A couple of weeks after an MRI scan confirmed my son’s severe brain damage, I stood over the sink washing dishes. A friend from church had come over to offer support and we talked.
“You know, I just don’t know what God is up to.” I seethed.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if all this is happening so that one day I am able to help other people in the same situation, I’m just not going to do it.”
“Oh, I see.”
“I know good things come out of hard situations but if God thinks I’m going to do something like write a book one day, he has another thing coming.” I stared at my ceiling and reiterated,
“I’m never going to write a book.”
I have thought about this conversation a lot in the last couple of years. In some ways, my thinking hasn’t changed. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason or that God lets things occur just to enable us to help others. I don’t believe in that kind of manipulation. But I have come to hope in finding goodness in every situation. I don’t mean every situation is good, nor do I want to belittle the pain and sorrow of hard experiences. What I mean is, light is present in dark places. No matter how awful, good can result from tragedy.
Thomas Hardy apparently said that ‘time changes everything except the thing inside us that is surprised by change’.
Tapping away on my iPad three years ago, remembering and articulating the day I became a mum, was the start of me changing. I had told the story of Sam’s birth many times but never from the perspective of my feelings. It seems shining a light on my past allowed healing in my present. With hindsight, I realise that either a situation changes or I am changed by it.
Usually, there is an intricate dance between the two that results in a new creation.
Given that I scraped a grade ‘C’ in my English GCSE, having made up my reading list because I didn’t read, it is pretty surprising that my book will be published in the next month. I guess I have changed and begun to enjoy writing; mostly because it is a lot like talking but without the interruption.
I can see how telling my story has helped me and I’m taking the next step in the hope that telling my story might help others too. Maybe family and friends will see a glimpse of my world and the world of mothers like me. Maybe other mums will read my musings and think ‘I remember that’ or ’I’m not alone.’ Maybe professionals will read and handle interactions with families like mine with a little more insight.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of my book to whet your appetite. Hopefully within the next week you will be able to pre-order ‘The skies I’m under’ before it is released in time for Christmas.