girls whose mother had died not long after giving birth to the younger two (twins). Such a tragedy would probably not happen in this modern age.
The three little girls were cared for by their father’s
sisters for several years until the father met a young woman at his place of work and ‘sort of’ fell in love with her. They married, but the young woman was always very aware that she was to be not only a wife, but a mother substitute
for the three motherless girls. (During their courtship, the father had made a gift to his soon-to-be-wife of a book of poems, which contained a special poem about ‘different kinds of love’ and she understood).
She was 27 years old when she ‘took on’ the care of the
three little girls. By the time she was 30, she had given birth to a son.
With four small children to care for and ‘do’ for, her life was a busy one. She cooked and cleaned and sewed and life was ordered but, at times, difficult.
As World War 2 escalated, the father, being a patriotic man, enlisted in the Australian Army and was subsequently sent to New Guinea. Fortunately, although suffering from the heat and the strain of war, he survived and was able to return to his family by the end of 1945. By then, his small son was three years old and his daughters all school girls.
His wife stood by his side as a willing and loving servant for more than four decades.
He was never able to speak of his first wife to anyone.
And I often wonder who it was who suffered most in this little story.