Marie Grace John (Part 2)
|First name||Marie Grace|
|Last name||John (Part 2)|
|Country of Origin||India|
|Date of Birth||3/2/2024|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||circa 1981|
|Submitted by||Elizabeth James|
My sister Marie Part 2
In later years when I too was a mother, Marie told me that her marriage had been arranged by our parents and she had accepted it as the norm at the time. However, in common with many girls from her generation she knew nothing whatsoever about the facts of life and on the wedding night refused to let him in the bedroom. This went on for three nights until in desperation he went to see my parents. Marie said that my mother then explained to her that it was her duty to submit to her husband but offered no explanation of what ‘submit’ meant. She said she found the experience disagreeable but that once her son was born she settled down to married life and he compensated for everything. She went on to have two more children. She said she did not understand what this ‘in love’ thing was. Living with somebody and caring for them every day Ð was that not love? A very valid observation!
Ivan was everybody’s darling being the first baby in our home since my birth and since I was only about 6 and a half at the time, I was torn between jealousy at no longer being the centre of attention and love for this little scrap and we continued close throughout our lives. He was the first to go to Australia which he did in the early seventies and then was joined by his brother and sister and finally Marie and Wilson too went to Australia and settled in Melbourne.
At first they lived in Sydney but then got a little retirement place in Melbourne in which they were very comfortable. I had a wonderful letter from Wilson which said that to him I would always be ‘that little girl I carried on my shoulders and my heart and my home will always be filled with love for you.’ I thought it was a wonderful thing to say and sadly, I never saw him again. I never made it to Australia and now I do not suppose that I ever will.
She seemed very happy but then I never knew Marie to be a complainer or whinger as we say and by the time she settled in Australia, our family was very far flung with one sister in Pakistan (Winnie), one in Florida (Ida) and me in the UK – thus we were literally at the four corners of the globe. When my father died in 1968 I managed to get my mother over to the UK with me although it took years of negotiations and it was 1971 before she eventually arrived in the UK. Happily in 1989 my three sisters and my mother and I all spent about a month together at my then home in Thornford in Dorset and spent many happy hours reminiscing, knitting together as we had done when we were young and getting told off by our mother as if we were still girls – for staying up too late at night!!! It is a wonderful memory which I shall treasure always as we had all been separated since I was fifteen years old. All my memories of my sisters are good ones – they were always good to me.
Sadly, my mother passed on in August 1996 and then in October 2003 my sister Ida died suddenly so now there are only Marie, Winnie and me. Marie lost her eldest son Ivan who lived for many years in Perth – also suddenly in April 2005 and the shock of it was the finish for Wilson, then 91 years old and he died in July of the same year. Whilst Marie has accepted the fact that her son has gone, the loss of her husband of 63 years does not seem to have sunk in and she insists that he has gone out and will be “back soon”. I have not spoken to her for more than a year as it is not easy now that she is in a home and I only wish that the distance between us was not so great as to prohibit my seeing her. She is, however, always in my thoughts and my prayers and I shall always love and revere her as a beautiful and good person and a shining example to all.
Marie is back living in Sydney and my niece Vivienne says that she remembers things which happened when she was young but does not remember what she had for lunch. I feel that the shock of losing both her son and her husband within the space of three months has caused her to revert to times when she was happy as the reality would be too cruel.
I hope you will publish my story because I want the world to know about my lovely and much loved sister Marie.