Every day, I’d watch to see if Mum was coming to get me like she’d promised. I’d counted out the fourteen days, and then some, but still no cars. I stopped counting and began to wonder when Mum, if ever, was going to come for me.
Waiting at the gate became a vigil.
When Robyn’s mother sends her for a holiday with a childless couple, she tells her it will only be for two weeks. but the two weeks pass, and then two more, and soon Robyn comes to realise that no matter how long she waits at the gate, her mother won’t appear. But the couple who have taken her in, the Reids, love her like a daughter, and work hard to win her trust and repair the damage which her father’s abuse has done.
It is’t easy for Robyn to cope with this traumatic past, and her separation from her large family, and in her young adult life, she finds herself in more difficult situations: married at seventeen, trapped in abusive relationships, and uncertain of her own worth. But when she discovers her artistic abilities she begins to turn her life around.
Waiting at the Gate is a powerfully moving memoir from successful artist and renowned international fashion designer, Robyn Caughlan. Caughlan shares her story with heartbreaking honesty, taking the reader on a troubled journey through experiences no child, or woman, should have to cope with, through to wonderful moments of triumph.
Not an easy story, but an important one, and, ultimately, uplifting.
Waiting at the Gate, by Robyn Caughlan with Jason K Foster
Magabala Press, 2012
Available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.