sweetsShelagh Flynn wrote one of the saddest stories I have ever read.

There are plenty weepy books in this world and this is definately one of them. I never knew Shelagh, but one of the young children who was living in the orphanage at the same time as her told me her own story and confirmed to me that every single word written in this book is true.

The lady was 70 years old when she showed me this book and said that this account was exactly like hers. She knew Shelagh personally and was saddened to discover after all those years, her life had ended more tragic than hers.

You see, the lady I knew had become a Christian in her twenties and Jesus took away all her fears, rejection and bitterness towards her mother and also gave her a heart of forgiveness towards her.

This was not easy to do, as her mother was never repentant about how she had mis-treated her and her siblings.

When she found out that this lovely woman had found a wonderful Christian man who loved her like his own flesh and was about to marry his sweetheart, she grabbed a kitchen knife and tried to ram it through her chest.

Here is a link to the book – it’s fairly pricey, so I got mine from my local library and you should be able to do the same if you reside in England:


Shelagh’s blurb goes like this:

This is the story of my life. At four years old I was the eldest of four children. Our mother, pregnant with her fifth child left us in a Leeds orphanage. From there we were separated, sent to other childrens’  homes, and then a series of different foster parents, and finally back to another orphanage. Over the years we never received birthday or Christmas cards from any of our family, and no one ever came to visit us, we never knew why. We only knew that we were not allowed to be adopted. A lifetime had passed since my unhappy childhood, until just over four years ago, when my sister Pat, troubled by her past, wrote to Social Services asking if any records existed on her whilst she had been, ‘in care.’ We finally gained access to our notes, and subsequently read these only to relive the trauma of our childhood, leaving us drained, both mentally and emotionally. “I could write a book,” I said to the social worker. “You must,” she replied. “It’s a wonderful story.” So, I began to write.

The story touched me so much that I was moved to write a poem about it:

One Day

My best friend has left me.
Her lucky time has come.
I feel alone in this children’s home,
Now she has a permanent mum.
I have strangers looking after me,
Who don’t care for my welfare.
They feed me and give me rules,
But deep down, they do not care.
If I fell out in the playground,
The one tending my knee,
Wouldn’t feel any compassion,
Because I’m not hers, you see.

Night-time is the worst time,
It’s noisy but so lonely.
The creaking doors keep me awake,
But I know it’s not me only.
I hear the snuffles under the sheets,
I hear noses being blown.
Everyone is insecure,
And feeling all alone.
There’s no-one to tuck me in,
Or stroke my anxious brow,
I’d really like to have a pet,
But in here, I don’t know how.

No domestic animals,
Is an unbending rule.
I also can’t have friends around,
Who I play with at my school.
This is not a normal life,
I don’t feel loved or trusted,
The building is not homely,
And I cannot get adjusted.
It feels like I’m in prison,
The atmosphere is cold.
There’s bars on windows, bolts on doors,
I’m constantly controlled.

There’s no place to store a bike,
Or to build a Lego tower,
But there’s space behind ten kids,
When waiting for a shower.
What I find the hardest,
Is that my parents are not dead,
But they do not want me in their life,
So I’m stuck in here instead.
No birthday cards, no phone calls,
Nothing gets any better.
Not one single visit,
There’s never been a letter.

For a lifetime I’ve felt unwanted,
A nuisance that’s in the way,
But something happened to me
That changed my mind today.
I found out there is a God,
Who loves me, yes me!
He made me in his image,
And in him, I can be free.
Free from fear and loneliness,
Free from feeling neglected
As my Heavenly Father,
I can know I’m not rejected.

He cares for me, he loves me,
I can talk to him each day,
He understands me fully,
And listens to what I say.
Someone to confide in,
Someone to be my guide,
As I travel to my future,
He’s walking alongside.
And one day when my body
Is laid into it’s grave,
My soul will see the one
Who has the power to save.

Like a child, I’ll run to him,
Like a child, I may trip,
But he’ll bend down and pick me up,
And hold me upon his hip.
He’ll spin me around and nuzzle my neck,
As my past fades gently away.
And peace will flood my mended heart,
Knowing I’m loved and there to stay.

Link: A Heart For Children…