ambulance car, which in this instance was just like an ordinary car-- me proudly bearing in my arms, wrapped up in Aunty Betty's knitted shawl-- my first born child.
Mrs. Ryan was there at Southsea, when we arrived, she had the washing all out on the line, and the table set for lunch-- I myself Boiled the kettle, and put finishing touches to things.
Betty arrived by the evening train, as had been arranged she would, to give me a hand for a week or so.
My husband had gone to the station to meet her and carry her bag.
When They entered I was standing by the kitchen hearth, with baby in my arms almost hidden in a pink bunny-rug. Betty came forward, throwing her arm about my neck, and it not until she had duly embraced me that, that she turned her attention to the bundle I held. then I turned back the cover, and showed her the wee somewhat pale face and big, wide, wondering eyes of little Ruth Jones. What my dearest Sister though of her in that moment when she first gazed upon the countenance of her niece I'm not sure-- She was a little restrained in her remarks because of the presence of my husband. But as the days passed I could see that the little baby-thing was very defiantly finding a special place in her hart, a place which, I know, she had been preparing, as she might have prepared a very special guest-chamber specially for this little child, months, even before she was born-- because she was her sister's baby.
I am glad that my sister was there to share with me the first agonizing inexperience of managing a newborn babe.
The wee thing was so constipated for some days after my return, that I got thoroughly worried, and accompanied by Betty, I hurried her back to the hospital for their help and advice.
They fixed her up for the time being, and told me to give her paraffin oil; and that probable the trouble was due to insufficient food; this I almost flatly refused to believe, baby appeared to be taking her food well, and I had plenty for her. They said they feared she was not properly, but was becoming lazy at the breast, merely moving her lips without drawing strongly-- This I also denied-- Baby was sucking all right, I could tell, surely, if anyone could. When they weighed her however, they found she had gone back to her birth weight! and Sister feeling her little body said she was dreadfully thin, and seemed quite worried, I don't remember feeling any great alarm myself-
I was mildly worried of course, I had always fancied I would have such great hefty offspring, not being a small person myself, that the fact that this little daughter was bidding fair to err on the petite and lightweight side was not altogether unpleasant to me. I have since lived to learn that opinions can change rather completely for to-day I would give anything to have a plump, rosy baby like Mothers.
Sister was also definitely annoyed that I should have walked so much, and told me that I should have made my sister carry the baby all the way. "You may do yourself great harm for afterlife by not taking things easier now" she told me.
When she heard that I had some way to walk to the buss, she ran out her own car and drove me to the place. Betty who had been shopping was waiting there for me. as we drove I asked Sister if she didn't think, on account of Baby's loss of weight, that perhaps it would be better to feed her three hourly instead of four hourly. And she instantly- agreed that it would probably be a good plan. It was during this same short drive, that she suggested I should take Baby to the clinic and be guided by the sister there.
Baby was no better, and becoming thoroughly alarmed we took her to Dr. Goldie, who prescribed milk of magnesia for her.
The poor wee thing, how she hated being dosed with these various medicines! She had at that time of her life, such a pathetically funny little habit of throwing her wee hands up when in distress or fear.
Being denuded of all her clothing during bath-time, caused her a feeling of insecurity, and up would go her little hands, her wee face grown pink and puckered with very real fear, she would let the world know all about it by remarkably energetic yelling.
And the first three or four nights after I brought her home-- What a dance she led us! My husband was frantic, and I became worried because of the fuss he made. And poor Auntie, lying awake in the lounge-room where she slept, was silently troubled too. "An infant crying in the night-- an infant crying for a light-- and with no language but a cry."
Poor wee tiny thing. I used to get up and warm a bottle, thinking she may be thirsty, and would see she was comfortable and clean, but never would I walk the floor with her-- because I knew, if no one else did that this was the short, sharp, inevitable battle, that with any luck would end with long, peaceful nights for baby as well as ourselves-- nights such as old fashioned parents never new. And surely as day follows darkness that came-- came quicker than I had hoped it would. from the 5th night little miss Ruth slept from 10.pm. till 6.am. without a murmur and has continued this habit all through baby-hood. In fact she soon developed into a very good baby-- neither day nor night was there much crying heard from the pram in which she would lie, quite as a little mouse, often scarcely sleeping for a couple of hours at a time. gazing up at who ever went near her with big, wide as yet unseeing eyes.
There was one other time at which she manifested slight alarm, and therefore would cry a little, and that was when I partly undressed her, and left her lying in the morning sunrays-- in short gave her a sunbath. At first it was only five minutes I left her uncovered to the waist,
Gradually increasing it day by day until 20 min. or half an hour was not to long in this way she never burnt, but in time her little legs and even further up became a very decided tan. as the allowed minutes increased she would cease crying, becoming accustomed to it, and usually ending in falling asleep in the comfortable warmth. For yet it was scarcely out of winter, and the sun had no burning qualities.
After about weeks with us, in which time she helped me so able with the house and the baby, that I don't know what I would have done without her, my sister Betty left for home. it was one cool, fine morning about 9 O'clock that she bad a fond farewell to myself and her little niece. I had dressed Baby in the blue dress and bonnet her- Auntie had knitted her, in honor of the occasion, and with the wee blue gnome in my arms I stood at the gate, and waved good bye as the buss slid off towards Wollongong.
By Helen Kate Jones
Compiled by Paul Jones
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Well I have two little children now-- a girl and a boy-- could any mother wish for better combination. The wee son was born on the 28th of Sep. 1937, at 1/2 past 5 in the morning.
It was 1/2 past 12 on the night of the 27th that I became sick. It was very sudden. I had no indication whatsoever during the day or evening.
I gave Ruth her late bottle, which on that particular evening, for some reason was near 11 o'clock-- even then I felt perfectly well.
I was obliged to wake Mother and Dad-- They were dears! never murmured, but just got up and got dressed. Mother accompanied by Dad drove me up to Garryowen hospital in the Buick. It was a fine, dark night, just a little chilly.
The matron opened the door to our ring she was in her dressing-gown and looked half asleep-- I felt sorry we had not given her a ring to let her know I was going up; But she did not seem to mind at all. Mother and Dad said a fond farewell to me, and left. I hoped they would get home safely, for Mother was not very used to driving the car at night.
Matron and I unpacked my suit case in the in the hall so as not to wake the inhabitants of the ward.
When we had
found the necessary things, she escorted me to the little theatre. it was
not quite so up-to-date as the one in
I hardly know whether I felt very nervous or not, as I undressed, I believe I did a little, remembering what it had been like before. so far I had only slight pains. But they rapidly became worse once I was on the bed. Matron however declared that I had scarcely even begun, and would not probably need her attention for some time yet. so after seeing I was comfortable she went off to bed, leaving me a bell to ring in case I needed her.
To be in such a condition and left alone is not calculated to conduct restfulness, or peaceful slumber; And yet I was not really uneasy, at least not very, I lay there, and between the pains endeavored to realize the situation, to grasp the meaning of all this-- to realize the wonder of it all-- I was going through, for the second time, one the greatest experiences of life.
This meditation rapidly became less frequent as the pains became more so-- And yet, through it all I don't think I ever quite lost the realization of the wonder of it all.
At last I rang for the Matron. She came and this time stayed with me. I kept asking if the Dr. would soon be there, and wondered why she would not answer me directly. Next day I learnt that she had tried several times, in vain, to raise the exchange, the boy in charge had evidently fallen asleep, and therefore she couldn't get into touch with Dr. Wise. Eventually she had to send someone post-haste to Dr. Newtons, he being the nearest.
He arrived only just in time-- a few minutes later and the baby would have come into this world unassisted by a doctor. as it was he was in time to give me the blessed
whiff of chloroform that sent me into oblivion until it was all safely over.
I remember coming-to again suddenly and dreamily, hardly able to believe that it was already over. And just as had been the case when Ruth was born, from out of the clearing mists of semi-consciousness I heard my baby crying, and with a complacent thrill realized that it lived.
I asked several questions among which was "is the baby alright?" "is it a boy or a girl?"
I remember someone answering " a boy" to which I replied with feeling " Oh that is good!" Not until I heard myself utter this exclamation with a warmth that surprised my own half conscious ears, did I realize that it must of been a boy I wanted all the time deep down in my heart though I had believed I had no preference.
As they wheeled me from the room I caught a fleeting glimpse of my son-- through the bars of the little blue crib in which they had placed him I saw a momentary vision of a little puckered up red face crowned by thick jet-black hair. I experienced a moment of incredulous wonder " could it really be my baby, that little dark, foreign looking creature squirming and wailing there in the tiny cot?"
I was soon in a bed in the women's ward, and was conscious that there were two other occupants of the room, both young woman, expecting babies.
It was almost quite light by now with a weird grey light, for it must have been almost six o'clock.
The next thing to happen was that I was drinking a cup of tea brought to us by a neat little maid.
It was considerable later they bought my baby in for me to see, telling me he weighed 9lbs. this information caused me more than almost anything else-- To think I had given birth to a nine pound child, after the fears I had, had because of little Ruth's delicacy. As soon as they laid the little fellow in my arms I could see that he was healthy, as chubby as you could wish-- I had not imagined a bran-new infant could have such plump little limbs, already he had deep bracelets around his wrists, and his little eyes could scarcely open because of the fatness of his cheeks-- but Oh, he was alarming ugly! He was like a little bulldog pup.
His little face looked almost pugilistic in its ruddy masculinity-- for masculine he indeed was even to his hands which were large and broad, unlike the tiny, slender things Ruth's had been when first I saw them. He had none of her fair pink and white complexion either-- his including his large shell-shaped little ears and his broad tilted nose, was vividly scarlet, with almost an olive tint underlying it. A darker child apart from a piccaninny one could hardly find, when first I saw him.
There was one thing which first at first somewhat alarmed me-- and that was his chin-- it was reclining to a really ghastly degree, tucked away back from his mouth, taking the under lip with it a pity too, for otherwise it was a broad, well formed chin. And dear, dear! He had a regular little bull-neck, short and very, very fat!
Yet even at first sight I was pleased with him-- even with his ugliness for there was something sturdy about him-- and he looked such a real boy.
Of cause they rang up from home and wanted to know if they could see me that morning, but Matron advised waiting till the afternoon and then they came like an avalanche the whole lot of them-- Dad, Mother, Betty and Nancy, and even little Ruth-- they were all very polite about the baby, and seemed genuinely interested in him-- all except his sister, who catching site of lying in the little crib by my bed exhibited signs of genuine terror, and this together with the shock of seeing her Mother in such a strange, new place, got on her nerves so badly that she began to cry, and prance about in Aunty Betty's hold, and so had to be taken out. The family were on their way to visit Peggy Damphiny with whom they had made the arrangement some days before.
I have heard that after they left me Mother remarked that she thought the baby real manly looking little chap.
And so I embarked on my second sojourn in hospital. And even as I found the first time a memorable and pleasant time, so I found this except perhaps to a slightly lesser degree because of the alterations in my domestic life, it hurt me to see Mrs.Friend's and Mrs. Davies devoted young husbands come and sit by them of evenings-- during the first confinement my husband used to do the same.
Mrs. Davies only stayed a few days she was not expecting her child for three weeks yet. Mrs. Friend's baby was born the following day to mine. it was a girl, and weighed 10lbs. but it bust a blood vessel in its stomach and was soon a very sick infant. for several days they would give it nothing but boiled water. one evening they got the father up to give it a blood-transfusion. I don't think they new how it would go with the little thing, and if I had been the mother I would have been almost beside myself disappointment and apprehension-- but it almost seemed that she did not fully realize the seriousness of it all-- if she did she kept marvelously calm throughout.
I don't think I have ever been more thankful for any thing than for the comparison between that baby and my own-- for once mine was the strong baby. it was very, very sweet to me indeed to feel that at last I was the mother of a normal healthy baby; and watched him anxiously from Day to day, almost fearful lest I should see him beginning to grow pale as Ruth had done.
And he did get less ruddy than when I first set eyes on him; but this was probably only natural.
At the end of the first week the Matron remarked as she lay him in his little crib beside me after having bathed and weighed him "You must have enough for him Mrs. Jones- he is getting very nicely" and she added with a laugh " he just lay there on the scales and blanked looking up at me."
Betty and Nancy, or Dad popped in to see me every day! Mr. Firebrace came one afternoon too. And miss Morgan and even Gwen Glading, and Fuith Smith called, but was not allowed to see me because it was dinnertime. I believe this was the extent of my visitors.
Naturally the questions of the wee fellow's name came up during my sisters visits I could not make up my mind--it is far more difficult that would at first imagined to pick a name for ones own child. It seems so monotonous somehow, Betty and Nancy rather liked Peter-- said he looked like a regular ruddy Peter-- I liked this name, and for a while thought I would call him it. They got to know of this at the hospital, and from then until the time he left he was known as "Peter".
At last I
And the name they chose was Paul. And Paul he is to be. I chose his after names, Paul Lesley De. Witt Jones. Rather a long, grand name for such an atom of humanity-- I hope he will be worthy of it.
During the morning of my first Sunday there I received one of the surprises of my life. Matron broke the news to me-- She told me that my Mother was an inmate of this very hospital-- that she had been rushed up late on Wednesday night, just 24 hours after she had driven me up, and had been operated on for appendicitis. She was getting on well now matron assured me. They had not told me sooner because of causing me anxiety.
I learned afterwards that Mother had been a brick but that the affair had been a pretty bad one, entailing two operations, one on the Wednesday night and another on the following Saturday. How worried I would have indeed been had I known at the time. I think every one were wonderful how they kept from me. And they had been coming to see me just as usual, and I had vaguely wondered why they looked tired and sad. However, it all ended well, thank God.
On the seventh day Baby was circumcised, I had requested the doctor that it should be done. They took the poor wee fellow away, and actually put him under- chloroform. When they brought him back he was making the strangest noise as he breathed, a kind of a loud indrawing of the breath, like a kind of sobby sigh. The told me not to be alarmed, as some mothers were. That it was just the air getting into his lungs, and was rather a good sign showing that he was coming out of the anesthetic alright.
----By Helen Kate Jones----
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Its almost ten years now since I was confirmed Arch
Bishop Darcy Irving in the pretty little
Little wonder then, perhaps, that my confirmation coming at such a time did me very little good. It was on my part merely a rather desperate effort to stabilise my wandering faith, and force myself back into the old traditional way of believing what I had been taught to believe.
In those days I acutely ashamed of, and even horrified at the questioning of my mind; and in an honest endeavour to quench them, turned my back on them, and purposely took a forced interest in the church and its activities.
I attended confirmation classes; got confirmed; and took Sunday school work, teaching first a class of little girls, and later of little boys, strenuously keeping strictly to orthodox views in teaching them.
Needless to say all this gave me but little comfort and less satisfaction.
later I got a situation in the Church of England Hostel for school girls in Wagga Wagga. Miss
Akehurst, the principle was
It was all very impressive, and made quite an impression on me the first few times, until my natural rationalism came to the fore, and told me how silly, and heathenishly superficial was such a display among educated modern people.
The regulation of the Hostel required all its inmates to attend Holy Communion once every Sunday. I did so first thing in the morning before breakfast, with a strange repugnant reluctance. I know how solemnly it was regarded, and knew that in my heart of hearts I could not attend in the state of heart necessary at such a sacrament.
If there is one thing I have always abhorred it is being false to my self and others in religious matters, and taking part in a sacrament in which I could not one hundred percent sympathise, was extremely painful to me.
And yet in those days, I had no strong enough convictions of my own to enable me to go against rules and refuse to attend Holy Communion My ideas were practically unformed, my doubting, and disbelief in the traditional religion still fitful and vague, though stronger than at the time of my conformation, and less horrifying to me. I was still fighting and struggling to keep hold of old faiths, strenuously reluctant for the sake of old langsyne and an honest uncertainty, to let them go, deeming it safer to hold fast to the deal that I knew than to discard it for the deal I did not know.
Two years after this I met and married my Husband, an unintellectual man , with a simple belief in the christen doctrine that did not seem to help him greatly in his every day life. He believed explicitly in the theory of unmerited favour through the blood of Christ. It was the only doctrine he seemed to have clearly defined in his mind. I have often wondered since if perhaps he believed some of his own merit necessary to get him to heaven it might not have proved a better stimulant in checking him from entering into these unseemly tempers that in the end, five years after our marriage, were the major cause of our final parting.
Just before and during our marriage I went through the most worldly and careless period of my life. Spiritually slipped into the back of my mind, so to speak, and my newly found life, especially my home, and the coming of my babies occupied practically all my thoughts: And when I did have time to think of deeper things my brain was so tired out with the endless task of keeping a house and family going that I could not use it to the best advantage by a long way.
And so for almost five years my Spiritual progress was virtually at a standstill. Consequently the vital questions that for some time years past had been worrying me, ceased to trouble me much at all. Subconsciously my neglected beliefs slipped back into the way of least resistance into the old grooves of my childhood, there to lie dormant, save when I wished to preach to my husband, or teach my babes to lip a first prayer..
And so it came about that my childrens first religious instructions were as conventional and orthodox as my own had been.
When it became necessary for me to leave my husband, and the children came to live with my parents and two sisters in the old home of my girlhood I began once more, to think in the tranquil somewhat monotonous existence in which I again found myself to think more seriously and frequently about the spirituel side of life. And still, after all these years I made separated if weakening attempts to regain the fading faith of my early youth.
Reviewing it now, it seems to me that one of the main reasons for my wishing to keep it , apart from a desire to a quite dead sure of my own convictions before throwing it up, was because it was the much loved cried of my family to whom I have always been most devoted. I instinctively felt that if I once cut adrift from the doctrine they held I would automatically and irretrievably cut myself off from the soul-harmony I had always enjoyed with my sisters in particular: Religion to them is no light thing anymore than it is to me we could not differ on vital points concerning it and still retain our intellectual comradeship.
And so far two more years I said very little to them about the ceaseless battle I waged deep down in my soul for spiritual truth that alone could bring me that spiritual peace I craved but did not possess.
Meanwhile I continued to teach my three young children according to the simple faith of my own childhood, and allowed their aunts to give them hymns of his sacrifice for sin and his godhead in the skies. And all the time something in my soul clamoured against it- Giving me no rest, no happiness in my childrens spiritual growth; Calling to me to be true to my strengthening conviction that Christ was not god, and to be bold enough to proclaim it to my relatives, and teach my own children in the way of truth as I saw it.
Yet I held on to tradition as a drowning man might grasp last mast of his sinking ship. All the really good people I could think of were Christians (certainly I do not know many people good or bad). There was a marked improvement in my sister Bettys character since she had given her life to Christ. And in talking, with my sisters I readily agreed that Christianity was responsible for the better social systems over more than half the world, and that things could have been even better had the human race taken Christianity more to heart than it had done; but even as I spoke in my own mind laid the emphasis on Christianity rather than Christ.
Yet I had relapses not infrequently in which I earnestly wished I could embrace the orthodox apostolic believe as my sisters did.
I envied them for their deep, unruffled faith and the resultant happiness, and the joy they found in going to church, and in Christian fellowship. In vain did I try to follow their example, and attend church services and admire and get to know their friends. None of these things seemed to help me, or draw me any nearer to Christ- Search as I would, pray as I would- and in these days I did both hard and fervently. He remains to me far away, aloof and unreal- But god, ah that is a different story, He has always been near me as in these last months of struggle and perplexity.
I think I can honestly say I have never in all my life doubted the existence of god, the Creator and ruler of the universe, or the immortality of the soul. It was to my Maker I prayed in these days, that he would not suffer me to go astray in my search for Truth. I simply wanted to see the light, and I asked Him earnestly and humbly to open my eyes.
Last summer, while my mother was away in hospital and my sisters and I were thrown very much together I went through a short, strange period in which I actually decided that I would put all reasoning aside and believe blindly, as a little child in the divinity of Christ. I opened my mind and soul, so to speak, wide to him, and hoped and prayed for faith.
For a few day, it might have been a week I was light-hearted and happy, and fondly believed it was because of the change- I know now that in reality it was because the weight of the battle had been temporally lifted, and that, and that I was taking a kind of a holiday away from the fret and worry of my reasoning and doubts.
I told my sisters of my decision, and felt a glow of satisfaction.
But soon very gradually at first, my Faith and decision began to ebb out together. Old questionings crept back to trouble my mind, questioning crept back to trouble my mind.
In things I wrote and said I found myself avoiding the direct mention of Jesus, substituting only too willingly for it the word God, Creator or Omnipotence- Indeed even during the period in which I actually thought I had accepted Christ I was puzzled by this same reluctance deep down inside to allude to him in the name the God I adored, or to associate him directly with that god to myself or to other people.
It was as this fact became apparent to me that I began to realise all was not well with this faith into which I had tried to force myself. Indeed after the first few weeks, became spiritually uneasy and unhappy. It is somewhat difficult to explained on paper. Just what were my feelings during that short period in which I acted against every intuition and impulse of my soul, except to say that, when at last I faced the facts once more and decided once and for all that orthodox Christianity had nothing to offer me save the example of a perfect life lived two thousand years ago, and that I had better give the farce in which I had been deceiving myself and others and go straight on with my search after truth, I felt that I had broken some iron chains by which my spirit had been chafed and kept in bondage.
Two things were mainly responsible for my decision to finally throw overboard tradition and convention and stand forth boldly in the nakedness of my own true convictions. One was my sister Bettys doctrine books by the help of which she has passed her deaconess cause. These books with there narrow view, bigoted intolerance, and almost baby like believe in magic and supernatural phenomena were great eye openness to me as to what the Orthodox Christian creed really is- I felt such a creed would never suit me- it requires a good deal more credulity than I possess.
The other and stronger factor was strangely persistent urge of conscience that kept continually counselling me to be true to my convictions at all cost- Not until Then- not until then The voice of my God seemed to tell me can you know the grand, glorious freedom your spirit craves- until you get that freedom the growth of your soul and that of your childrens will be retarded
By Helen Jones
Transcribed be her son Paul
For the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
Minister, and to give his life a ransom for many
Ransom Means:---- The price paid to redeem a person, or
Goods, from an enemyor, to redeem from captivity by a price
Christs Life was the price he was willing to pay to redeem his people from error which leads to sin, and there for to separation from god and is in its truest sense, captivity.
By giving us the truth he redeemed us and set us free- But by giving us the truth he invoked the hatred of the teaches of error as he knew from the beginning he would; and the death of the cross, followed as an inevitable sequence.
He could have avoided it- but only by leaving His sheep to the mercy of the wolves. And so of His own free will He lay down his life for the sheep The great shepherd lay down his life for the sheep rather than leave them at the approach of danger to Himself, to the scattered from the way of truth in which He alone could lead them: For he said I am the way, the truth and the life He that followeth me will not walk in the darkness but shall have the light of life
It is the light we receive through believing in Him- or to put it another way, believing his words and keeping His commandments that gives us life.
There is no such thing as unmerited favour; Christ did not literally bear our sins for us during the crucifixion to satisfy Gods outraged sense of justice.
He was Gods ambassador, sent into the world with an ultimatum for peace- we can either accept, or reject that ultimatum, the conditions of which are simply- Repentance of faith.
Repentance means- a turning around- and would mean here- a turning round to God.
This is not unmerited Favour- There is nothing mysterious about it- It is a law of nature, and therefore is acceptable to God who is the author of all that is natural. The impulse to forgive: followers the impulse to repent: as spontaneously in anyone of True nature, as the day follows the morning or the summer the spring.
What just father will not forgive his child if they return again to do his will? Or even endeavour to do it?
Or what prison law will not slacken and become lenient towards the prisoners who good behaviours?
If therefore we, being but human, can forgive where we feel it is merited, how much more possible must forgiveness be to God, His nature being so much vaster than ours- His understanding so infinitely bigger.
The blood theorists point out that even repentance would not render us perfect enough to stand in Gods presence
But do they forget that it was God himself who made us? That we are as much part of His creation as the earth, the spheres, and indeed as heaven itself? And that in Genesis it tell us, that when the Lord had finished creation He looked upon it, and saw that it was good?
Do they forget that God hateth nothing that he made?
It was He Himself who gave us free-will, and with it, great limitation as to its strength
If human will power had been three or four times as strong, Eve would not have succumbed to the Spirit of evil in the Garden of Eden.
There is a definite limit also, to the intellect and reason with which we have been endowed.
God Himself has given us nervessupersensitive and attuned to acute sensibilities. And through and through these very nerves we can feel Gods presence, and glory in it, we can also feel the urge of anger, jealousy, sensuousness and passion, and the fear that to o often leads to deceit, and at other times to a weakening of our faith. They make us tired, so that we cannot work for Him, or prey to Him, as we should.
Christ realised this when he said, The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
True God does require us to be perfect, even as He is perfectBut it is the heart rather than the act by which He judges.
If therefore the thoughts of the heart can make us sinful, they can also make us perfect. If they can condemn us, they can save us.
There are manymore than we suspect, who have grand, high, noble idealsall who have seen the truth as preached by Jesus Christ have themall who believe in Him desire to serve Himand none wholly succeed on account of their bodily impurities.
God would be short sighted indeed if He could not foresee that these same people, when at last they are freed from the body and its impediments are well nigh perfect, even to the degree of being worthy to share with the angels the glory of His heaven.
We can be sure God does know this, for He is the great Psychologist. Christ knew it when he said, behold a man in whom there is no guile.
If He was not judging that man minus his bodily handicaps, how could He have said such a things of a mere human being. Are not the best of us guilty of guile at some time or another?
Fortunately most of the sins from which we suffer can be shed with the body, providing of course, that they have not became soul-deep, that is to say, that they are unwelcome guests, and not bosom-friends.
It is when we make gods of our sins, and worship them as truth, that they become deadly, as a cancer, eating into our souls, until the whole soul becomes changed in substance, resembling, and being actually part of the thing that changed it. In short, being of one substance with Satan instead of God.
If we die in this state, then indeed must God say departfor we can have nothing in common with Him, and we are not fit for heaven. Repentance would be impossible to such a Soul. It would not have the capacity to repent. It is only when our sins are unwelcome to us that we have the power to repent. The very fact of repentance shows in itself that the sin is not of the soul; that it is rather caused by some bodily or mental weakness that death would remove.
Unmerited favours could not by any rational explanation take away sin, even though it could be forgiven. Repentance (which is a turning sound to God) dose that so thoroughly, that there would in any case, be no need for anything else.
Christ came into the world, not to save us by any kind of magic, but to Call sinners unto repentance, and to Sanctify them in the truth
The Church of England Minister
(it is not known whether it was ever sent}
Dear Mr Firebrace
We have not got a Rallis for months now.
I have been reading with keen intent your pamphlets, which have been sent to my sister Nancy. Particularly the last one A Challenge to the Churches appealed to me, for I am one of thousands who have been spiritually starved for years by the Church.
You may remember that some time ago my sister Betty wrote to your wife joyfully telling her that I had been converted. Well the truth is, at that time and for a brief spell afterwards I did decide to become something more than a lukewarm churchwoman. But it did not act- never in my life have I gone through more torment of mind than during that short time when I tried to force myself to believe things that were defiantly against the judgement of my higher reason and therefore strongly against my true convictions.
Thank God I have given up on attempt now- I no longer class myself a member of the Orthodox Church.
You are right when you say that None of the existing Religious viewpoints can take part, as they are in the building of gods new order. But I wonder if you Mr Firebrace are fully aware why?
Personally I think definitely the answer is that the Church is shamefully antiquated in creed and doctrine. (I might say that I have read through carefully all of Bettys doctrine books)
Is not the human race intended to live and learn? - is it not just part of the Creators great plan of evolution?
I think how far we have progressed in most things since the first century of Christ, of the great discoveries we have made in the realm of science and then in comparison, think of our Spiritual progress, and you have to admit that we are just where we were then- or at least the Church is- The people on the whole are far ahead of it. The old credulous almost superstitious faith of ancient times can no longer represent the reality of a living God to them, and yet believe me, most of them at bottom, crave for some reasonable faith through which their keen, modern intellect can worship the supreme spirit of the universe. They are no longer babes requiring the spiritual milk that the church still persists in offering them. They need solid food based on logic; but tragically enough none is forth coming. Who can blame them then for declining in soul stamina? Would not a mans strength decline were he fed on milk alone all his life? Indeed it is doubtful whether he would ever attain to manhood.
Nature can teach us an enormous amount of truth, for indeed in a very great sense she is the mind of God. One has only to think back over the ages to see how every thing in nature has been on the move forward. Paratactically nothing has stood still.
Then why should our religious intellect be an exception?
Is it not possible that the bible could have been intended as a preparation for greater truths to come? An important wrung on ladder to Spiritual heights? Even the church admits that the old Testament was so. Why should not the new Testament in like manner have been given to us to fill our need until such times as we could bear more of the Infinite Mystery of God?
For instance, how many otherwise good people today, can believe literally in some of the miracles recorded in the bible. What it far to often resembles is improbability, the fairy-tails they told us children; and yet on the other hand their highest reason argues for a God- How otherwise could the universe be run so perfectly. In a thousand things they can discern the workings of a mastermind: In the advent of Mosses, then Christ and even Mohammed, they can trace the Great Spirit of the Master endeavouring to impart some of the essential goodness of himself into the world. Using these great personalities to teach humanity His will.
This is the truth as I see it. It has not been gleaned from modernistic books or speaking with modernistic people, for I have done neither. It is simply the outcome of deep and prayerful thinking for months past. And I am of the opinion that the great bulk of people, perhaps in many cases subconsciously, are feeling the truth coming home to them in much the same way as I have.
Yes, there is a Pentecost at hand. But it will be very different from the Kind the Orthodox Christian is looking for. It will not be designed for the joy of the simple- minded only as our present form of Christianity is; but for the great multitude of intelligent hungry souls who at present can find no solid food to satisfy their craving for the truth.
Perhaps it sounds too bold a thing to say; yet I say it unflinchingly.
The Church is dying to day because it persists in ancient traditionalisms. Persists in seeing in Jesus, not the Christ Prophesied by the Jews but the full glory of God- Perhaps so far we would not have been able to stand the enormity of that glory, as it really is. Human imagination could not have grasped it. But I feel certain that humanity on the whole is ready now and waiting for the revelation of God such as has never been given to the world before- and so I repeat the Church will die unless it can rise to the occasion, and face with fearless courage the New Truth which must be the forerunner to Gods new Order upon Earth
Helen K Jones