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So there I was, 22 years old, standing with my Mum and Dad on the platform at Victoria station in London. All kinds of excitement in my heart. All sorts of sorrow and pain in the hearts of my parents.

I tried hard to comfort my parents, especially my mother, speaking to her earnestly about what I hoped to achieve and experience in Canada. Then I said goodbye to my parents and boarded a boat train that would take me to Southampton, where a ship named the Homeric would take me to a new life in British Columbia, Canada.

I didn’t know a soul in British Columbia. I was responding to a strange compulsion in my heart that had arisen in me a few months earlier. Out of the blue, it had come. I had a good job as a junior reporter on the London Daily Express. And I was an only child.

The trouble was, though, that I saw no purpose in the life I was leading. I felt I was living in an alien world. I didn’t really think much about the pain my abrupt departure would cause my parents: I felt I had no choice but respond to the overwhelming compulsion within me, which I felt was coming from life itself, from a source I could not deny.

The bottom line I wish to share here is that because of the way my life evolved, including being evacuated to the Devon countryside as a child during World War 2, I really saw very little of my mother while she was alive. The call of “truth,” the fierce desire to find greater meaning and purpose in life, kind of drowned everything else out.

But although I largely “abandoned” my mother (and my father) in my pursuit of what I thought of as a higher goal, I realize now, at 85, with immense gratitude, that my mother (and my father) have not abandoned me.

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