Jeannie, I'm stunned, what a beautiful post. It was once said of me "You can give but you can't take." There is a degree of truth in that, for when some one gives me a present I tend to choke up and want to hide. People say 'you never know what you got until it's gone'. It's the reverse with me, and why Jean always used the phrase 'your strange'. If you start out in life with nothing, I mean someone to turn to from age 2 to 16 (I was brought up in male Institutions) it tends to bring into sharp focus the riches of family and friends that people all around, take for granted. On release from my second Institution after years of abuse and hard work
I was emotionally barren, my development levels stunted, even unaware there was a difference between boys and girls. In other words I was a stranger in a strange world, but oh what a wonderful beautiful world it is and to be free to enjoy it.
Been shut away from the world as a child has proved to be a blessing I've managed to educate myself and appreciate things most people take for granted. Best of all I found a beautiful coalminer's daughter who managed to get past my invisible barrier and with gentle kind ways inspired me to fulfill all my dreams. When I look back I'm surprised at what I have achived, in sport, work and finance able to retire at age 54.
I know I'm going on a bit, but I have to mention your bigest surprise, Charlie, the last time I was called that was under age 16, I'd grown up with that name, but just before 16 I was told it's not my name anymore. They'd taken away a childhood my identity but not my number 11536. Some thing they failed to take was the blessing of love. Most of my life I would't dare talk of my past, but now at my age it matters no more. Jeannie, I thank you from the botom of my heart for adding to my sense of self worth. God bless.