Saturday, 9 March 2013

Emily's song


When you’re told that your baby has Down’s syndrome it can be a devastating blow. It can come as a shock; it can come as an earthquake shaking our world to the core. The perfect baby we might have expected, we are told is imperfect.

Of course, with time, you come to realise that having a child with Down’s syndrome is an enormous privilege. Being a parent of any child is an enormous privilege.

But I’m sure all of us who have heard those words, “your child has Down’s syndrome”, or indeed any other disability, have dealt with the emotion in very different ways. And that’s fine. Some may cry, that’s natural and expected, after all it is a shock and tears can be a great release. I cried. But then I’m a bit of a big girl’s blouse. I cry at anything. Don’t come with me to the cinema, it doesn’t matter what I go to see, I’ll end up with soggy popcorn!

Others may shout, others may get angry – that’s ok. The important thing is that emotions are not bottled up, that there is a release, because then we can begin the healing process. For me a way of getting my emotion out has always been to write things down, whether it’s a song or a poem. I find it very cathartic. I know many other parents do the same.

I recently came across a song I wrote shortly after Emily was born. It’s by no means a classic, I’m no Gary Barlow or Bruce Springsteen, but it’s my record of what I felt at the time. It’s a backward glance at my life 20 years ago so I thought I would share it with you.

 
Emily's Song

Emily, I’ll never forget the first time I saw you
Emily, it meant so much the first time I held you
A new life in you and a changed life for me
Right at that moment no-one could see
Just how much our lives would change

Emily, the doctor said that you had Down’s syndrome
We couldn’t see what the future held after we’d taken you home
A new life in you and a changed life for me
So many questions, just how could it be?
That you came to us – had you chosen us?
 
A meeting of angels in heaven above
Decided on you to bring down God’s love
They loaned you to us so together we’d be
Stronger in love and charity

Emily, it’s a pleasure to know you, you bring so much joy
Now I can see, there’s a plan behind the birth of every girl and boy
A new life in you and a changed life for me
Right at this moment I’m so proud to be
A guide to you, but you’re the light in me

A meeting of angels in heaven above
Decided on you to bring down God’s love
They loaned you to us so together we’d be
Stronger in love and charity

A meeting of angels decided on you
To bring down the message we now know so true
That we’ve got to stop taking and learn how to give
And only then can we start to live

Ó   Paul Critchlow 1992
 
 
 
 

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