Sylvie Malaborsa writes ...
John Lennon’s father, Alfred was a merchant marine, who spent long periods of time away from his family. Upon his return in 1944 after a long absence when John was four years old, his wife Julia, who had an adventure with a Welsh soldier, was pregnant. After their separation, he had custody of John, but left him in the care of his brother and his wife before Julia gave birth to a little girl, soon put up for adoption. He reclaimed custody, but John was handed back to his mother, who had started to live with a man she had met while working in a café. She will have two more children with him. Finding her sister frivolous and unfit to raise her child, especially when she learned that young John was sleeping in the same bed with his mother and her boyfriend, Mimi complained to social services. Some accounts say Julia could not cope with the responsibilities, others state that her lover did not wish to raise John or she was pressured by her family because she was living “in sin”. Eventually, Julia agreed to have her sister informally take custody of her son who went to live with his aunt Mimi and his uncle George. Alfred Lennon tried to run off with John, but Julia found out and took him back to her sister. He disappeared from John’s life until the two met much later, but their reunion did not turn out well.
There are several sources that stipulate that John did not see his mother or very rarely until his early teens. In my opinion it is not possible, because John was very attached to his mother and was devastated when she died. You don’t develop such a strong bond if you see a person for a very short period of time. Also, John was not adopted by his aunt and uncle, which means his mother remained very present in his life. Of course, it must have been hard and incomprehensible for John not to be able to live with his mother, even if her house was about two miles away. I listened to a few interviews with his half-sister Julia Baird and she mentioned that John was a frequent visitor and he had a happy childhood. She said Julia loved her son very much and later encouraged his musical endeavors, showing him how to play the banjo and the ukele. Julia was also a frequent visitor at her sister’s house. It was after one of these visits that tragedy struck. As Julia crossed the street to head home on July 15, 1958, she was hit and killed instantly by a passing car, driven by an off-duty policeman. John was not there, but at Bloomfield Road House, Julia’s home, waiting for her. He was seventeen years old at the time of his mother’s death. He remained traumatised for the rest of his life. He wrote several songs about her, including "Julia" and "Mother". His first-born son, Julian, was also probably named in her memory.
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