Family reunites to celebrate birth
THE photograph depicts an idyllic family picture – five generations gathered together as they celebrate the addition of the tiny newcomer cradled in his mother's arms.
But behind the smiles is the story of the incredible pain this family went through as they almost tore themselves apart before they could all gather in the gardens at Bargara Berries at the weekend to welcome the new arrival.
New great-grandmother Kerri Boylan said, in her own words, the short version encompassed alcoholism, adoption, divorce, reunions, illnesses and the love that had somehow brought the five generations together.
Eve, the great-great-grandmother, now 86, was given to her grandmother at birth to be raised.
After becoming an alcoholic and losing her own children she has now not had a drink for 31 years.
“Mum and I didn't speak from when I was nine or 10 to when I was 23,” Ms Boylan said.
She said she chose not to have contact with her mother for many years because of the drink, and at 16 she had a daughter and had her adopted because she felt she could never do the right thing by the child at such a young age.
She and her daughter, Micheala, found each other when Micheala was 17.
“Today we have a relationship beyond anything I could have hoped for,” Ms Boylan said.
Ms Boylan said she later married and had a son, Luke, who lived in WA.
“I divorced when Lukie was six and raised him pretty much alone,” she said.
She told her own mother she would never see Luke while she was drinking.
“She stopped and has remained stopped to this day,” Ms Boylan said.
Ms Boylan said when Luke was 11 she had a phone call from the east coast.
“It was a young lady who had gotten out of bed that morning and said to herself ‘today is the day I am going to find my mother'.” she said.
“Within three phone calls she had me on the other end of the phone.”
Ms Boylan said almost instantly she had a daughter, Luke had a sister, Micheala had her mum and grandparents and Micheala's daughter had a grandmother and great-grandparents.
“Instant family,” Ms Boylan said.
She said it had taken lots of forgiveness to get to the stage the family was at on Sunday, all smiles and enjoying a sunny morning.