This One is Special by Suzanne Askham
When your child has a condition that can’t be cured, where do you look for answers? This is the preface to how one mother’s story of love, intuition and special parenting came to be written…
It’s 10 pm on a late summer’s evening in 2013. I am in our old stone house, in Wiltshire, UK. The children are asleep upstairs, Steven is out at a dinner in London. And I am about to open a time capsule.
I’m nervous. I decide to put off the moment by walking to the fridge and getting out a beer. I open the bottle; toss the metal cap in the recycling caddy. I pour the beer. Without even taking a sip, I put the glass of beer down where I promptly forget about it. I rinse the bottle out, and place that too in the recycling caddy.
My mind is turbulent. I haven’t looked at the manuscript of The Miracle Child in 15 years. It belongs to a different era. Why mess with it now?
The reason isn’t hard to find. Recently I broke a long silence. I wrote a blog post about our 17-year-old disabled son, Tim. I called it, ‘What I wish I’d told Anita Moorjani’, and I posted it on Anita Moorjani’s Facebook page. The author of Dying to Be Me has a beautiful community there, where people bare their souls. It felt good to do it. I also posted a picture of Tim with his dad, Steven. Choosing that photo made me cry. I knew a door that had been closed for quite some time was being allowed to open. I was allowing it to open.
It’s true, I have talked about Tim quite a bit with the wonderful souls who come to my Studio and meditate with me there. I consider myself to be open on the subject. But I have kept the conversations small and private.
When Tim was little, when we were still living in Richmond, I wrote a book, called Coping When Your Child has Special Needs for Sheldon Press. And at the time of publication there were articles and photos of Tim in one national paper, and a handful of magazines. But I left all that behind when we moved to Wiltshire. Without realising, I became quiet on the subject of our beautiful, mysterious, disabled boy.
So why break the silence now?
“Wow, I was so moved by this blog post!!” wrote Anita Moorjani. “Thank you, Suzanne Askham. Next time, Suzanne, we’ll definitely talk more! Sending love and hugs to you and your beautiful son. ”
After Anita wrote that, my blog was suddenly flooded with visitors. Their comments, shared stories and support were extremely moving to me. And I realised that it might be a good thing to be more open. It might be good for Tim. It might be good for other children and young adults like him. It might help other parents, including us.
But more than that, it might help all who are going through their own particular version of the pain of everyday reality.
Maybe you, reading this, maybe you too have struggled with turbulent events in your own life, or the life of someone you love.
Maybe, just maybe, you have also experienced unexpected moments of bliss.
And maybe you have wondered how to reconcile these two experiences into one life.
That, in a nutshell, is what has happened to me. One morning, out of the blue, I had a mystical experience of unimaginable bliss. I saw the unity of all beings. I was the unity of all beings.
A year later, I gave birth to a child with profound health issues. Tim’s body and mind were equally affected. There was no obvious diagnosis. Especially in the early years, we met countless doctors. Not one of them could give a good prognosis.
Somehow Tim, his father Steven and I had to live with this reality.
“I don’t know how you cope. I couldn’t do it.” That is possibly the most common reaction we have had from others.
How would you answer that?
So that’s why in just a few minutes I’m planning to go to the spare bedroom at the far end of the house, lean down into a corner there, by the desk, and pick up a fat package in an old Jiffy bag. It’s curious that over all these years, the manuscript has been kept in such an accessible place, yet never looked at.
I wonder what the energy of the package will feel like when I open it. I expect it to be drenched in sadness, and I’m dreading that.
“Why mess with it after all these years?” I think again.
“Why not?” a small inner voice whispers back to me. It feels like the prompting of my soul.
About the author
Suzanne Askham is a writer, an editor and an author of several books. A former consumer magazine and national newspaper journalist, she is currently the editor of Spiritus, the membership magazine of The Healing Trust, where she is also a trustee. She runs her own holistic practice which focuses on healing and meditation. Suzanne is a mother of two, including a young man with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Suzanne graduated with a degree in English from Trinity College, Cambridge. She lives with her family in Wiltshire UK.
This One is Special by Suzanne Askham is available through Amazon.
Also at: https://planetstarz.com/bookstore.php
Be sure to tune in to the interview Natalie had with Suzanne on April 8, 2020...............you will love it:
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