Beatrice suffers alone
100 years ago
Today was the same as yesterday. Tomorrow will be the same as today. Every day is the same as the last and as the next. There’s safety in the sameness. There are no surprises.
Like finding out by letter that Gordon wasn’t coming home from France, killed in some horrific fashion. So many boys didn’t come home, killed just as horrifically. So many lives ended too soon by this war. War is a good reason that doesn’t make any sense. So many women received those heartbreaking letters. So many more women watching this war stealing their future husbands and children and everything that they were brought up to want. Their lives not over but felt like they’d ended just the same.
What do you do when the one you love and depend upon doesn’t exist anymore? There are only two choices: you give up or you don’t. These aren’t opposites. One you crumble. One you hold yourself together long enough to make it to the next part of the day. Eventually you make it to the end of the day. And this is why everyday feels the same.
Beatrice doesn’t have a choice. Everyone needs her and there’s no one to help her look after her two children. She was pregnant with Eleanor when she received the news about Gordon. Eleanor will turn six soon. She dresses herself when given the right clothes to wear. Daniel helps when he knows what to do and isn’t in an unhelpful mood.
Everyday is work with barely time to rest with getting the children to school, cleaning laundry, taking care of the house, and cooking. She also helps look after her mother and Gordon’s parents when they need it.
She keeps going for her family. Her body hurts. Feet. Shoulders. Hands. Back. Mostly her back. Stiff aches make moving slow.
She has a house for her and her children. She has her war pension coming in each week. Two things she doesn’t have to worry about today. Or tomorrow.