Merry Month of May – Music to get married by

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of mum singing as she went about her daily work, always with a song on her lips and a tune in her heart. So it’s with great pleasure that  take up Pauline’s “Merry Month of May Music (& Melody) Meme”.

It’ll be fun retrieving memories and reflecting on how music and song has been, and continues to be, an important part of my life, especially when the going gets tough. It’s also an opportunity to share a little of my own life story with my beloved children, and grandchildren, and have fun doing it 🙂

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The theme I’ve chosen today relates to the date, i.e.10 May 2012, which is  my 45th Wedding Anniversary and was prompted by Pauline’s suggestion of “Music you fell in love to/with or were married to”. 

I was 17years old and Steve was 16 when we met, fell in love and before long decided that a life together was what we wanted more than anything else in the world. Incidentally I’m now horrified at the thought of my 14 year old  Grandson making such a decision in a little over 2 years time, but that’s life, eh? … 

Not surprisingly neither sets of parents were happy, however they did agree to our Engagement, which happened on 27 Apr 1966, and it wasn’t until plans were well under way for the Wedding to take place the following Dec 12, that first one set of parents withdrew permission and then the other. Then the first changed their minds but the second continued with their refusal. It was like being on an emotional roller coaster.

At that time you could only marry under the age of 21 with the approval of parents or a Judge and Court Order… so, we eloped. Steve joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and, after basic training at Edinburgh Air Base, South Australia, was posted to Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. I followed him, lived in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), gained employment as Secretary to the OC (Officer Commanding) at the Base and we applied to the Court for permission to marry.

It was all very romantic and my favourite song, at the time, was “We’ll Build a World of our Own” by the “Seekers”.

Sadly the marriage ended after 20 years, almost to the day, and the following song personifies this.

Life is full of ups and downs, happiness and sadness, joy and pain and so it was with our marriage.  Without the pain you can not know the joy and it’s the happy times, the fun, laughter and especially our beautiful children, and now grandchildren, which remains with me and continues to enrich my daily life.  Thanks Steve.

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Let's go Merry Month of May-ing

Let’s go a Merry Month of May-ing

 Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Happy Birthday Jarren…

 Remembering Jarren Vaughan Habel

A Birthday Memorium for my beautiful baby boy Jarren Vaughan Habel.

Jarren Vaughan Habel, 3 days old

Born 13 Apr 1970 at Midland Hospital, Midland, Western Australia. Much loved second child of Catherine Ann (Crout) Habel and Stephen Louis Andrew Habel and adored by his big brother, Cullen Andrew. 

At the age of 6 weeks, Jarren contracted “measles“, passed on by the un-vaccinated child of one of his father’s work colleagues. Anti-biotics were administered immediately and he was soon back to his old self. However,

Jarren Vaughan & Cullen Andrew Habel - May 1970

within a week, or so, he developed a persistent “cold” which the doctor diagnosed as a “teething cold”. The doctor kept prescribing anti-biotics and one morning I was shocked to find Jarren dead in his cot.  As the cause of death was unknown an autopsy was held which showed my beautiful baby boy died of  “complications” from the measles. One entire lung had been destroyed and he had lived for all those months on ony half a lung.  We were told that it was only the anti-biotics which kept him alive and that, even if his persistent colds had been correctly diagnosed, he would have died anyway. Cold comfort indeed.

Jarren died at home, 16 Caladenia Way, Koongamia, Western Australia on 16 Sep 1970 at the age of 5 months and 3 days. His father had left for work and only his 3 year old brother, and I, were home.  Jarren seemed to be sleeping very late and as the time passed I began getting rather nervous so popped a piece of chocolate into my mouth to give some courage. Some wondered why I suddenly didn’t like the taste of chocolate any more.

Jarren was buried in a tiny little white coffin, decorated with golden angels, at Midland Cemetery, Midland, Western Australia.  All the way to the cemetery I kept looking for the hearse and was horrified when the “boot” of the car we were travelling in was opened and there he was.  Yes, the inside of the “boot” was decorated with velvet etc., but I was still horrified.

It rained continuously the morning of Jarren’s funeral and  the wildflowers,

Jarren, six weeks old, with mummy

lining the narrow country road, glistened with raindrops as though the world was crying with me as we drew closer and closer to the burial ground and the moment of final separation from my beautiful baby boy.  They lowered his tiny body in the tiny white coffin into the tiny hole in the ground and, consumed with grief, I turned my eyes to the heavens, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shone through with a blinding intensity that was other worldly – my life changed forever.

It’s been said that the death of a beloved child brings to the parents a pain which is indescribable.  It has been so for me.

My only consolation is to tell Jarren’s story and urge all who hear it to pass on the message that a parent choosing not to vaccinate against so-called “childhood illnesses” put the lives of the very young, who are unable to be vaccinated, at great risk.

May you always RIP, my darling.

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© Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family