Verity’s mother confessed to me that she had no or little maternal instinct and, over the years, that became quite clear to me.
Rather than give Verity lots of hugs, have chats and go shopping with her to do what Mums and daughters normally do, she would just buy her outrageously expensive things, which I considered to not only be inappropriate but would give Verity completely the wrong idea.
One classic example of her mother’s lack of maternal instinct is stuck in my memory; I will be as delicate as I can.
A mother’s job is to teach her daughter various things that will help her transition from child to young woman; one of those things happens around 12 to 13 years of age. Do you get my drift?
Verity and I were going to South Africa to see Liesel’s family; this was about 18 months after Liesel’s death.
On one leg of the trip, we stayed at her elder brother’s holiday home. I gave Verity their big bed and I stayed in another room. One morning, there was a shriek from Verity and I rushed into her room to find Verity crying with blood all over the sheets. It was obvious what had happened.
She ran crying into the shower whilst I stripped the bed and turned on the washing machine. This took some time, going back and forth and all I could hear was Verity crying and sobbing in the shower.
This is not something that a father should have to face with his young daughter but I had no choice and face it I did; feeling so much for my little girl who was obviously very scared.
She finally came out and rushed into the bedroom, obviously highly embarrassed so I was walking on eggshells.
Thankfully, Liesel’s younger brother was coming to pick us up. I had a very quiet word with him and he took us to a pharmacy but Verity was too embarrassed to come in with me. I had never bought that sort of thing before so had to guess a bit. We returned to the house and Verity did what she had to do, before we carried on our trip.
But this is the point that I want to make. Verity was at the age for such events to occur but although she lived with her mother 85% of the time, she had made no preparation for a “just in case” and had put both Verity and me right in it. Her mother’s lack of preparation for the trip was astonishing.
Embarrassment was not on my mind. What was on my mind was the horrible ordeal that Verity had to go through all on her own and I felt so sorry for her, as a daughter normally goes through that sort of thing with the help and comfort of her mother. Obviously her mother could not be there but she could have at least have made preparations if the worst happened, which it did