I think I would have been about 6 years old when we first met. They would collect me from the children's home where I lived, and take me to stay with them for the occasional weekend.
During the school holidays, I would sometimes stay with them for a week or more. I loved being with them. We would go on outings, traveling in Uncle Bob's motorbike and sidecar combination. Mostly I would travel in the sidecar, but once or twice I was allowed to sit pillion behind Uncle Bob. He used to put his coat belt around us both, to make sure I did not fall off.
Other times we would all go to the local park, and spent a happy hour or two catching sticklebacks in the stream with a net on a stick and a jam jar. There would always be an ice cream on the way home. Ice cream was a rare luxury for me.
They introduced me to their relatives, who were all very kind, and would spoil me with sweets and money. I grew to love Auntie Sheila and Uncle Bob. They had become my family. It was wonderful.
It was so exciting knowing that they were coming to collect me, and I would be free from the restrictions of the children's home for a while.
The worse part of our whole relationship was when it was time to go back after being so happy with them. I can still remember so vividly, the heartache I felt at saying goodbye. But Auntie Sheila would comfort me by saying we would see each other again soon.
One day as I was getting ready to go back to the children's home after another visit, they had some exciting news to tell me. They were so happy, because Auntie Sheila was going to have a baby. Of course, it meant that I would not be able to visit them anymore because the baby was going to keep them very busy.
That was it. Goodbye. The end of our relationship. More heartbreak.
I realise now that they were just temporary foster parents. They took me because they were paid to take me. I was, to put it bluntly, simply a commodity. Probably I helped to pay their mortgage. They took me to places and to visit their relatives only because they were going to do those things anyway.
I wonder if someone had taken the time to tell me the real situation right from the beginning, whether I would have understood. I think I would have, I'm told I was an intelligent child. But as usual it was a case of nobody taking the time to consider a child's feelings.
It was over 50 years ago when this happened. I thought I'd put the pain behind me, but right now as I write I feel angry. No wonder I made such a mess of my life, went off the rails, felt such a rage inside. The whole thing was almost engineered. Unthinking professional idiots shaped my formative years. I earned the right to be upset.
OK, sorry about that! Rant over. I'm a big boy now. I took the blows. I got knocked down, but I got up again. See, I'm indefatigable, I'm singing!
I want to make it clear that I do value the time I spent with Auntie Sheila and Uncle Bob. It was great while it lasted. The ending was thoughtless I suppose, but after all they were only doing a job of work.
Right that's it for now, I have to go. Got to look up that word, indefatigable.