It was 1968 and although the world was becoming a little more tolerant of couples “living in sin” ( living as a married couple without being married), my Mother was quite unbending in her beliefs of what was acceptable and what was not.
My older brother had gone off to live in Western Australia with his girlfriend. The rest of the family were sworn to secrecy as Mum said he was an embarrassment to the family and it was not to ever be mentioned that he was living a life of sin. ( in Mum’s eyes anyway).
I was particularly close to this brother and it upset me somewhat that Mum could put her own thoughts about her standing in the community above the happiness of others.
I had been living with my fiance for over a year, unbeknown to Mum.
She had no idea that we were living together as I had a small flat just around the corner plus we lived in a town about 3 hours drive from the family home.
My older sister also had numerous lovers, all kept secret from our Mother.
The time soon rolled around to my wedding day. In the lead up, Mum was giving me obscure advice as to how to approach the wedding night. She told me that my new husband would demand certain things and be prepared for it. I nodded and it was all I could do to keep a straight face.
I asked her when my brother would be arriving for the wedding, she was very non commital and said she wasn’t sure.
There was no internet back then so it was quite difficult to contact others who lived far away.
The preparations all went well. All of the people my mother deemed suitable were invited to the wedding. I had very little say in it, but I suppose I was lucky that I was allowed to invite three of my friends. My poor fiance was only allowed two as well as his parents. Mum did not really want to invite them as she was worried what her friends would think about sitting next to Germans.
I cringe when I think back to that time .
How different it is now.
About an hour before the wedding, I was still looking out the window expecting to see my dear brother arrive when Mum took me aside.
He is not coming, she told me. I have forbidden him to come. I will not have him bringing shame on our family she said.
This news was like a dagger through my heart.
How could she be so horrible to her own son. After all, he was just following his heart.
From that day on, I looked at Mum in a different light. She had always been very judgemental of others, but this cut deeply into my soul.
I somehow made it through the ceremony. It was just a blur and I could not help but miss my dear brother. In fact it totally spoilt what would have been a great day.
I really could never forgive Mum. Karma came to bite her though as my younger brother “had ” to get married a few years later. There was no hiding the fact that he had been a naughty boy.
Thank goodness attitudes have changed.