Paradise

“Cause I lost my Job, 2 weeks before Christmas”

Turns out Rodriguez (Sugarman) must have worked for ITV, pre-Christmas redundancies was standard operating procedure just like the Imperial fleet jettisoning waste pre-hyper space (ask Hans Solo)

In Twelve hours time, Thomas and Mia, our teeny tiny twins, will have been home for 6 months. Every day their dark time in hospital seems a little further away until outpatient letters drop on your doorstep to cast a shadow over our lives. “How’s Thomas doing”? people often ask “Still Blind” I reply, never quite getting the laugh I envision (I Must get a better writer). “Really blind?”, “Pretty much”. Wait till he’s older and I’ll ask him how much?

The one good thing about having a bionic disabled special needs son is the blue badge. As long as Thomas is onboard we can drive straight in, avoid parking fees and get the best spot in the house. Of course this benefit is negated by the oxygen cylinders, the bulky equipment, his blindness, his ongoing hydrocephalus and the temporary faux celebrity status. Luckily our local star is on the wane, people have stopped stopping us to ask a myriad of well intentioned but banal questions and resorted to parking their cars almost entirely on the pavement to block our twin prams passage. Wankers.

(Mia is on the verge of crawling in case you are interested?)

One of the last things we did before Jo’s cervix collapsed is join Delph sailing club, unfortunately we spent the arse end of 2012’s sailing season embedded in various North West hospitals. When the twins finally came home we went back to Delph and to cut a long & tedious story short, we now own a fully functioning sailing boat due to the selfless generosity of Kaye & Dick Hodgson who bore us only minor bitterness for Bolton beating Preston in the 2001 play-off final. Last Sunday, me and James made complete tits of ourselves by failing to even sail our Miracle over the start line in a handicap race. We left, head bowed in shame, before drinks. It’s the taking part, I remind myself. I awake in the middle of the night remembering the incident in terror.

The most irritating thing about this unintended journey our life has taken is people telling us “How strong we are”, or how Thomas & Mia “Couldn’t have asked for better parents”. Sorry but that’s just bollocks. From the NHS, from Bolton Music Service to Delph sailing club I have discovered that despite the protestations of our ruling classes, society is in good shape. People give their time, freely and willingly. When watching my eldest son James playing in his guitar ensemble I am overwhelmed by a feeling of guilt that the Bolton Music Society exists on a wave of goodwill and talented musicians like Guy James giving their up their precious free time for the good of the youth tomorrow whilst I give so little back. Using Delph Sailing Club as a metaphor for my life, strangers have welcomed us, accepted us, helped us and moved us on drawing satisfaction from their lives simply by giving without expectation of payment or reward. Not even getting cross when we recklessly sailed into oblivion last week, merely encouraging us to practice harder and try again.

It is you are strong, your words and love keep us moving forward and stop looking back. When we look back we are doomed as the journey we have been through is too tricky to comprehend. Forward is the only option, we are on a Starboard tack.

Love Ian, Jo, James, Lilly, Thomas & Mia

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