It was a dark and stormy night… which was a bit of a surprise when I’d only closed my eyes for a few minutes after lunch. I’m fairly certain the only reason I woke then was the distinctive sound of the dog’s claws on the door as she tried surreptitiously to let herself out into the back garden.
Ah well, there was no question that I needed the sleep. It has been a long few days fighting a bureaucratic battle that has seemed like wading through treacle. I won’t get much sleep tonight either, as I will have to be awake and moving by three am to get to work on time. It will be an exceptionally early start as Nick needs to be on an early train to London to attend a conference where he will be standing to say a few words.
His suit and shirt are pressed, his shoes polished, cufflinks ready. He’s even had a haircut, though I doubt the long blond locks and the beard will actually look much shorter.
I won’t be there. Of course I would like to be … but the fact that I do not have to be is such a major leap forward. But I listened to him preparing his speech this morning and will be waiting for the phone call when he gets home. It is such a major victory and yes, I am inordinately proud of what he will be doing. To stand when he should not be able to stand… to look out across a sea of faces when not so very long ago he was struggling to accept his changed self… to speak out as a voice for brain injury when his voice is one of the areas of damage that he has worked so hard to redress… to take only large print bullet points to refer to because his eyesight too was so badly damaged, and to rely on a memory that is faulty because of the brain injury. It is no mean feat.
I just hope someone takes some pictures… and I hope he will write about it too; yet another achievement, another instance of finding a way to do what should be impossible. What we were told would be impossible.
As I watch my son move out once more into the world, intent on making a difference and turning tragedy to a concrete vision of hope, I cannot help but draw my own inspiration from his journey. I have seen the focus and unremitting hard work he has put into the past six and a half years. It hasn’t come easy and the journey is far from finished… but he isn’t working towards the goal of an indefinable and impossible ‘normality’. He is working towards Living with a capital ‘L’ … and living to some purpose too; a constant reminder that ‘anything is possible…’