Things I didn’t know about my mother. (Part Five).

22 07 2012

Uncle Harry has always been in my life. He’s my mothers older brother. We knew he was different from other adults but as children we saw him as one of us. Fun silly and prone to breaking into song at any moment. He loved food,lots of it,and would drink scolding hot tea down in one go. Unless my mother gave him one of her sideways glances, in which case he would blow furiously across the top of the cup but still pour the boiling hot tea down in one determined swallow. It was only as we grew up that we began to understand Harry’s predicament. We learnt that he was intellectually disabled, which explained why he was looked after by monks in beautiful surroundings in a place called Potters Bar. As children we just thought he was permanently on holiday in an impressive holiday camp. There were a lot of rumours surrounding Uncle Harry’s condition. The most prevalent one was the story about Harry falling of a balcony as a child, hitting his head on the concrete pavement below, and never being the same since. It seems an unlikely story now, and yet we still don’t know the whole truth about Harry’s condition. No one in the family does, unless of course they are keeping a big dark secret. I’ll probably never know. I just know that Uncle Harry has given us many funny laugh out loud memories and that he still loves to collect double decker buses, none of which I had seen until recently. The entire family were invited down to see Uncle Harry’s new room, a space he seemed to be very proud of judging by his broad smile and the open arm gestures. He showed us the double bed, a TV, some ornaments, a wardrobe and a long shelf crammed full of treasures. Some one had taken the trouble to unpack Harry’s bus collection and put the whole lot on display. All one hundred and sixteen of them.

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