The Godmother(s)
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The CBB -> St Mildred's House

#1: The Godmother(s) Author: claireLocation: South Wales PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:57 pm
Jo Maynard rubbed the small of her back and groaned, how could this be happening, here she was, about to give birth to their first child and her husband wasn’t there, she wouldn’t be able to feel his arms around her or see him try to keep the tears away when his son or daughter was shown to him for the first time. He should be downstairs, pacing the floor, or even with her, he was a doctor after all. She knew that it wasn’t really Jack’s fault, you couldn’t blame him for Hitler invading Poland or for him being called into the forces. Jo rapidly changed her opinion when another contraction hit, stronger than any she had felt before. ‘His duty was to me, his wife, not his country’ she muttered under her breath.
The Nurse who had been employed to look after Jo for her confinement recognised the change in the labouring woman’s breathing. ‘Mrs Maynard, You need to get back into bed, the doctor’s on his way and it won’t be long now.’
Jo turned to argue but as her lips parted all that came was another low moan, Nurse took her arm, and with a look that had never failed to be obeyed, even by Joey’s sister several months earlier, helped her onto the bed in the centre of the room. From downstairs the sound of a doorbell was heard, and the women looked at each other, Nurse gave her patient a small smile, ‘That’ll be the doctor, and just in time too I should say,’ as at that moment the slight movements in Jo’s form gave signs that the baby was starting to make an arrival, the wet patch spreading giving the same information.
Dr Chester entered the big airy bedroom at Les Rosiers to find Jo reaching above her head grasping at the bedhead, her hips slightly raised, bracing herself. ‘Jo have you been pre-empting my arrival. Stop pushing until I say you can. Nurse can you ensure everything is ready. Anna’ raising his voice ‘bring some hot water up here immediately’
A few moments lately he announced that Jo was ready to push.
‘As if I wasn’t already’ the 21 year old muttered under her breath.
With the next contraction she pushed as hard as she could, this was different to all the pains she had felt previously, this time she felt her body tighten its hold and her baby move closer to entering the world, a feeling of intense fullness followed as her pelvis felt it was about to explode, the baby forcing it’s entrance to the world through her abdomen, another contraction followed, the fullness faded and a burning sensation took over.
Lost in her own world Joey barely heard the doctor’s voice ‘I can see the baby’s head, on the next contraction don’t push so I can check the cord.’ The next contraction came and Jo was unable to stop herself, and in one push out came a small baby, pink and crying.
‘It’s a girl’ Dr Chester said with a smile, passing the baby to Nurse, who quickly cleaned up the baby before passing her to her mother for a cuddle.
‘It’s a gingertop’ said the new mother, with distinct shock in her voice. A giggle rang round the room, as she hugged her baby daughter closer ‘What will Madge say? Oh, I wish your Papa could see you.’
‘Jo, can I feel your stomach for a moment, pass your daughter to Nurse.’ As Jo did as she was told she turned a questioning glance at her doctor. ‘I told you I thought that there was a high chance of twins, I need to check that I was right, more so as your baby is small compared to what I would have expected a singleton to be’
Ten minutes later, the redheaded baby was in her crib as all three people in the room where involved in the next birth. ‘Jo, you have to listen to me and do as I say, this baby is the wrong way round, so I’m going to have to help things along.’
Jo glanced down at the scissors Dr Peters was holding and paled.
‘Your daughter needs help, but things are going to be fine’
‘Another daughter?’ The question was followed by a stoical flinch as the incision was made
‘Yes, another girl. Now, Jo push as hard as you can, and I’ll help the head out.’
A loud scream tore through the air, causing Anna in the kitchen to drop the pie she had just taken out of the oven on the floor.
‘One more push, Jo, and she’ll be in your arms.’
Jo sat up in bed, a baby tucked up in each arm. ‘Two babies, I can hardly believe it, I know you said it was twins, and twins do run in my family and, of course, Jack is a twin but I didn’t really think I’d have twins.’
Nurse and Dr Chester shared a smile and as Jo gave a grimace as the contractions returned they each took a baby. ‘Just the placenta to come now Joey, and looking at those two I’d say they were identical so it should soon be over now.’
As Joey started to push a gush of water sprayed over the doctor, causing him to frown. ‘That’s not a seperation bleed’ he muttered to himself ‘what..’ as he bent to take a closer look his face visibly paled. ‘Jo, you know I said it was twins?’
Jo nodded towards the crib ‘Yes, there they are’ before continuing to push, the feeling of fullness returning again
‘I was wrong, you’re not having twins. It’s triplets. There’s the head. And’ lifting another bawling redhead ‘here is your third daughter. Congratulations’

The next hour went by in a blur for the new mother, being washed and then feeding her new baby daughters, marvelling in them, their newborn smell, their thirty fingers and thirty toes, even the surprising ginger hair seemed a miracle to their mother.
A few tears fell at the memory that she was unable to show them off to their father, to see the shock and surprise on his face when he learned that he was the father of three, she hadn’t mentioned that twins was a distinct possibily so this would be a complete bolt out of the blue. Jo wiped away the tears and turned to Dr Chester, he could provide a second best to seeing Jack’s reaction – her sister Madge, who had been more of a mother to her. Initially Jo had intended to tell Madge over the telephone to get her to visit as soon as possible but she couldn’t miss getting a first hand account of the look on her face.
‘Do go yourself Peter,’ she implored. ‘Don’t just ring up or send a message. I’m dying to hear what Madge says and how she looks. You go; and tell me the whole story next time you come.’
‘I’ll go if you’ll go to sleep without any more fuss,’ he had said.
‘Sleep? You couldn’t keep me awake if you paid me for it!’ retorted Joey, snuggling down among her pillows, and closing her eyes.
And meanwhile in the large double crib, babies One, Two and Three slept just as peacefully.

Somewhere in France

Jack Maynard sank back onto his billet, the news just emparted by Major Holmes had still not sunk in.
‘Three, three..’ he counted on his fingers ‘One, two, three! How?’
‘What’s up, Maynard?’ A strong Liverpudian accent called from across the room, ‘The news can’t be that bad. You’re whiter than a sheet, not these sheets obviously’ patting the khaki cover Jack was perched on.
Jack turned, a grin creeping over his face. ‘It’s my wife and the baby. She’s had it, them. She’s had three little girls. I’m a father……I’m a father.’
Lee Watson’s hand clapped the new father on the back ‘Congratulations, mate, knew you had it in you. But three, what do you mean, three?’
‘She’s had triplets. I’m in shock, I thought it could be two, I’m a twin myself and twins are in her family as well but three didn’t cross my mind. But according to the wire mother and all three babies are doing well, tiny but perfect. And I’m not there to see them’
‘At least it means you miss the stinking nappies and sleepless nights. Congrats again, mate. You know what this means, do you? We’ll have to take you to the pub to celebrate.’

Later that evening Jack Maynard and Lee Watson, along with Jones and Bennett, were propping up the bar of the nearest hostelry, a fifteen minute walk from the frontline hospital where all four were currently based, although Jack was a qualified doctor he had joined up as a regular soldier, but his talents had soon been noted and he had been placed within the RMC, ostensibly as an orderly.
Jack grinned at the drinks put in front of him, each of the other three men had a pint glass in their hands, Jack had the pint along with 3 whiskey chasers. ‘One off each of you is it?’
‘No, one for each baby of course.’ Bennett raised his glass, ‘once I’d explained to the bloke behind the bar he found a bottle for you.’
As soon as Jack finished that round of drinks, one of his mates ordered the same round again, the comments became slightly lewder, involving the milkman, the postman and any other male who may have cause to call to the Maynard household.
The four mates set off, the new father being propped up between them, as they rounded the first corner they nearly bumped into a courting couple, who hastily straightened their clothing.
‘Better be careful, luv,’ chuckled Watson ‘the amount of lead this one’s got in his pencil, you’re lucky you ain’t up the duff already!’
Leaving the mystified French couple behind them, they made their way back, as they came within sight of the hospital buildings Jack’s face turned green and hastily Jones and Bennett pulled him to one side, just in time for him to vomit the whiskey over a nurse’s foot.
Jack looked up, the horrified look on the pretty nurse’s face, not to mention the disgust on her two colleagues, was the perfect antidote to the alcohol, sobering him almost instantly.
‘I am so sorry, so, so sorry,’ he gabbled, pulling his handkerchief out of his pocket and trying to mop the mess away from the brunette’s face. ‘I’m not normally like this, honestly, it’s just we’ve been out to celebrate’
‘I can see that,’
‘No really, I’ve just become a father for the first time,’
‘And the second and the third’ came a murmured comment behind him.
‘This won’t come off, how can I make it up to you?’
‘Don’t worry about it, Daddy, tell you what name the baby after me, unless it’s a boy, he might get teased in the playground being called Maria.’
‘No problem, done.’
‘What about me?’ A cockney voice chimed in, ‘I got caught in that little explosion too, why isn’t she going to be Eliza?’
Jack looked at the three girls, ‘Why not? I’ve got three of them! What’s your name?’ turned to the third girl, who up till now had remained silent.
‘She’s Martha,’ the cockney replied.
‘Well then, Maria. Eliza and Martha’ Jack replied, punctuating each name with a quick kiss ‘I’ll came one of my triplets after each of you, goodnight’ And the proud new father sauntered off, leaving a surprised sextette behind him.

#2:  Author: claireLocation: South Wales PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:58 pm
Jo sat propped up in the bed, looking at her three daughters lying on Broderie Anglais bedspread in front of her.
‘I just don’t know what I’m going to call you three!’ she said to them quietly ‘I know I’ve said Jane, Joan and Jean, but that was just to wind Madge up, there’s enough J Maynards in this house as it is, I’ll never be able to sort the post when you’re older if I go with that.’
She looked from One (which she was currently thinking of her eldest daughter as) clad in a lemon cardigan over her frock, to Two (dressed in plain white) then across to Three (in lemon and white stripes) ‘I don’t know why I’m expecting you lot to answer, I have to dress you differently to tell you apart – maybe that’s it call you after colours and dress you to match your name, Jade, Rose and Scarlet? No, with your hair colour I couldn’t dress any of you in pink’
‘Your Papa did suggest if we had a girl to name her after me, and a boy after him so maybe I could choose Joesphine, oh and Margaret and Cecelia to go with it. No Robin’s already got one child named after her and at her age that’s enough – there’s such a thing as overkill. Oh, this is so frustrating, all I have so far is that each of you will have Mary as a first name, and we’d agreed that before you arrived.’
At a murmur from Two, Jo moved the others to the large crib next to the bed and started to feed her. ‘This is your fault, you know’ she went on conversationally, ‘If you three had come along at Christmas time as I was expecting, then we wouldn’t have this problem, well, I wouldn’t if there had only been two, you would have been Mary Christine and Mary Natalie, maybe Mary Holly as the third, but no, you had to come on Bonfire night. There’s an idea – Guyella…… Catherine and ……. No can’t think of a third, it was stretching to go with Catherine Wheel.’
At the mention of these names Three set up a horrific bawling and moments later joined her elder sister in her mother’s arm. ‘Maybe we should see what your Papa suggests’ she mused, picking up the letter beside her. ‘Maria, Eliza and Martha – urgh – Jack what ARE you thinking, you know I didn’t even like Pygmalion! No, sorry dear, you got your way over the Marys, the rest is up to me if that’s the best you can do.’
‘Maybe the J thing wasn’t such a bad idea, just a different letter. Hmm. Connie, Clare and … Clara? No that’s horrible. Clare and Connie are nice, but.. This is why most sane people only have one baby at a time, to come up with three names is too hard.’
Jo shifted her younger two daughters back to the crib, before settling down with her eldest. ‘I think I’ll leave this idea for now, what about godmothers? I could name you after them, problem solved.’ Jo leant back on the pillows with a smile, before realising that she didn’t know who the three godmothers were to be. ‘Maybe Simone, Frieda and Marie? Simone couldn’t get jealous that any one was picked over the other? No that’s no good. They’re not nearly old enough to be godparents’ sublimely ignoring the fact that all three were older than she was and Marie, at any rate was also a mother. ‘Beside’s who knows when, or if, I’ll see Frieda again, and Marie doesn’t stand a chance of crossing the Atlantic until this war’s over.’
‘I’d quite like Bill to be a godmother, both she and Hilda have helped me enormously and she’s the only one eligible and Jack did say Charlie and Nally were instrumental in bringing us together, although he won’t say why, so those three I think. That would been Helena, Constance (ohh, that’s good I thought of Connie earlier) and Grace. Grace! No, I can’t have that, whichever infant I saddled it with is bound to become the clumsiest creature in existence.’
Jo laid her eldest back in the crib and sat watching over the three of them. ‘Madge, I’ll name one of you after her, but maybe Margot instead, it’s the only nice short we aren’t currently using and it would be nice for Daisy and Prim’ she thought, her brother-in-law’s sisters death still fresh in her mind. ‘So, then,’ she said out loud. ‘Margot, Helena and Connie, we’ll have to shorten Helena, Nell’s in use and Hell is just not in the running so Len, ‘now it’s just a question of which name for which baby. Right you three, speak up. Margot!’ she called in a sweet voice.
The baby wearing stripes let out a cry and woke up startled, ‘Hello, Margot, come to Mamma’ Jo said, picking her up with a smile. She then went on to try the same trick with the other two names but both babies continued to sleep. ‘How can I work this out. Which is to be Connie and which is Len? Whoever wakes next will be Len, the one still sleeping Connie.’
An hour later, Jo was still sat in the same position shifting Margot back to beside One and Two, even though she only weighed 4lb 3oz, 8oz and 6oz less than either of her respective sisters, a sleeping baby was never a lightweight after some time. Jo placed Margot down between the elder two, accidently nudging a lemon clad arm as she did so, thus settling the names, and incidentally the godparents.

'I've finally settled on the girls' names, I hope you don't mind, Jack, but I didn't use your suggestions from your letter and the baptisms tomorrow (the 12th) so this is what I decided upon in the end, I went with your request for Mary as a first name for a daughter (for all three, not sure if that was what you meant as you were only expecting one daughter) the eldest is Mary Helena (after Bill, who will be her godmother, with Gottfried Mensch as godfather), then Mary Constance (after Charlie, godparents to be her, of course, and Eugen von Wertheimer) and the baby to be Mary Margaret (after Madge but due to the religion aspect I've asked Grace Nalder to be godmother, along with Vater Bar) Hope that meets with your approval, you've always said you owe a debt to both Charlie and Nally so I thought this would be a nice way of repaying them. What do you think?'
Have to go now, Nurse won't let me do much at the moment, so just to say I love you and can't wait to see you and for you to see the babies - I keep showing them your photograph so hopefully they'll recognise their Papa when they see him!
PS I thought that Mary Margaret would be shortened to Margot - so nice for Daisy and Primula don't you think?'

Jack folded up the letter from his wife, with a frown on his face 'B****ks, what do I think? No, you're going to ask why I owe Con and Grace, I should never have mentioned the whole thing. B******ks, b*****ks'
'Something wrong?' an amused voice asked.
'Something from the dim and distant past has returned to haunt me, and I just pray my wife doesn't find out'

Jack collapsed onto his bed, his eyes closing almost immediately, the 18 hours he had previously been on his feet for did not ensure a dreamless sleep and he was transported back to the town of Spartz some 18 months previously.
Although the rain was heavy, Jack had come down to the town on his weekend off, ostensibly to see a play that was on at the tiny hall the Tyrolean town boasted. In reality he wanted to avoid his colleagues, or colleague if he was being honest with himself. As he walked down the stairs of the Hotel Post he recognised a figure in the doorway, a small, pretty woman was peering out into the cold, as if trying to decide whether to venture out or no.
‘Hello, Grace,’ he called, ‘I wasn’t expecting to see you here. Are you meeting anyone?’
She turned to look at him, the tears evident in her grey eyes, ‘No, I came down for the weekend with Con, Con Stewart, but she’s gone to dinner with Jock MacKenzie so I’m on my own, I was going to see that murder mystery everyone’s been talking about, but, it’s stupid I know, but I was getting nervous about going alone.’
‘Not stupid at all,’ Jack said gallantly, offering his elbow, ‘I would be delighted if you would do me the honour of accompanying me to the theatre.’
Grace Nalder smiled up at him and took the proffered arm, ‘Thank you, kind sir, I would be delighted.’
Much later that evening the pair were sat in a quiet corner of the hotel bar, his tongue loosened by several whiskeys Jack looked at the firelight, reflecting off the well polished dark wood all around, and admitted his problem and his feelings to Grace.
'It's. it's Dr Hunter'
‘I’ve had a letter from Jo and from what she says it appears she’s staying in India for as long as he’s at the Sonnaple, I think he’s put her off doctors for life, I was going to tell her how I felt, but then HE turned up and she runs for the hills, I can’t decide whether to cut my losses and just move on myself, ask out one of the nurses instead of hankering around over someone I may never win over.’
Grace reached across the table and placed her hand on top of his, ‘It’s hard when you love someone and they don’t love you back,’
Jack looked into her eyes, recognising a kindred spirit, ‘You too?’
‘And when they are with someone else, it’s like a knife turning in your heart, take tonight, Con and Jock are out having a meal, and I’m here with you. No offence, but you’re just not the one I wanted to be with tonight, but maybe your advice was right’ her voice trailed off.
‘My advice?’
‘Move on, find someone else, you may both know you’re not first choice but as long as you’re not deceiving anyone where’s the harm?’
Grace picked up her glass and drained the rest of the golden fluid before flicking her brown hair back off her forehead, ‘Are you going to walk me to my room?’
Up stairs the pair paused outside the door, ‘Goodnight then Jack,’ she said softly, before turning the doorknob and pushing it.
As Grace entered her hotel room she heard her name and turned, Jack stepped forward, kissing her, at first gently then with more passion, kicking the door to with his foot.

Jack rubbed his eyes the next morning and snuggled up to the warm body lying next to him, ‘Looks like we moved on’ he whispered in Grace’s ear.
Grace sat up, clutching the plumeau around her, ‘That should never have happened. I’m so sorry,’ Pulling the plumeau with her, incidentally leaving Jack sprawled naked on the bed, she began the pick up and wriggle into her clothes. ‘Put that on,’ she ordered, throwing his trousers onto the bed, ‘I can’t talk when you’re like, like that!’
Downstairs in the Speisesaal, she spoke quietly, ‘I meant it when I said that should never have happened, Jack you love Jo and I, well, it’s complicated’ her voice faded as she saw a familiar red-head in the entrance hall and waved her over, ‘don’t mention what happened last night, please.’
As Con Stewart joined the pair at the table, Jack followed Grace’s lead and spread thick blackcurrant jam onto his bread.
‘Morning, I wasn’t expecting to see you here, Jack. What have you been up to?’
Jack’s mouth was full of his roll so Grace explained how they had both wanted to see the same play, and had accompanied each other rather than sit alone, before turning the questioning onto Con’s date.
‘It went well,’ she nodded, although Grace knew her well enough to see that there was no spark in her eyes or voice when she spoke of Jock McKenzie, ‘He’s, he’s nice, and dependable, and he seems to like me, every woman wants to marry and have children don’t they?’ she added, almost defensively.
‘And you think this Jock may be the one?’ asked Jack, entering into the conversation for the first time.
‘Con, a marriage should be about love, not just, well, not just something you feel you ought to do? Jack agrees, don’t you, Jack?’
Jack winced as a walking boot came into contact with his ankle, ‘Yes, yes, I do.’ giving Grace a strange look before a realisation came to him.
‘That’s why we have to help Jack, you’ll help me won’t you Con?’
Both Con and Jack gave Grace a quizzical look, ‘Help me? With what?’
‘Getting rid of Dr Hunter of course.’

#3:  Author: claireLocation: South Wales PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:00 pm
‘So, remind me, why are we getting rid of Dr Hunter?’
‘So Jack and Joey can fall in love, get married and live happily ever after of course. Doesn’t everyone deserve to be happy?’
Grace and Con skirted round the pile of dirt in the San gardens, Jurgen, the boy of all work, was going a little overboard on digging the pond ordered, and only the tip of his blonde hair was visible over the edge, they walked past him, nodding to Jem who was on his way to explain that the pond was only ornamental for patients to look at, not a diving pool.
It took them nearly 20 minutes to locate Dr Hunter but Grace soon persuaded him to leave his letter writing and take a walk with them and they headed off back the way they came.
‘So, I hear you have an offer of a job at Bart’s. When are you going?’
‘Why? Are you going to miss me?’
‘Can’t you speak to a woman without flirting? Believe me, there is no way I would be interested in the likes of you!’ The disgust on Grace’s pretty face was more than evident. ‘I recommend that you take it, once people start to talk, I doubt if you’ll be employed here for must longer.’
Dr Hunter’s face started to redden, his curiosity and anger starting to rise. ‘Why? Why are you saying that?’ the tension audible in his voice.
‘Well, how you won’t take ‘no’ for an answer off women, that why Jo Bettany left, and she’s Dr Russell’s sister-in-law, if some of the teachers at the school said you wouldn’t leave them alone, who’s the say that you took things a little further before she got away from you? If she got away at all?’ Grace’s voice trailed off, leaving Dr Hunter to think about her veiled threat.
This could destroy his career! Destroy his life even. Angrier than ever before, Dr Hunter grabbed the petite woman by the arm and swung her round, before raising his arm. For a moment the pair teetered at the edge of the freshly dug pond.

Con’s eyes swung wildly between the two for a second, then she reached down, and round.
THWACK, the shovel Jurgen had left in the earth connected with Dr Hunter’s head and he fell into the gaping hole, thankfully releasing his hold on Grace as he did so.
The two women looked at each other in horror, what did they do now? Was he dead? What would happen to them? Before they could start the scramble down the slope to check on the inert doctor, Jack Maynard crept on them.
‘Boo. What is with you two? You look like you’ve just seen a ….’ Jack’s eyes followed theirs. His medical training immediately took over and he swiftly went over to his colleague, his fingers searching for a pulse in his neck, already knowing that it was fruitless, the sight of grey mass within the gaping skull was evidence of that.
He looked up, his eyes asking the obvious question.
‘He was going to hurt Grace! I had to stop him! I didn’t mean to hurt anyone! Oh my god, what do we do now?’
Grace picked up the shovel, and beckoned to Jack to move out of the hole. She worked quickly, covering the body with dirt until no part of the doctor was visible. The other two stood there watching her.
‘What if someone finds out what we’ve done?’ Jack’s question allied him with the two women and from then there was no way back.
‘We didn’t see him,’ Con said, ‘No one saw him with us, if we stick to the story that we came to see you Jack no one can prove a thing.’
The three silently agreed, before looking up and Jem Russell and Jurgen came round the corner, Jurgen with a pond liner under his arm, Jem unravelling the hose as he went.
As Jurgen laid the liner over the grave and Jem gave a shout for the tap to be turned on the guilty three heaved a sigh of relief, knowing that their secret was safe.
As the water flowed into the pond, Jem turned to Jack, before asking angrily ‘Have you seen Dr Hunter?’

The three glanced guiltily at each other. ‘No, why? Are you looking for him?’
‘He’s late, I wanted to speak to him about Frau Grunburg, he wanted to observe her operation, looks like he’s missed his chance now.’
As the small party broke apart a silent agreement remained between the three guilty parties, each vowing never to speak of what had happened to another living soul.
The following day, somewhat unsurprisingly, Dr Hunter failed to turn up at the start of his allotted shift. When Jem came off duty he went to investigate.
He came up to Jack Maynard, who was trying to eat a hurried sandwich, having failed to consume any food since the incident the night before.
‘You haven’t seen Hunter, have you?’, he asked, waving a piece of paper in front of him.
Jack shook his head, trying, in vain, to keep his colour from rising, cursing his fair skin. ‘Why?’ Jack just managed to keep the squeak from his voice.
‘Listen to this, I found it in his room!’ Jem’s voice portrayed his fury as he began to read the latter aloud.

‘Dear Sirs,
I have found the offer of the post of registrar at St. Bartholomews very difficult to turn down.
Then he just stops the letter, he’s left and not even had the decency to SIGN his resignation letter. The swine, he’s better pray he never needs a reference from me after this.’

Jack managed to speak to Con and Grace, each one was happy that Dr Hunter’s dissapearance had been explained, Jack, however, was more happy in the knowledge that Jo Bettany would soon be returning home, free from the spectre of Dr Hunter.

Jack stood awkardly at the back of the Chalet School Staffroom as his fiancee showed off her engagement ring to her friends, even from this distance he could see the light gleaming off the emeralds and diamonds as she waved her hand in the air.
During the past five months he, Con Stewart and Grace Nalder had studiously ignored each other, none of them wanting to be the first to break the silence, as he looked at the group of women he realised that the two women were standing as far apart from each other as it was possible to be, while still being part of the same conversation. Grace seemed a little pale upon hearing the news. Jack frowned, she had know about his feelings for Jo, so it shouldn’t have been a complete shock to her but she looked close to tears as she admired her friend’s ring.
As the bell sounded and the majority of the teachers had to head to the first class of the new term, Jack went forward to join his fiancee, but as he passed Grace she whispered in an undertone that she needed to speak to him, there was no mistaking the urgency in her voice and he asked when.
‘This evening, meet me outside the Kron Prinz Karl at 7.’
With that she was gone and Jack was left to wonder at what she wanted.

That afternoon Con and Grace spoke properly for the first time in several months.
‘I just wanted you to know, I’m getting married, Jock proposed in his letter, I’ve just returned it and accepted. When we do get married, will you be a bridesmaid? I know we haven’t been that close since, since….’ Con’s voice trailed off, ‘anyway, you introduced us, so I’d love it if you would. I’ve, I’ve missed you.’
Grace looked up at the woman who had once been a close friend, ‘You expect me to be your bridesmaid? Let me ask you something? Do you love him?’
Con looked at the ground, studiously avoiding Grace’s gaze. ‘I care about him, every woman wants to marry and have children, don’t they? Don’t you?’
‘I wanted to have children with the man I love,’ she said quietly, trying to keep the emotion from her voice, ‘but that isn’t going to happen now, is it?’ she turned to walk away.
Con reached out to pull her back, ‘What do you mean by that?’
‘What do I mean? What do you think I mean? I fell in love with Jock when I first met him, when I was at training college, I know he didn’t feel the same, but he kept in touch and I thought that his feelings were growing, but then he met YOU! I wanted you two to like each other, you should have been MY bridesmaid, not the other way round. I can’t be a part of all this, I won’t’ Grace turned and ran off, tears streaming down her face, she had known that she could never have married Jock, but the have the women she had once thought of as her best friend to take her place was too much to bear.

The clarion call of ‘Maynard, get up, you lazy sod’ woke Jack out of his Austrian dream, he quickly dressed and went off to the ward, after quickly swigging a luke warm cup of tea and stuffing his mail into his trouser pocket.
Thirteen hours later, he finally got to open the letters, first he opened one from Joey, detailing the triplet’s christening, he smiled at the thought of baby Helena’s crying at the first touch of the holy water setting off Constance and Margaret, the three babies nearly drowning out the sound of the baptism service.

The second letter he opened more slowly. It was a brief note from Grace Nalder.

‘Dear Jack,
I’ve received a letter from Joey asking me to be godmother to little Mary Margaret, I have accepted of course, but part of me is glad that I am unable to be there, I think it would be too hard for me, it’s too soon. Mary is always in my thoughts. I will come to see the triplets once I have found the inner strength. Do not be afraid that I will tell your wife, I wouldn’t do that, even if I did feel able to talk about it.
Yours Grace
PS what are you calling the other two babies? Jo didn’t mention the names only that Bill and Con were the other two godmothers.

The meeting at the Kronz Prinz Karl filled Jack with trepidation, he couldn’t imagine what Grace wanted to speak to him about, he thought that they had put the events of five months ago behind them, he was going to marry the woman he loved, he was employed as a doctor, his dream since boyhood but he couldn’t shake the nagging doubt that something was about to send his contented life crashing down around him.
Jack had dropped his fiancee back at the school, Jo deciding to take this opportunity to discuss wedding plans with her friends, Jack smiled to himself, for all her previous comments about never wanting to wed Jo certainly knew how she wanted the wedding to go. He took his coffee out to the terrace where Grace was sitting at one of the tables, sipping a glass of water. He sat down beside her without speaking, wondering what her first words were going to be.
She studiously gazed into her glass, hating herself for what she was about to say, wanting both Jack and Jo to be happy but knowing that his reaction to her news could change the whole outcome of her life.
‘Jack, I, I, you know that I wanted you and Jo to be happy, and I told you that I’d never mention that night we spent together, well, I’m afraid I have to,’ Grace raised her eyes to glimpse Jack’s face, for a doctor you’d think he’d be more insightful and save me from saying the words, she thought, but it was obvious that Jack had never considered the possibility of repercussions from that night. ‘I’m pregnant,’
Jack spat the mouthful of coffee he had just taken across the table, bespattering the white tablecloth, which Grace immediately dabbed at with her handkerchief, leaving Jack to gasp out the beginning of several sentences, none of which got past the first syllable.
‘You… Preg….How….Mi….’ his voice trailed off into silence, before he regained his power of thought, ‘Why didn’t you tell me before? Why wait till we announced our engagement? Jo’s going to be humiliated when everybody learns that I’ve broken our engagement to marry someone else. You know that everyone will be counting the months when the baby’s born, knowing that we had to get married.’
‘I couldn’t tell you earlier, I didn’t know. I mean I suspected that when I first missed but then I thought the curse had started,’ Grace’s face was red, she had never spoken to a man this intimately before, even a doctor, a doctor who had known her as intimately as was possible. ‘But it never really did, but I didn’t think I could be expecting but then, this morning, this morning I felt it, I felt our baby move and I knew I had to tell you, I just wish I could have told you as soon as I found out but Jo just burst in and announced it, and I just wanted to curl up and die, I am so sorry, Jack.’ There Grace burst into tears, and clumsily Jack put his arm round her, pushing his handkerchief at her as her own was soaked in coffee.
‘Don’t cry, Grace, it’s not the end of the world and it’s not your fault. We’d best get back to the Chalet, I need to speak to Joey.’

#4:  Author: claireLocation: South Wales PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:01 pm
As the parents-to-be made their way back to the Chalet Grace kept rubbing at her side, wincing slightly.
‘What’s wrong?’ Jack said anxiously. ‘Are you in pain?’
Grace smiled at him, ‘It’s nothing, just a tummy ache that’s all. I’m probably just nervous at facing Jo, and everyone else. I’ll loose my job for a start!’
‘You’d be giving it up soon anyway. It’s not good for you to be working in your condition, never mind all the running about you must do.’
They lapsed back into silence after that, each thinking of how the news would be taken. Jack told Grace that he wanted to break the news to Jo in private, knowing it wasn’t fair to her to let someone else witness the scene.
Back at the school, Grace headed up to her room while Jack took Jo from the staff room into the empty Lower IVth classroom.

‘What’s the matter, Jack? You seem awfully serious. Is something wrong? It’s not Madge is it? Or Robin? Or..’
‘No, Jo, no one is ill. Please be quiet and listen to what I have to say.’ He took her hands in his, and looked her straight in the eyes. ‘Jo, I have loved you for years now. I planned on spending the rest of my life with you. You were the woman I wanted to bear my children, for us to build a life together. I promised myself that when you agreed to be my wife that I would dedicate myself to making you happy, to avoid hurting you at any cost. My feelings for you will never change,’ Jack paused, hating himself for what he was about to say, knowing that the dreamy look in Jo’s dark eyes would change to hurt, ‘but I can’t…’
At that point Matron rushed into the room, panting slightly, ‘Jack, come quickly. It’s Grace Nalder.’

Jack swiftly followed Matron from the room, leaving a stunned Jo trailing in his wake. Matron told Jack how she had heard a cry from Grace’s room and went in, only to find her doubled up in pain. The expression on Jack’s face tightened; he had been so concerned with telling Jo, in easing his own conscience that he had ignored the pains Grace had experienced that evening.
On entering her room, he found her curled up on the bed, pale and sweating. On touching her wrist he was alarmed to see that her pulse was racing. Matron Lloyd shut the door and came to help him, as he raised Grace’s blouse to check her abdomen she realised that the P.E. mistress was expecting a baby. Jack tenderly touched the swollen flesh, alarmed by the fact that it was much bigger than he was expected and rigid to the touch. As soon as the examination finished, Grace rolled back onto her side, mainly to avoid Matey’s eyes. A large patch of both red and brown blood was soaking into the bedclothes. In a tight-lipped voice Jack urged Matey to get the Sam ambulance there as soon as possible.

Before Matron could turn and leave the room, Grace screamed. The pain was excruciating and she seemed to be loosing more blood every second. Her body started to take over and without her help or consent started to push, Grace closed her eyes, not wanting the inevitable to happen, wanting the pain to stop, but knowing inside that when the pain stopped then her baby would be gone.
Jack felt helpless, he’d assisted in childbirth before, even delivered a stillborn baby once, back in his training days, but this was different, this was his baby, and he knew that at this gestation there wasn’t much chance of survival, even when discounting the bleed, in all likelihood the baby wouldn’t ever take its first breathe.
The pain stopped. There was silence and on the bed was a tiny, perfectly formed little girl. All three adults in their room held their breath, hoping against hope that a cry would come, but the silence was only broken by a sob from Grace. Jack gently picked her up, his feeling had been right, Grace had suffered a placental haemorrhage and nothing could have been done to save their daughter, he started to recite the baptism rites, looking up at Grace as he did so. She mouthed the name Mary to him.
As he finished speaking he went to wrap Mary’s body in a small towel, before passing her to Grace to hold. Grace reached out to take her daughter in her arms, but she was growing paler by the second, and her arms slumped. Jack quickly laid his daughter’s lifeless body next to her mother and sent Matron to call for help again. Jack worked furiously to try to stem the flow of blood, his irresponsibility had already caused one death, he wasn’t about to let it cause a second

Jack could hear footsteps bounding down the corridor, he prayed that they were from the San, and that whatever information Matey had passed on had been enough for them to bring the drug he desperately needed. Mentally he kicked himself for not telling Matey the name, but there was nothing he could do about that now. As Jem came into the room, sizing up the situation immediately.
‘Did you bring the ergometrine?’ Jack’s voice was tense, Jem nodded and started to draw from the small vial. As soon as he could he inserted the fluid into Grace’s thigh, after giving the drug time to work, Jack eased up on the massage he was doing and was relieved to find that the haemorrhage had stopped, the blood loss had slowed and was back to within safe limits. Grace moaned slightly, her blood pressure starting to rise and bringing her back to consciousness, seeing her heaving shoulders Jack reached for a bowl. When the vomiting had finished, Grace sipped on the glass of water she had been offered, then tentatively asked to see her baby. Jem advised her not to look, believing that her recovery would be easier if she had no memories to disturb her. Jack ignored his superior and laid Mary into her mother’s arms.
Her eyes filled with tears as she gazed down at her daughter almost translucent skin, she was so perfect, yet so tiny, too tiny and too pure to live. ‘I’m so sorry,’ she whispered.

Jack started to usher the other two out of the room, but before he did so Matey asked if Grace wanted her to call anyone, her family or the baby's father?
Looking straight at them she replied that she didn't want anyone to know, 'Mary is mine, no one else's. Now will you please give me time alone with my daughter.'

The three left the room giving Grace time alone. She sat up in bed, propped by pillows, holding the tiny body of her daughter. Mary was still warm and if Grace closed her eyes she could imagine that it was all a big mistake, in her mind she could feel her baby’s chest rise and fall, as she gazed down at her it was as if she was sleeping. Mary looked so peaceful that although Grace felt her own loss keenly part of her was relieved that her daughter had felt no pain. She bent her head to kiss her daughter, salty tears landing her the tiny forehead as she did so. Despite the fact that she had blocked out the possibility of motherhood for so much of her pregnancy, even wished that it wasn’t true that her baby didn’t exist, this pain deep within her was so strong and more than anything she wanted to hear her baby’s cry and she would have given anything at that moment in time to have changed things, given up all her old dreams for this new one, one that sadly could never come true, she would never get to see Mary take her first steps, go to school, get married or have children of her own. All that she had taken for granted had disappeared and all the worries and nightmares she had had were also gone, to be replaced with a nightmare of such magnitude she had never even conceived it could happen.
Grace looked up quickly as the door was pushed open. Jack peeked round the door, silently pleading to be allowed into the room. He sat quietly on the side of Grace’s bed, ignoring all of Matron’s rules, eventually he raised his eyes from Mary, focusing on Grace instead.
‘I’m so sorry, Grace, I couldn’t do anything. I’m a doctor and yet I couldn’t save my own daughter,’ his voice broke on the final word, ‘It won’t happen again, I promise. In time, we could have another child and I won’t let you go through this again.’
‘Jack, we won’t be having another baby. You go and marry Jo, you haven’t told her yet, have you?’
Jack shook his head before trying to persuade Grace, ‘I told you I would marry you and that still stands. Jo will understand, I’ll explain and she, she will, eventually.’
‘Jack, you’re the one who doesn’t understand. A marriage needs love to work, you love Jo and I don’t love you. Our marriage wouldn’t stand a chance.’
‘You were going to marry me a few hours ago,’ the fair headed doctor looked confused.
‘A few hours ago, Jack, I thought that our marriage would be the three of us, you and I, and Mary. There would have been love in that marriage. As it is now, I can’t, I just can’t. Please, go on with your life and be happy, Mary deserves to have one happy parent.’
Jack stood up to leave and went to take Mary. Grace shook her head. ‘I can’t let her go, not yet. Let me have a little longer before I have to let her go.’
He left the room, letting the door shut behind him before the tears started to flow.

Jem and Matron both kept Grace’s condition to themselves, most of the members of staff at the school knew that she had collapsed but not the reason, being put down to ‘women’s trouble’ in itself not a complete lie. Jack kept his distance from everyone, not trusting himself to keep his emotions under control, worrying that Jem would guess that his concern was more than that of a doctor loosing a patient, although distressing a baby of 25 weeks gestation wasn’t expected to survive and as an unmarried mother some would say that Grace had escaped the stigma attached to her situation.
When Grace was asleep Jack entered her bedroom and took little Mary out of her mothers arm. For the first time he cradled his firstborn child in his arms, his top lip quivered as he tried hard not to cry. He left the room with his daughter, knowing that although Grace would be heartbroken to wake up and find her baby gone, that she wouldn’t have to physically pass the baby over to him, as that act had been too hard on her earlier.
Two days later at the small Catholic Chapel on the Sonnalpe Vater Ambrosius read a short funeral service. Grace was still too weak to attend so Jack was alone, he felt guilty at deceiving the priest, who had assumed that the baby had been born to one of Jack’s patients at the San, but he reassured himself by thinking that he hadn’t actually lied to the Priest and that he was following Grace’s wishes. It was so hard to see the tiny white coffin, just 10 inches long be lowered into the ground but he had to do it, he couldn’t let her go alone, he had even tucked a tiny teddy bear into the coffin with her so that she would have company on her final journey. As the grave was filled Jack turned away, hoping, praying, that he would never have to attend another of his children’s funeral’s, this wasn’t the way that nature was intended to work, he should have died before Mary, years in the future when he had seen her grow into womanhood and have her own children, as well as mourning his daughter he also mourned the grandchilden that he would never have, that lost generation.
Grace had insisted on sticking by her resolve just after Mary’s birth, that he should go ahead with his marriage to Jo and keeping the secret of Mary to themselves. She had told him that she was going to go home to recuperate, back to her parents home, he couldn’t help agreeing with her the situation in Austria was becoming more precarious daily. Jem was sending his family to Jersey before long and the School would be following shortly and that Grace needed stability in her life and wouldn’t be able to help with the move. Before her journey back to Britain began Grace visited the tiny grave, staring at the small wooden marker with the initials M.N.M written on them, for only initials were permitted for those too pure to ever draw breath on earth. Her eyes filled with tears she silently said goodbye to her daughter, hating the fact that she had to leave her behind, vowing to one day return.
One week later, Jack was stood in the same place, making the same promise, before going to pick up Robin and depart on the long flight from the Tyrol.

#5:  Author: claireLocation: South Wales PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:03 pm
Twelve years laters
Jack sat next to Grace in silence, when Nell had offered to get one of her staff to run him to the airport he had accepted gratefully, presuming it would be Gillian Culver, after all he and Grace had managed to avoid each other for the past twelve years so it was a surprise that she had offered.
'You found a place for you all to live in then?'
'Yes, it used to be a Pension, so it's certainly big enough, although we'll have to give up Pretty Maids. We may not be in the poor house but there is no way we could afford the upkeep on three houses. It also means that Jo can give up on the idea of having a purpose built chalet, she has no idea of the time scale of the building and we wouldn't be able to have plans drawn up and the place fit to live in by the summer.'
The conversation went on, politely enough, until Jack mentioned the newest addition to his family. When asked if she had received the pictures Jo had sent Grace went quiet. Jack knew what the problem was, he had thought it himself before now.
'The photo upset you didn't it? It was Felicity. When I first saw her I couldn't get over how like Mary she looked, much bigger of course, but if Mary had, had lived then that’s how she would look. With each of them I've looked for a likeness and never really seen one before, Charles a little but that was because he was so premature rather than his actual features. Felix doesn't have it either, but it's..' Jack trailed off, biting back his final thought, realising how much it would hurt Grace if he shared the thought that his first-born daughter had come back to him as she couldn't share in the same way.'
Grace lifted her hand off the steering wheel, fingering the silver locket that hung around her neck. 'You still think of Mary then?'
'Of course, I do. No matter how many children I have, I don't love any of them any less, and that includes Mary, not just the ones I have with me in this world.'
Grace smiled, although the raw pain had faded she still thought continuously about Mary. Although she had given Miss Annersley an excuse that she was needed at home, the truth was that she couldn't face going back and facing them, especially Jack and Jo, so had made do with sending cards and presents. When the ache inside her had subsided she had gone back for a visit, met her godaughter for the first time, but by then Mary would have been old enough to be a member of the school and she was unable to face teaching that age group, knowing that she would spend too much time torturing herself over what her daughter would look like. When the Chalet School had opened this branch it had seemed ideal, she wouldn't be confronted by 12 year olds and she would be back in the Alps, closer to Mary.
'I went to the Sonnalpe in the holidays, I needed to see her grave again, there was a proper gravestone there, not the wooden marker there was when I left, that helped. I've finally come to accept that while I can't hold her, or kiss her, she's still with me, inside, that it's not her in the ground, only her body, she never felt any pain.'
'You'll be reunited with her, one day.'
Grace pulled up outside the airport with tears in her eyes. 'Thank you.' upon seeing Jack's puzzlement she expanded, 'I needed to know I'm not the only one who thinks of her, otherwise it's as though she never existed, and this is the first time I've been able to say her name aloud.'
'I don't get to talk of her either, although I do sometimes, talk to the photograph I have of her, she's a great listener.'
Grace opened the silver locket she had been toying with earlier. 'I do the same thing. I wish we'd had this conversation years ago. When I did come to your home I used to time it so you wouldn't be there, and if you did arrive home I'd make an excuse to leave. I was so sure Joey would find out somehow and be devasted I never meant to hurt her.'
'She doesn't know, she wouldn't be upset at you if she did. She may be mad at me for keeping it from her, but she's a mother, she would know how much it would hurt to loose one of her children.'
'No she wouldn't, she could imagine but until you go through it no one can truly understand, but thank you again for saying that.'
'If you ever want to talk then just call me, or when we move out here then come round. You are always welcome in my family, you are part of it and never forget that.'
With a hug Jack picked up his luggage and walked into the terminal. Grace sat back in the car, glad that they had cleared the air, feeling that she could now start to build a proper relation with her goddaughter, rather than shying away and comparing it to the relationship she had never got a chance to build.

#6:  Author: claireLocation: South Wales PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm
Four years on
Jack stood in front of the small gravestone, glad to see that despite him having left Vater Ambriosius had gone along with his wishes and erected a memorial stone. When he had first moved to Switzerland he had sent the plot papers to Grace, during the first few months after Mary's stillbirth he had wondered in the wisdom of buying a plot the size he had purchased, one large enough for an adult as well as the tiny baby it held, by now he knew he had made the right decision, a large part of Grace had died alongside her daughter and it was right that they should have the opportunity, should Grace wish it, to be reunited on earth as well as in the next life.
Whispering a few words, he laid down the white rosebuds he had brought with him, then he stood in silence, wondering what his life would have been like had things gone differently, had his firstborn survived. A voice broke into his wonderings.
'Papa, what are you doing here?'
Margot stopped short as she saw the gravestone. She had seen her father leave along the path to go up to the Sonnalpe and, presuming that he was going to see the Sanatorium where he had previously worked, had followed him to share in his explorations and reminences. When he had turned into the small churchyard she had been bemused, as far as she knew her father hadn't lost anybody in Tyrol, maybe a patient?
Jack looked at his daughter, his face paled as she looked at the initials on the headstone. Margot let out a small gasp as she realised what they represented, although she had not guessed the true significance.
'M. N. Maynard?' she turned to her father in disbelief.
'Mary' he nodded slowly before continuing, 'your sister.'

Margot’s mind whirled over as she stared at the single date on the headstone, a date she knew was before her parents marriage. ‘You mean, that Mama.’
‘Please, don’t mention this to your mother, it would only upset her.’
Margot nodded, Joey was still weak after her second set of twins had arrived two months ago, coupled with the fright she had had over Michael at the beginning of the school holidays, it must be terrible to loose a child, Margot thought, a fleeting thought went through her mind as to if her mother was trying to replace her lost daughter by adding to her family continuously. Margot made up her mind there and then to keep her parents secret, knowing that some people, even now after fifteen years of marriage, would judge. ‘Does, did any one else know?’
Jack nodded, part of him feeling guilty, knowing the deception he was letting Margot believe, another part euphoric that one of Mary’s half-siblings knew of her existence ‘Your god-mother.’
Margot stood in silence, saying a silent prayer and goodbye to the sister she had never known.
On the way back to Die Blumen she asked her father if she and her triplet sisters had been named after Mary, after assuring her that they were Jack again reiterated the need to keep Joey from knowing. Margot agreed, still putting it down to a mixture of grief and shame at the fact that she had anticipated her marriage vows, but the first thing she did upon seeing her mother was to put her arms around her and to tell her that she loved her. Jo was a little surprised as Margot was the triplet who tended to keep her feelings to herself, aside from her rage, but she welcomed the girl with open arms, reminded of the times before Margot had gone to Canada and grown out of long cuddles with Mamma.
Nothing more was said about Mary, Margot even choosing to keep it a secret from her triplet sisters, but upon their return to Switzerland she went to visit her godmother.
‘Marraine, I just wanted to say thank you.’
Grace was puzzled as she eyed her goddaughter over her cup of coffee. ‘Thank me? Why, what have I done?’
‘For what you did for Mamma and Papa. He told me about, about Mary’
Grace spluttered, her hand automatically going to the silver locket containing her daughters photograph.

“I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose your child, Papa told me not to ask Mama questions about it and I could tell he didn’t want to talk either, not really, but she was, is, my sister and you’re the only one I can ask about her. Did, did you see her? Who did she look like?”
Grace, calm by outward appearance, took another sip of her coffee, sensing that Margot only knew half the story, but pleased to be able to share a snippet of her daughter existence with her goddaughter, she did nothing to dispell Margot’s illusion.
“I saw her, and held her. She was beautiful, and so tiny, so so small.” Grace’s eyes softened as did any mother’s eyes when talking of their offspring, “Out of all you Maynards Felicity is the only one to look like her, like a baby angel.”
Margot smiled, her long lost sister taking on an appearance in her mind, “Life would have been so different if she had lived, it would have been nice to have an older sister, a real older sister, I mean” she added, dismissing Len and Con without a second thought, “but I think she’s still with us, like a guardian angel. I know I listen to my devil, have listened to my devil, a lot but there’s always something else, something or someone who’s looking after me and trying to help me to do the right thing, since, since I found out about Mary I think it’s her. Does that sound silly?” Margot blushed as she put forward her feelings.
Grace smiled, “I don’t think it’s silly, Part of Mary will always be with m…. her family, mother, father and siblings too.
“I’m going to try to listen to her more, make her proud of me,” Margot hugged her godmother, who held her tightly to her, holding the closest thing to a child she had with her on earth. As they embraced they both felt a warmth spread over them, the warmth of a smile from a very special guardian angel.

#7:  Author: arky72Location: Cheshire PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:28 pm

Thank you.

#8:  Author: francesnLocation: away with the faeries PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:45 pm
That was so beautifully written, and incredibly powerful.

Thank you, Claire

#9:  Author: VikkiLocation: Sitting on an iceberg, freezing to death!!! PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:06 am
I vaguely remember this from when you posted before Claire.
It's beautiful. Thank you for reposting. Crying or Very sad

#10:  Author: Cath V-PLocation: Newcastle NSW PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:21 am
I have a memory of this from your last posting. Thank you Claire. That was very moving.

#11:  Author: Fiona McLocation: Bendigo, Australia PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:18 pm
I remember this from you're last posting. Thanks for the repost

#12:  Author: MirandaLocation: Perth, Western Australia PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 5:58 am
I think I came across this in the archives at some point - it was nice to see it again!

Thanks claire

#13:  Author: DawnLocation: Leeds, West Yorks PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:57 pm
Thankyou for re-posting that Claire - just as powerful and moving 2nd time round

#14:  Author: MaryRLocation: Cheshire PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:13 pm
Thank you, Claire - so very poignant.

#15:  Author: leahbelleLocation: Kilmarnock PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:57 pm
Thanks, Claire. That was amazing Very Happy .

#16:  Author: wheelchairprincessLocation: Oxfordshire, UK PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:39 pm
How incredibly powerful and poignant Claire. Thank You.

#17:  Author: lindaLocation: Leeds PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 12:08 am
I've just found this. Claire it is so terribly moving. Grace's continued longing for her lost child is so right. You never forget your lost angel, even if the little one was born sleeping. Crying or Very sad

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