Sunday Photo Fiction ~ Elizabeth Again

Sunday Photo Fiction: October 19 2014

Here is a description of the challenge from the blog, Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by Alastair Forbes:

“Every week on a Sunday, a new photo is used as a prompt for Flash Fiction challenge using around 200 words based on that image. Your story does not have to be exactly what the item in the photo is, you can make it anything you want, and enjoy what you write, and we will as well.”

Here is today’s photo challenge:

©A Mixed Bag 2014

©A Mixed Bag 2014

Elizabeth Again

Genre: Fictionalized History

Word Count: 199


I couldn’t contain my excitement, gazing for at least the tenth time through the lens trying to catch sight of the steamer.

After several years of hopes, prayers and endless disappointments; a ray of hope had come my way at a quilting bee last spring. The first of the “Home Children” would be looking for families here in Ontario. I couldn’t contain a little rush of tears when John and I received the letter confirming, a girl would be coming to us from Maerdy. My dearest John, how we’d looked forward to children in the early years! Alas, we were still childless and a home without the laughter and dreams of little ones seemed a bleak future.

Here at the docks of the St. Lawrence, we waited patiently for the steamer to come in. At least John was patient! One last peek through the glass…

I knew her immediately. Tall for her eight years, wavy auburn hair, cut short in the Institution’s fashion, white dress and pinafore over dark stockings that all the Home girls wore. It was her eyes that I knew. Deepest blue and finding mine through the lens, straight to a mother’s no longer lonely heart.

~ kei
19 October 2014

Note: My Great Gran is Elizabeth and one of Dr. Barnardo’s Children (British Home Child). She came to Canada with her older sister. There are many sad tales of this program but my Gran’s is one of the success stories. She obtained a degree from the Toronto Ladies University, returned to Wales to marry and begin her family, my Grandmother being one of those. The Thomas family later made their home in Ottawa, Canada, embracing their chosen country fully. Great Grandpa Thomas is honoured in the Book of Remebrance on Parliament Hill for his military service at Passchendaele in World War I. Gran was an involved pillar of the community and a huge part of my life in ways immeasurable.
Rwyf wrth fy modd i chi Gran.

11 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction ~ Elizabeth Again

    • Or to indicate enthusiasm, unless writing academic prose or newspaper stories. The tale is a true story, as per the notes at the end; my family’s part of a little known piece of Canadian history.
      Many thanks for stopping by to read ~ k


  1. I think it is an awesome story. My ex-wife’s grandmother was in a Barnardo’s home for six years of her life after her mother died in childbirth. I can see her in this story. Very well told.


    • I do hope her story was a positive one. Knowing some of the harrowing tales, it’s a miracle that any of these children had happy endings. I’m grateful to the powers that be for my Gran’s good fortune.


  2. Beautifully written and a fascinating story. And thanks for the links. I read both.
    Delighted your great gran did well. Similar stuff happened in Australia and who knows where else. Nowadays children are still being sold as slaves/child brides in many countries. We never learn.


    • You’re very welcome Patrick! Thank you for taking the time to read them, there was so much more to the story than what I could convey in 200 words. I know the Home Children went to various coutries and intellectually, I understand the good intentions behind the program. It’s just a fact (that would not go unaddressed in this age) that we must always be vigilant against Evil. It thrives in places where Good has it’s blinders on.
      It’s critical that people who can, do something to address what is happening today. I swear sometimes… not only have we not learned, we’ve regressed in some areas.


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