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Thumbs

Duration: 2:46 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.484
This story has been viewed 8137 times

Summary
Neil's story is about his special relationship with his wife and family.

By Neil Heron

Other information

This story was inspired by some chopsticks from the collections at Discovery Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne.


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Video transcript

My wife sucks her thumb, and when she does, that's when I love her the most. I suppose Glenda doesn't really care enough about what people think to let it bother her, although actually she is quite shy. Sometimes the strange and unusual things about people become something so very important to who they are and what they mean to others. It certainly means something to me.

I know Glenda enjoys the strange things about me - they tend to amuse her, even the fact that I don't ride a bike. I now like Chinese food, I was an incredibly fussy eater as a child to the point where I wouldn't even eat cheese until I was well into my teens and I don't think my poor parents ever contemplated trying something so adventurous as international cuisine. Glenda's naturally far less inclined to worry about the consequences of something so trivial and she introduced me to Chinese food when I first met her when she was all Doc Marten boots, home made jewellery and tie dye.

Glenda used to suck her thumb all of the time. Never really bothered me but I know others found it bizarre in an adult. Now though, it only happens when she's relaxed and studying something that's caught her fascination, or something she loves.

There was a point when I nearly lost her. DIC: three letters that will always stay with me though I can never remember what the initials stand for. Our first child, Grace, was born and Glenda lost a lot of blood in the recovery room. I remember snippets of what went on. There is calm while I stare at our daughter for the first time, then I ask "What's wrong?", a midwife calls out her blood pressure is "through her boots", Glenda tells me to go and get changed and that I shouldn't worry, when I return a nurse tells me "you can't go in".

During all the fuss, there is a man in the room. It's very crowded but both my wife and I see a short Asian man in a tweed suit. We've never found out who it was.

Thankfully, for whatever reason and I'm prepared to accept any, not only did I gain a wonderful daughter who, with her younger sister, Bea, has brought so much meaning to my life, but my wife did eventually come through (she enjoys hospital food so a week's stay on maternity isn't the inconvenience you might think). The whole experience has taught me to treasure whatever I have, and for the time that I have it and I think that's the same for both of us.

So today, the best things that happen are always the small ones. Trips out and time together, cuddles and silly games.

Whenever the kids are playing or busy, independent of either of us in that extremely important but utterly unfathomable way that they do, I like to watch Glenda watching the girls. I think she's thinking about what she's got, and how precious it is to her.  It's at this point my wife sucks her thumb, and that's when I love her the most.  

Neil's story is about his special relationship with his wife and family. Posted on 26/10/2010 at 09:11:15

Beautiful and touching.Posted on 10/01/2015 at 02:03:44

I had two girlfriends, adults who also sucked their thumb. I loved it, especially the one who used to put her thumb in my mouth when I slept. She said it comforted her and, so, she used to do it, at times, all through the night. It was very intimate.Posted on 05/08/2015 at 00:59:30

Sometimes we don't see how lucky we are in life until it's too late xPosted on 01/09/2016 at 13:54:30

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