My parents were the first generation off the farm in the
post-war era and came to live in the city. Because of their Catholic background, which at
that time was against any form of contraception, they were compelled to have many children
like their parents. Many children in the city didnt mean more helpers as on the farm
but only more mouths to feed and more expenses for education.
mother had ten children by the time she was thirty-five, with a new baby every two years.
I was the second child, born when she was twenty-one. I had one elder brother, seven
younger sisters and one younger brother. The family size inevitably led us into financial
difficulty. My parents were the first casualties of the church mind that I would soon come
to oppose. The most memorable events as a child were our weekend visits to my
grandparents farm (on my mothers side), which was still in the old world and
almost European. They had a huge house, as well as a big farm with barns, cows and a wide
pasture. They had large dinners, holiday gatherings and a sense of family togetherness
extending through several generations.
Though our lives gradually moved away from this traditional Catholic
religious background, it was there at the beginning and foundation of my life. It lingers
here and there in my dreams, like a shadow out of which I gradually emerged.