Retrieving the miracle child

29/08/2013 at 6:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments
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Miracle ms

It’s 10 pm in the evening. 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 maybe 14 years. It belongs to a different era. Why mess with it now?

The reason isn’t hard to find. Three days ago I broke a long silence. I wrote a blog post about my 17-year-old disabled son, Timothy. I called it, ‘What I wish I’d said to 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 Timothy 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.

When Timothy 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 Timothy in one national paper, The Express, and a handful of magazines. But I left all that behind when we moved to Wiltshire. Without realizing, I became quiet on the subject of my 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 flooded with visitors. Their comments, shared stories and support were extremely moving to me. And I realized that it might be a good thing to be more open. It might be good for Timothy. It might be good for other children and young adults like Timothy. It might help other parents. And it sure as heck might be profoundly healing for me.

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.

What will the energy of the package feel like when I open it? I expect it to be drenched in sadness, and I’m dreading that.

“Why mess with it after so long?” I think again.

“Why not?” a small inner voice whispers back to me. It feels like the prompting of my soul.

The Miracle Child came about almost by itself. A dear friend, Tessa Phillips, knew a book editor at a London publishing house. She told the book editor about Timothy, and the editor suggested I wrote a book about him. She even gave me the title, The Miracle Child.

I liked the title a lot. I was worried, though, that Timothy and I might not live up to it. He was, after all, profoundly disabled. That wasn’t going to change any time soon. But there was plenty of hope and promise in his story.

So I quickly wrote the book, and in the process released a lot of anger. There was in me a fierce desire to help my son in whatever ways were possible.

But just as I was about to send the manuscript off, the book editor left, and the publishing house had no interest in The Miracle Child. I think I half-heartedly tried a couple of other publishers, who duly rejected it. A few friends read the manuscript and made supportive comments. And then, rather embarrassed about the whole thing, I put it to one side.

I figured that the universe had its reasons for arranging that I wrote The Miracle Child, and it had its reasons for the book not to be published after all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I can’t put off this moment any longer. I go up to the spare bedroom, lean down into the corner, pick up the jiffy bag, and take it back to the living room. I bring the forgotten glass of beer with me. I feel that I’m going to need it.

The house is very quiet. There are no interruptions. There is nothing to stop me facing my past.

I open the envelope. I draw out the manuscript. I see an old-fashioned floppy disk in there too. I’ll have to get it converted into a modern format.

To my surprise, the energy of the manuscript feels quite different to what I expected. The over-riding feeling is one of… eagerness. This story is ready to be heard. It’s even excited about it. Wahey! It’s dancing a jig.

Yes, there is sadness. There were certainly enough tears as I wrote it. But the sheer bouncy energy of my younger self is apparent. There was rocket fuel in my blood at that time.

The Miracle Child reflects my dawning awareness during the first years of Timothy’s life. There’s a lot it misses out. I’m amazed, as I read through the pages, that I don’t mention the vision of bliss that I experienced in the year before Timothy was born. That vision is something I told only a very few people, until I wrote about for the first time three days ago in my recent blog post.

The vision of bliss was so influential; why ever would I keep it quiet? It sustained me throughout the hardest times. I am deeply, fundamentally grateful that I experienced it. Despite that, the 35-year-old me believed it was ‘woo woo’. I couldn’t possibly mention it in print.

Today, I would write The Miracle Child differently, for sure. But that is not the point. I make a decision. I’m not going to edit this. I’m just going to publish it, as it is, in its own raw energy – like an extended blog post. I’ll most likely release it as a Kindle book.

I waver. Do I dare to do this?

And then I think about the messages I’ve received from women in my situation. I’ve also heard from  others who have struggled themselves with a range of major health issues. Sharing and caring are what make us human.

This is my request to the Universe: may all those who are able to benefit from this book, get the opportunity to read it.

I’ll send off that floppy disc to a data retrieval company.

It’s time to share.

21 Comments »

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  1. Yes. Do it. I think publishing it as an ebook is inspirational. Changing the contents of a dug up time capsule would be wrong. It was true of that moment. The rest can wait for later. x

  2. Suzanne,

    If you publish it, we will read it! We are waiting… Thank you for being willing to be so transparent with your thoughts, feelings, and experiences on your blog. I think we all have similar things happen, but for whatever reason we are afraid to recognize them ‘out loud’. Here’s to living FEARLESSLY!

    Also, you are not alone in this Suzanne…because you have shared so openly, we feel a connection to you and want to hear more. Happy publishing!

    Karol from North Carolina, USA

    • Thank you so much for that warm encouragement, Karol. I really do appreciate it, more than I can express. You’re so right to remind me about living FEARLESSLY! With love, Suzanne x

  3. I was talking yesterday about the need in this world … in context of the governing of this world … the need of a new energy that includes and shares and cares for one another………….rather than governing over by laws and taxes and lawyers and litigation etc. We have an election soon and there is not much inspiration to be found in our potential governing bodies 😦
    Your blog and the releasing of your book is an example of what I was talking about. …for so long we have let yourselves be led to specialists in area’s of health, money, and living. I think we can learn more from open hearted sharing. We become inspired, we reach out and connect and perhaps not feel so isolated in our daily difficulties. In this way we can share more of our humanity and be more fully in our lives, warts and all. Perhaps begin to reach out again to one another because we start to know that we are all going through growing pains of some sort or another and we are all capable of flowering into our full potential.
    As you say Suzanne, we can begin to live life fearlessly..thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading your book. You have inspired me.
    Sally from Australia

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Sally, and I agree wholeheartedly with you that we can learn more from open hearted sharing. Now that I have begun to share my personal story I have noticed a new feeling within me, like a shell dissolving. I also notice that I am accepting support far more than I did before. These are good and awesome feelings. Sharing is a potent force that can and I think will change the world for the better. Love and blessings to you x x x

  4. I hope you enjoyed your beer, finally. You deserve it -and many blessings 🙂

  5. This came into my inbox this morning and I read it over my breakfast (aust time) I was deeply moved, please publish your Miracle Child story for people like me who have had a disabled child and Bliss moments but can’t put them into words, I am sure there are more people out there that need this

    • Thank you for your encouragement Gill. I will do it! I will publish this book. I am so glad you have had Bliss moments. x x x

  6. Hi Suzanne. What an inspiration! To do this after all the ‘rejections’ is soooo wonderful and there is absolutely no reason why it won’t work this time…you have declared : “This is my request to the Universe: may all those who are able to benefit from this book, get the opportunity to read it..’ ….and they will 😀

    Love, Tina

    • Thank you for your warm encouragement, Tina. I do appreciate it. As you say, I have declared my intention to the Universe… I wonder if perhaps on a deeper level I wasn’t ready to share my story before. I am now 🙂 x x x

  7. Suzanne, it is not only the story you have to tell – that in itself is wonderful, but you write so beautifully too. Your words are gentle, vulnerable, open and expansive. They carry with them a delightful energy that is a pleasure to engage with. You reveal yourself through your words in such a way that as the readers, we are carried along with you on your own personal journey. It is not simply a history lesson – it is so much more than that.
    We all have teachers in our lives, some of whom play a very important role. Timothy has clearly been one of your key teachers and if it feels right, run with your intuitive feelings. Now is the moment, and any help I can give you , I will do!

    I shall be sending the two most recent blogs out to another group I run as well called the ‘Soul Group’. I do that by email.

    Blessings to you, Steven and Timothy,

    with love,

    James

    • James, what a wonderful compliment about my writing style, from one who knows about writing. Thank you; I truly appreciate your words and feel encouraged by them. You are right that Timothy has been one of my key teachers. Thank you for your offer of help, and also for sending the two most recent blogs out to the Soul Group. Love and blessings to you x x x

  8. Hi Suzanne, yes, sharing and caring is what makes us human, and it´s true it´s time to share!!! So let´s do that, let´s all do that!!! You share your stories and I´ll share my art, which is all in my studio waiting to do that for which they were created… Everybody and everything has a purpose. Let´s allow our creations fulfill their purpose. In doing so, we are fulfilling ours.
    I would also love to know about your experience, the one you haven´t spoken much about. For me is sooooooo inspiring! I´ve always wanted to have an experience like that, but not through an illness, not through suffering… When you mentioned your experience, it´s like you confirmed that it is possible.
    Thanks a lot Suzanne, because your desire to share, has awakened mine!!!!
    With love,
    Luz.

  9. What I can I say Suzanne? I am absolutely overwhelmed by yet another beautiful and inspiring Story which is so apparently coming straight from your heart. Something wonderful is happening to your already remarkable writing skills. The time is indeed the right time to publish your book and I like everyone who has commented above, will be waiting to read it with great anticipation. Timmy is indeed a Miracle child and has been a real Blessing to us all. With love.

  10. From the day we met many years ago, I’ve always admired you and the care and patience you give Timmy. He certainly is a “Miracle Child”. Only you could tell others about the trials, tribulations and joy of watching him grow. Best of good luck to you all.

    • Dear Mary, I am so touched by your support; it does make a real difference. Hope all’s well with you. Steven sends love. x x x

  11. […] weeks back, I sent off my own personal story, The Miracle Child, in the form of a floppy disc to a data retrieval company. I had typed it out 14 years ago, and […]


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