Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden

I hate this. I know hate is a strong word and maybe too strong for this feeling but I struggle to find another that conveys these feelings, this situation and this life. Other words rattle past as I write these words maybe better suited, words that may be less “dramatic” or in your face. Confused, lost, sad, depressed, lonely all these fit yet all these are also just ingredients that create this hate, this feeling.

I have never felt like this before but I have also never been in a situation or place that would create these feelings. This place I am now is not one of my choosing and there were no bad decisions or choices that bought me here and I did nothing to create this place or this life. Perhaps that is another reason to feel this way?, maybe anger is another word that flies past my mind as I begin to write this perhaps anger is a main ingredient to this hate. In the past I have made decisions that have created situations that have been less than ideal, decisions that took me to a place where I felt similar strong emotions. These places and times were of my choosing and I had no one to blame but myself for ending up there, how can you complain about a situation that you created?.

This road I am on now is more difficult than any other I have travelled and not once did I make any choice or decision that brings me here. Perhaps it is karma that carried me here to this place? I look back and wonder what I have done in my life that deserves this. This road is long and stretches as far as the eye can see, it reminds me of an image of a straight road through a bleak desert, a road that continues to the horizon and never gets closer to the end no matter how many steps I take.

On this road there are others with me, those who share this journey with me and each of us struggling to find the strength or courage to continue. We pass others who walk slower and we are passed by others who walk with a stride full of purpose as they bend their heads against the wind and push on. Like the hare and the turtle these people will often be seen further up the road, exhausted and crawling as their energy finally wanes and they begin to lose faith. There are many places to stop on this road, places where all hope is gone, truck stops for the lost and here is where we will all stop at least once.

It is ironic that at these places you will find tiny triumphs when you believe there are none. These places of the deepest despair are where miracles happen, a gift from Gods to pick you up just enough to walk on one more day, just one more day. As you stare at the road shuffling your feet from one step to the next your tears and pain often obscure visions of beauty that lay beside the road. The most delicate flowers grow here, in places where even angels fear to tread there is beauty. These places may be few and far between but they are there, somewhere in the distance. If you take a moment to look for them you will see them, sometimes you will walk for days on end to find one but they are there, like fairies in the bottom of the garden. If you believe you will see them but only if you look hard enough.

We walk these roads because we want to, we can of course decide to walk no further but we are very aware if we stop walking we will not move forward and we will not find any of the awaiting tiny triumphs. We walk not because we have to, we walk because we want to because there are only two choices, carry on or give up and giving up will only make our journey easier. We do not take each step to reach an end, there often is no end and no destination or oasis. We walk not for ourselves but for those who need us to continue this journey, our children. Our different type of perfect children, our children with special needs. We take each step with their tiny hands in ours, we are not walking our journey we are escorting them through theirs. Each step we take is fuelled by a love as pure as any other, a love all parents have for their children. We carry those who cannot walk, we talk for those who cannot speak and we hold them as the wind blows so strong we are sure we will blow away with the sand on the side of the road.

I hate this place. I hate the pain and the days that melt from one to another and can only days are told by what doctor we see and what therapist is coming.  I hate being here but it is not about me, it has not been about me for many years now. I often stop at the truck stops along the way (I guess if I am writing this I am at one now) and I lose faith and all I see is the road ahead a road that seems to lead nowhere. It has been many days since I have found a tiny triumph growing on the side of the road and my feet tire and my soul aches. It is when I feel this way that I am lucky to have my child with me, this child I am supposed to be protecting for in her eyes I see a thousand tiny triumphs, in her innocence she sees the road different than I. Her road is not a long endless desert her road is like any other child’s road full of light and beauty where fairies are real and dreams come true.

I will stand up and I will hold her tight and relish the feeling of her little arm on the back of my neck and the warmth of her breath on my skin. I will look into her eyes and seek the courage I need to move on, I will see the fairies dancing in her smile. I will let her lead me for some of the journey and she can show me where the tiny triumphs grow on the side of the road, beauty that I miss as I wrap myself in emotions where beauty seldom dances.

I hate this place but it is not about me and what do I know of wonderment and beauty when compared to my child? How can I teach her to see the beauty in everything when I cannot? How can I tell her to search for fairies when it has been a long time I believed there were any? When I began writing this I was standing on the side of the road with my head in my hands wondering how to keep walking, now I realise I was looking the wrong way. The road is long and often dusty and barren but if you look at it like a child you realise you are being lead by a spirit purer than any other, that of your child. They are telling you where the beauty is, you just need to listen.

I hate this place but I am blessed to be walking it with my beautiful child, perhaps it is her teaching me how to find fairies at the bottom of the garden.


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In 2011 I became the father to a child with special needs, a different type of perfect beautiful girl to add to my equally perfect (in a normal way) son. As my journey continues I find my best way to vent my feelings good and bad is through writing. This blog is for me to get my emotions out, if this can help another family like mine it would be great. My feelings are not rare in families like mine, maybe someone seeing some of their feelings in my words will make them feel a little less alone. Please feel free to comment or contact me at anytime, I look forward to your feedback. Kelly "Boy" Dugan

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