Returning to the past!

We ventured over to a place where life changed forever. A town with memories we wish could be left behind, but know they cannot and should not.

The journey over felt eerie, weird!

Our first stop was the Library archive, to gather photos, information, anything that would assist us in obtaining a better understanding about my sisters kidnapping. Although information and photos from 1971 where limited, I was still able to step back in time and gain an awareness of what the town was like back then.

The next stop was the place where life changed, the very place where a child was stolen, in all her innocence and vulnerability at the age of two. I was astounded to hear that mum had never returned to this street since that day. It was obvious how drastically everything had changed, time had not been kind. The town seemed broken, a vast difference to the great place where my mother was born and raised. The streets felt unsafe, we were strangers in a strange town.

We stood in the very spot that Kellie was taken, it felt dark. Even more so when being heckled by a group of drug fuelled men. We moved on quickly!

The last stop was where the events of that day 48 years ago ended, a creepy, secluded place. Although structures had been demolished it still held a terrible eerie memory of the events that occurred on 3rd of June 1971.

We had gathered what we needed and headed off, leaving that place behind, acknowledging that we will never and do not ever need to return.

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Wednesday 5th of June 2019

We boarded a plane: destination Sydney!

I can’t quite put into words how I am feeling about this trip; my mother and I are making. I wouldn’t quite call it a mother, daughter bonding time. 

Our purpose is for research, to gather information from that dreadful day on Thursday 3rdof June 1971. The day my sister was abducted, a moment in time that will forever be a part of family’s history.         

My debut novel is almost complete, but we have a few missing pieces, that hopefully this trip can supply. We will make the journey to the place where life was forever changed. We will retrace the steps we know were taken, although some questions may never be answered. Going back to this place and sourcing photos from 1971, will give me as a writer, a picture of the surroundings, an invaluable depth to my writing, a truth to this story.  

I am not sure what this will be for my mother, she made this journey back to the place of her childhood many times after this incident, but never to retrace those steps. The painful memories of this day were buried deep and have been for 48 years. What tomorrow brings we do not know, but I do believe it is time to heal. 

Breaking the stereotype

There were two defining moments when I knew the story of my sisters abduction needed to be told. Today I will share one:

I knew the time had come that our two youngest children, should hear in more detail about my sisters abduction. For no other reason than they needed to the know the reality that there are some people in this world capable of doing horrible things! Our children have always been surrounded with caring, compassionate people, our friends and family who we allowed to be a part of our children’s world. That is the world they knew, they knew no other!

As a teacher of over 25 years I knew how and when a child would be ready to hear the harsh, but very uncommon reality that there are people who can harm children. Not to scare our children, or for them to see the world as a dark, scary place, but to empower them!

What absolutely blows me away was my children’s stereotypical image of what a person who is unsafe may be. In their words they both clearly and in detail informed me of what this person would be like. Wow! had I installed this image in their mind? was it the media, the images they saw on tv, what their school had told them. I was shocked! See the person who abducted my sister was not the stereotypical person that my children thought was capable of harming a child. So after hearing my sisters story, this image shifted for them, I was able to empower them with the knowledge of not looking at a persons age, gender or appearance, but to be aware of a persons mannerisms and behaviours and to listen to the feeling that their body may be telling them about a person.

So I needed to tell my sisters story and from this writing journey, I have now found my passion, to not only write but to teach parents how to empower their children to be safe. To re-think using the term stranger danger, to break the stereotype image children may have and to teach simple strategies that as a family we have used over the years.

Stay with me on this journey as I lead, teach and share on this blog the progress of my book.

I am starting an email list for those to be the first to know: inside information on its development, sneak peaks of details of this story, details of my book launch, special giveaways and the valuable information I have learnt during my writing journey. In addition information of my new found passion to teach parents to empower their children to stay safe. If you want to join this email list and be the first to know, please email me your details in the contact section above and I will include you on my list.

A moment to commend my mother on this mothers day!

With the desire to write the story of my sisters abduction, I knew the first hurdle would be if my family wanted, or even could revisit that day 48years ago.

I made the phone call informing mum, that I believe this story is an extraordinary one that needs to be shared. To my mum’s credit there was no objection or hesitation, actually the opposite happened, she offered encouragement to pursue this. See, we had talked about this day, over the years and even pulled out the old newspaper clippings from time to time, but this was different. Writing this story meant revisiting, Thursday 3rd of June 1971 in great detail.

It was like opening an old wooden chest that is tucked away in the back corner of the attic, where it belongs. Sealed with a lock where memories like that deserve to be kept, but not lost or forgotten.

Sitting with my mum, pen in hand, I was confronted by the horrific details of that day. I couldn’t help admire, sympathise and cry, picturing what she must have been going through during those hours. I can see her running, screaming, pleading, panicked driven searching for her little girl. How helpless and alone she must have felt. I know it was heartbreaking for my father not to be searching by her side, looking for his baby girl, but the circumstances of that day did not allow this.

I am proud of both my parents for their strength, determination and will to put this incident behind them where it belongs: in the past!

Happy mothers day mum you are my super hero!

Wife, Mother, Teacher, Writer soon to be Author

I am a teacher, writer and soon to be author! But first and foremost I am a wife and a mother.

I find it interesting that the first three I am’s… seem to hold the most weight in society as to who I am and how important I am, but to me its being a great mother and wife that really defines the person I am.

Being a teacher is important to those I teach, being a writer and telling a story is somewhat important and being an author is probably only important to me. But being a great wife and mum, Well! that is the most important gig or credentials I could ever hold! Now if you ask my kids am I a great mum, then I am not sure what response you will get, I guess it just depends on the day.

However what I have recently discovered is that being a teacher and a writer makes me an even greater mum, some days tipping on awesome mum! See I am now following my passion, my dream: I am excited, I am happy and I am getting my groove on and this makes me a better person.

I have also discovered through my writing what I need to share with the world and what I can teach others, so stay on this crazy ride with me as I unveil the journey ahead!

The writing journey begins

Everything feels new, strange, the world of writing and blogging is so foreign, but exciting. There is an overload of information out there on how to write a book, what to do, what not to do and how to do it! I just want to write, but it does not come easy.

I still remember 27 years ago sitting my HSC, pen in hand, heart pounding, pressure building as I had absolutely no idea how to write a short narrative story. No idea where to start, let alone how to end. You may think I winged my way through, but no english: FAIL!

So fast forward now “I am writing a book!” am I crazy? yes! but why not give it a go.

See I have something to say!

The first book I am writing is non-fiction: The true story of my sisters kidnapping 48 years ago, the extraordinary circumstances around her abduction and her abductor. My book does not yet have a title but it has a face! In my attempt to write what happened that day from the newspaper clippings and from the perspective of those that were there. This story needs to be told.

Through this blog, I hope to document my journey as a new writer attempting to write.

http://www.rebeccaleeauthor.com.au

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