Two Beautiful Children

Soon after Abi’s third surgery, just after we had been told that she was tumour free, a friend of mine posted a lovely message on Facebook, which beautifully describes the girls beautifully:

For anyone who hasn’t been there, it is impossible to empathise with what you have all gone through. We can only imagine how bad it has been and, even then, only from a distance. You have had to cope with it all every minute for the last few years, like a weight that hangs around your neck, changing everything, restricting everything. Every minute of the day and night. It has stopped life in its tracks. Now it’s almost certainly over. You can’t even know how that feels yet; it’s uncharted territory.

Your girls are lovely and happy. I think you are quite simply the world’s best Dad. You’ve juggled and worried and balanced. It would have been so easy to neglect Kara to meet Abi’s needs and for Kara to know that and feel it. But I don’t see any signs of that or anything other than a family that is drawn together in adversity.

Now is the time to let them enjoy childhood unfettered, and for you to find yourself again.

That describes Kara and Abi better than I ever could. Because despite mine and Sarah’s constant battles, we have managed to produce two confident young ladies. That’s remarkable, given what they’ve been through; Abi’s illness and their parent’s divorce.

I think the girls growing up so well has been due to many factors. It’s important that Sarah and I have both been present at Abi’s bedside throughout. I think that’s meant she’s felt safe. It’s allowed her to grow up with a degree of assurance. I have also been careful to ensure, even when Abi has been in the hospital, that Kara’s needs have been met too.

Sarah and my custody arrangements have worked beautifully. The schedule - week on, week off, has resulted in a consistency that the children have been able to rely on, even in the upheaval. And despite the animosity between Sarah and I, we have managed, mostly, to display a united front for the children. I will admit that, when we have disagreed, it has been spectacular. But such occasions have been rare. Moreover, I do not speak negatively about Sarah in front of the girls. Quite the opposite. In fact, whenever they talk about her, I try and show interest.

So I believe that Sarah and I have done remarkably well in difficult circumstances. The children know they are loved, and I believe it’s that love which has produced two happy and well-adjusted children.

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