Saturday, April 9, 2016

Julian & The Stanley Sisters

I've been wanting to write this out for quite some time. Now that Julian Lennon's birthday just recently passed, I thought to get on with it.

Mary Elizabeth (Mimi)
Mimi raised Julian’s father John Lennon from the time he was five until he moved out officially at the age of 23, already married and a parent. Mimi’s relationship with Julian’s mother Cynthia Lennon was strained yet tolerable at best; they had good days and days where they wanted to strangle each other. They lived with Mimi after Cynthia had a threatening miscarriage risk so she wouldn’t be alone while John was on tour with The Beatles. While Cynthia was at the hospital giving birth to Julian, Mimi called the hospital for updates and informed John the news when he called to check in. She was also the only family member to go to the hospital to see the baby (before John did)- she was frosty with Cynthia but her face soften when she saw Julian. Mimi hosted a family gathering when Cynthia and Julian arrived home from the hospital by taxi. However, until John, Cynthia and Julian moved out, Mimi helped care for Julian once when Cynthia was exhausted and desperately needed rest. Other than that, Mimi would visit her sister Harret, who lived near by, to complain how Julian cried most of the time and criticized how Cynthia was coping with motherhood. In 1965, John bought Mimi a home in Bournemouth where she remained until her death in 1991. John, Cynthia and Julian visited her not long after she moved in. They went to the beach where residents left John alone. According to Cynthia, that was their only visit… However, with pictures from her sister in law Julia’s collection, it appeared that John, Cynthia and Julian visited again the following year (1966) but with other members of the family present. In 1967, John and Julian had a day out with Mimi on a ferry. Mimi also visited the Lennon family home in Surrey a couple of times; John named one of his cats Mimi after his Aunt. After John and Cynthia divorced, when Mimi saw Cynthia at Harrie’s funeral, she berated her for the divorce and not fighting for John hard enough. Before John’s death, Mimi had pictures of Julian all over her home but when she found out that John’s widow Yoko Ono inherited the ownership of her home, a terrified Mimi changed the pictures from Julian to Sean in case of a surprise visit or something like that. Other than that, not much is known about Mimi and Julian except that Mimi thought Julian should get a proper job rather than being a musician. But, to be fair, she thought the same way with John and hoped that Sean wouldn’t go into the music business (he did!). Mimi died in 1991 with Cynthia, Yoko and Sean attending the funeral.
"I think Julian ought to get a real job. I've heard him sing and it's not my cup of tea. Julian doesn't keep in touch, not that it worries me too much." -Mimi (1983)

“Oh, I think for about five minutes, yes. When we bought her the house down in Poole [in 1965], we went to visit and she was all over him then, but apart from that there was no contact. She wasn’t a doting surrogate grandmother or anything like that.” -Cynthia, 2005

Elizabeth (Mater)
Mater lived in Scotland where John spent his vacation time as a child. Cynthia got along beautifully with Mater, often taking a train up to visit when life in London got too much for her. Mater also visit the Lennon family in Surrey. After John divorced Cynthia and remarried to Yoko, they took Julian and Yoko’s daughter Kyoko on a spontaneous holiday to Scotland and visited Mater. During the visit in 1969, Mater wasn’t too thrilled with the new wife and didn’t hide her feelings, much to John’s dismay that he stormed out. The family got into a car accident and since Julian was least injured, he was discharged from the hospital into Mater’s care until Cynthia arrived. Mater died in 1976

Harrie, Julia and Nanny

Anne Georgina (Nanny)
Hmmm… I got nothing other than that there was a family relationship that is not much known. Nanny died in the 1980s

Julian’s grandmother and namesake. Julia died in 1958, just before John got involved with Cynthia. She was taken to Sefton General Hospital where she was pronounced dead- the same hospital where Julian was born.
Lucy Bayliss, Cynthia, Julian, Jacqui and Julia
Her daughters, Julia and Jacqui, are close to Julian. They helped Aunt Harrie cared for him when Cynthia traveled with John and visited them in Surrey. They barely have a relationship with their other nephew, Sean.
“I don’t know if Sean and Julian have a relationship. I think so, they talk well of each other, but I’m really an aunt to Julian.” -Julia, 2016

Harriet (Harrie)
Harrie was not only the baby of the Stanley sisters but also the baby sitter. After Julia’s death, Harrie became her daughters Julia and Jacqui’s guardian. Harrie lived in the same neighborhood as Mimi; Cynthia visited often and after Julian’s birth, Harrie babysat Julian whenever Cynthia went traveling with John until they moved down to London. Harrie died in 1972 with Cynthia attending the funeral.