The children we didn’t have...

Where to start with a topic like this one? 

Myself and Liane were always excited about the idea of starting a family together. We yearned to be parents, like many people I know. We brooded in private and cherished our friends’ and families’ children in public. We both worked around children all day, every day. We loved everything about the idea of a family - the nucleus of love, the definition of commitment, the round the clock nurturing, the moulding of someone in our image and ideals, even the sleepless nights and the parental pressure. It was something we strived for together, a little nugget of love we cherished deep in our hearts but a plan we’d never bring to fruition. 

Pregnancy for someone on the drugs Liane took for her epilepsy, especially the amount of them she needed, is never straightforward. We spoke to as many doctors as we could and sought out the best of advice. We readied ourselves for a tough road - as I said before in her tribute - "we often wondered if our jobs’ skill sets were purposefully given to us so we'd raise an autistic or special needs child". That thought didn't scare us, it steadied us and strengthened us. We felt we'd overcome any form of obstacle side by side, hand in hand and hearts as one. It wasn't to be.

I’ve spoken to people who’ve lost a husband/wife/partner and are left behind with children. I can’t begin to think what that’s like. The difficulty of the new reality coupled with the children to live for; ever-changing and ever-challenging. I don’t know how I’d have coped alone if we’d had a child. I think it takes a certain inner strength to continue as a parent in that situation. The admiration I have for those widows and widowers out there is endless. And yet, there's jealousy. Always jealousy... 

I'm jealous of my best friends and their children. I'm jealous of my relatives and my colleagues, even of people I don't know, with their newborns. And it hurts. The jealousy hurts. On one hand I understand it and let it sit there - a negative emotion eating away.  On the other hand I despise it, worried it might tarnish my relationships and aware of how it festers. Awareness is one thing, allowing yourself overcome/control such a feeling, another thing entirely. 

I see such happiness from the young children in this world and being around them keeps me upbeat, giving me renewed hope. Maybe everything will be okay some day. Maybe this new generation is the one the world needs. Maybe I can influence those close to me and those I teach to be a better version of us. Maybe that's my role on this planet - an uncle, a godfather, a guide and a teacher. We will see. Maybe first, come to terms with my new self and then see where I go. 

Cherish your cherubs people. Know that you're the lucky ones.