Count your blessings

It is only when you learn of a friend’s troubles that you really take
stock of all that you have. On days when you think you are having a
bad time, or things aren’t going your way, it is always a good idea to
remember how good you actually have it.
I have already confessed to having problems with fatherhood in the
early weeks, and maybe once or twice, for just a heartbeat, I
considered life without my son; by that I mean wishing for our old
life back before everything became so complicated – and I have
apologised for this, unreservedly. Last week I learned of a friend
who for him, this was a bitter reality.
I wept when I read his email about how his full-term baby boy’s heart
had stopped and he was delivered stillborn. Although my stomach
churned and my heart ached, I could not possibly appreciate the pain
he must be feeling. I remembered clearly the time around Theo’s birth
and how our lives were totally fixed on him joining our family: the
house had been made ready; clothes had been bought; car-seats; prams;
bottles; sterilizers; cots; changing tables etc etc. To be in that
position without your child is too horrible to contemplate. To stand
in an empty, quiet nursery is heartbreaking. I immediately sent him a
message with all our love and best wishes, knowing that no words would
make up for the hole that had opened up in front of him and his
partner. Life can be so cruel – but it is only life with its love and
support that will fill that hole.
And so, everyday I hold my boy in my arms and tell him how much I love
him and how he is my world. I do hope my friend and his partner find
some strength in the months to come and try again; I want so much for
them to feel the joy of being parents.
I have noticed recently that any news story involving babies/toddlers
who have been hurt or killed, or who have died, resonate so much more
powerfully within me. This week is the 20th anniversary of the
killing of James Bulger and although previously I had thought it was a
terrible incident, now, as a father of a defenceless baby boy, I fully
appreciate the horror, to the point where my body is physically
affected by the details of what those two twisted boys did to him.
This world is an amazing place, but it is also occupied by those not
worthy enough to be amongst us. I can only do my utmost to look after
my boy and hope that we are spared any of the horrors that are out
there.
Stay safe everyone and love each other.

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