Why, so because and all that?
February is the month where my little champion Patrick was born. Patrick was my second son in life and my own new light, a new light of hope and the catalyst to rebuild me as a man.
Each year now since his passing, I find his birthday, a day for massive reflection upon what it is he did for me, how he did it for me and of course, as I am only human, what he may have become. Patrick did so much for me as a person in his short life that to say it is all bittersweet is only the tip of iceberg.
Oh, for those who are not aware, Patrick drowned in a swimming pool at 5.30am one Sunday morning when he was 1year & 4 months old. I dare not keep you in any suspense of this fact.
So February is a hard month, a celebratory month as it is Patrick’s birthday month and an all round head wreck of a month.
What Patrick thought me as a man was to pick my head up. At the time of his birth and all the way through the pregnancy with his mom, I was very stuck as a human being. Though so horrible to even remind myself of that time, I was not sure I even wanted to be a father again. I was in the depths of wallowing and the new process of grieving my first son Darra.
Darra was 15 years of age when he died and I could not comprehend any of what was meant to be. I could not function as a human being, as a father nor as a man. Patrick’s life meant so much to me. I will always be in awe of how he has impacted me and helped me to get my head to a place where I dragged myself out of the depths of despair to sit and play with him, to cuddle with him. As much as Patrick was receiving love from his mom and his father, he was very much returning a massive amount of inspiration for life to me.
The day that Patrick drowned was the absolute of breaking the last shreds of my own SELF. I was shattered physically by the ordeal that morning, I found myself feeling completely destroyed to my foundation and beyond. Emotionally, well I will have to ask you to just imagine it for a second and in your imagination you will begin to taste the slightest snippet of what that might feel like.
I was destroyed as a man, the first time around I did not ever think I could live on after my first son was found dead in his bed one Monday morning. Darra died of sudden adult death syndrome. This basically means that his heart just stopped at some time through the night and he was just gone. It was that devastation that Patrick lifted me up from. Patrick’s meaning in my life became wholeheartedly about how I MUST go on. I must dig to the deepest I have never even imagined inside of myself. I must find the fibres inside of myself to cling on to and rebuild. I must find a way to grieve for Darra and be a father also. I must look inside of myself, a place where it really felt that there was nothing left. I felt empty, I felt shattered, I felt like no other person can ever understand this. Sometimes, when Patrick was like 3 or 4 months old, he didn’t want to sleep and I began to give him the bad habit of walking the hallway with him rocking him back and forth. I wanted to lull him back to sleep, I would try and not change his position in my arms too much and try and peak to see if he was sleeping yet. He was not. He would just be looking right back at me full of smiles.
I would talk to him and tell him about his bigger brother and Patrick would keep on smiling back at me. Patrick would give me a look just like any adult would and it was a look from him that was as if to say, “hey can I give you a hug?”
These little things were pieces of how my son Patrick helped to bring me back to being a man. Me and his mom really loved Patrick and Patrick had an incredible ability to love us back too.
It was through the time of his death and while in a state of grief for Darra that I felt I had no choice in life, I repeated to myself “I MUST find a way”.
And so today continues the healing process. The grief on some days can consume me, on other days I am fully charged to continue what and how Patrick’s life thought me to be. For these reasons I have always found it difficult to absorb the month of February. Patrick has meant so much in my life. He was 1 year and 4 months old when he drowned, if you add on 9 months of pregnancy, Patrick had spent almost two years becoming who he was and those 2 years were 2 years I spent in a cycle of devastation and disbelief. 2 years where I searched for any small shred of fibre inside of myself to become daddy again. 2 years of not even believing that my own shadow was my own. The extent of how being confused became such a scary place for me that I had only one choice, one decision, one mantra. I MUST FIND A WAY.
Today I sit here writing this piece to demonstrate to all and any who may find it hard sometimes or who may have lost some little pieces of how they believe in themselves, I write about my own experience of such disbelief to highlight that my own existence is a certainty that, believing in ourselves can be restored. I can demonstrate that the ability to take a nights sleep and begin a new day fresh. These are items that we can all take for granted. Many of us can believe we are right in all our choices and decisions. Many of us can see no major factor in the simple things in life. I was once in a position that to force myself out of bed in the morning and take a shower and prepare for the day that, that was the entire day accomplished. Some very small simple accomplishments were all that I could manage.
My own grief is still very raw. I am now carrying this sense of sadness for 8 years now. Patrick’s entire life occurred within 2 and half years of Darra’s death. The roller-coaster has been beyond even my own belief.
This is the will to win, this is the piece that reassures me that if there is one tiny little fibre of hope inside of us then there exists the will to win.
For some, winning in life may mean or be represented by the large ticket items of toys, “he who has most toys wins”. For many it may be in outside pursuits that winning is found, work/promotions or even in sports. I guess I wanted to point out that when you may find yourself stuck in a rut or any kind of hard place in life. I have found and am a living testament that when you are TRYING you are WINNING.
When you have a belief in yourself you are displaying an enormous “will to win”
Take a moment and give yourself a pat on the back right now for your efforts.
There is a great beauty in having a fire begin to smoulder inside of you when you have that will inside of you. This flickering flame can at any moment by life events turn into a raging blaze and make you a fiercely motivated person.
My motto and has been ever since I wrote my first book,
“TWO sons TOO many”.
The motto has become a mantra to live by and came to me by reflection in some of my darkest hours.
“NEVER GIVE UP”
You can find any and all of my books and writing on my website amcnallyauthor or on amazon. Hit the Google button and type in Aidan Mc Nally.
I encourage you to do so to gain your readership and to throw myself out there to you as a voice or tool that you can use to bring about an attitude of winning into your own life. Be it difficult or be it fun. I have learned some very tough life lessons and the most powerful I have found to help myself was to share them with you all.
Feel free to share this little snippet. 😊