Blogpost….Living with Luke: Part 36

Communities / Tue 11th Feb 2014 at 09:36am

lukeWE haven’t dropped into Steve Hannam’s blog since Christmas, so this seemed to be a perfect opportunity.

Steve’s blog reflects a life, living with autism.


Last week was a pretty crap week for us. I started off the week with a sniffy cold, which was just annoying. Then on Sunday, Tiddles and The Eldest Child’s Uncle Clatter (one of my brothers), bravely managed to break his leg and knee playing football and had to have an operation to have bolts and plates put in to hold it all together. So far, not great…

Then in the early hours of Thursday morning, my grandad died…

I never called him Grandad, I and everyone else always called him ‘Fred’. Fred was 92 when he passed away, having lived as full a life as he possibly could, having survived World War 2 as a decorated paratrooper and seeing action in Italy and Africa amongst other places. Returning from the war shell-shocked, he spent the next 70 years enjoying himself and his family, even helping to build Harlow New Town in the 50′s.

He will be missed by all of us…

Naturally at these times, you begin to reassess your own life and the lives of those around you. Especially the life of Tiddles. But I have thought constantly about our future and my fears that I have for him and for me and have written about those fears elsewhere.

No, these thoughts are about him. Would he miss me if I died? The strange thing is, although he wasn’t close to Fred, I honestly think that he was curious as to where he was when we visited my Nan on Saturday. Being autistic means that you are pretty much isolated or even cocooned from the feelings of grief, guilt or even sadness. Tiddles can get upset about things, but he wouldn’t be upset about the death of somebody, as he cannot empathize with those around him.

But would he miss me?

Everybody’s natural reaction would be, ‘Of course he would! You’re his dad!’ That much I am painfully aware of, but that just only makes it worse because whilst I think he may wonder whats happened to me, in the long run I think that I would be just a picture to him.

Now I know that that may sound sad, and actually it IS sad thinking about it, but in a way it could be viewed as a blessing to him. I know he would miss TCMH, as even now he asks …’when mummy comes back…’ on Saturday’s when she is out working during the day, but as I have said before, he barely acknowledges my triumphant return from the World of Work.

(Mind you, he’s not the only one…Mentioning no names, but her name is an anagram of HCTM…)

In fact he acts sometimes as if it’s the last thing on earth that he wants to see walking through the door. And after some days, that is quite hard to take.

But taken to the other extreme, if/when the time does come, he will not go through the pain and loss that the rest of the world will experience. He’ll barely notice the public holidays taken in my name or the state funeral passing through Lon-Don, wondering instead why he isn’t going to Hamley’s for a toy train.

I jest of course – I don’t want a public holiday – but the core of the jest remains the same. As much as I think he tolerates me he probably won’t miss me when i’m gone. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no intention of going anywhere for the next century (at least). Why? Because of Tiddles. The Eldest Child I have no doubt will become a great man in his own right whatever he decides to do, he’ll always have my support. But Tiddles, who may not know it or even want to know it, needs me. And because I know that he needs me, that is what is driving me along to stay with him for as long as I possibly can.

He’s my son and I love him. How can I not?

When he decided to leave for Narnia, it broke my heart. But as much as I wanted to pull him back to me, I knew that it could probably be the worst thing that I could do. I very reluctantly let him go, but I hope that by constantly being here awaiting his return he realises that I am ALWAYS waiting for him to return and that if he ever, EVER needs my help to come back…

Then I will always be here. Ready…

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