Myrtle Easton is a mother of three and a grandmother of four. She is attending Deborah Shepard’s life writing course at the Centre for Continuing Education. Her story was written during an exercise using a photograph to trigger a memory.
I was married during the war years and moved from my family hometown to a new town where I did not know anyone. My husband was in the army waiting to be called to the Islands, when for some reason he was chosen to go to an alternative destination that was totally secret.
He finally sailed from Wellington in 1943, just before Christmas and only three months after our wedding, so I returned to my family in Gisborne, where I had to do essential work. Initially I was to be sent down to Nelson to work in a tobacco factory but I managed to get a job in a private hospital as a probation nurse. This proved rather providential, as not long after starting, I found I was pregnant and so didn’t last long in the job.
The worst part of my life, at that time, was that my husband and I had no communication for the first six months he was away. Henceforth, he was not aware there was a baby on the way. Our daughter was born in September 1944 and he did not see her until she was thirteen months. This was towards the end of the war.
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