By Michael Morgan
I still see the images as though projected on a wall screen or a plasma T.V. set, super clear and detailed, the single gold fish in a bowl leaving an iridescent slick as it moved, the white screens around my bed. I can still smell the coal tar disinfectant permeating the air, the matron all in white, large in stature. I compare her now to a Spanish Galleon in full sail. I remember her name, Sister Pump. I was seven years old, my tonsils had been removed. A fashionable operation at that time.
I was in “Airlie” Private Hospital, Ivanhoe, Melbourne, a few minutes walk from my home.
It is now 64 years later, and as I write I have in my hands a series of recently obtained documents, one of them being my original certificate of birth. It is an old scrunched up photo copy. I see the name of the Sister in attendance at my birth, Sister Pump. I see my birth mother’s name(s). She was twenty seven years of age and she lived in another State.
I was named after the hospital.
AIRLIE —- was my name!
So it was to be. I was kept in the hospital under the control of a lawyer who acted on my mother’s behalf. And then Mr. And Mrs. Morgan came along. I was the chosen one. Airlie (I gather Airlie was a Scottish place name) became Michael. I then lived a life in a gilded cage.
Paper clipped to the tattered birth data are the documents and affidavits that explain “the social” reasons for my mother having her baby away from her home town. She stated that she had a child about eight years old and that she would start up a fund for my upkeep until after I was adopted or placed in care.
I recently traced my birth mother’s movements until I was the age of nine, then all documentation seems to stop. No new marriage certificates, no death certificates, no change of name certificates, it seems to be a void. My birth father, because of his position, refuses to give information and here I continue to muse. There is a lot more to tell, I may do so.
Some question why I bother with this so-called “baggage, it’s just a form of psychoneurosis they say.” Such sophistry does not bother me. Rightly or wrongly a simple word is the key to my searches. Lies. They seem to dominate life and more and more I seek the truth. I have experienced loss, redemption, and discovered riches beyond my wildest dreams. I will continue the quest.
I have chosen to speak.
Michael Morgan (c)