Living with Luke 32
This may well be the last post for 2013 and what an amazing 8 months its been since I started writing these blogs. I’ve seen the number of views for the posts top 100, then 500, 1000 and then 10,000, with the current total at over 14,000 views for the previous 31 ‘Tales of Tiddles’. Next year promises to be even more amazing with the ‘Living with Luke’ play hopefully going into rehearsal and then performances at venues in Colchester and Harlow and maybe elsewhere too.
On top of that, I will be looking into fundraising for the ‘Tiddles Fund’ (a working title) in order to raise money for his continuing multi-supplements that will hopefully rid him of the heavy metals that have been accumulated over the years and provide him with a new chapter in his little quiet life. To do this, I will probably be releasing a couple of stories to buy on Amazon, a Captain Square Jaw story and possibly another ‘fairy story’ about Tiddles. The money from which will go to buying said supplements…
That’s the plan anyway…
However, whilst all of this is all in the pipeline and very exciting, the one person for which this is all being done is completely oblivious to all of the attention and remains so. Tiddles has no idea just how much he is loved by people in this country and all over the world, people he has never met, and probably will never meet. From the 300-odd fans on the Facebook page, to the 50 countries who have read the LWL blogs, to the 50-odd followers on Twitter, those on Mumsnet, and the many wonderful people who have shared the posts religiously since they started, Tiddles has become loved by many many people, but he doesn’t even know it. He remains in his little Narnian world, not aware of the love washing over him with every story told about his adventures with The Old Man.
But when it all boils down to it, the message of the blogs remains the same. They are and remain to be about a father and his autistic son and the pain that this dad feels about the desperately widening gap between them. It’s not only the physical pain, but the mental and emotional as well. There are the funny tales, the sad tales, letters and genuine outpourings of grief about our situation, but hopefully the love this Old Man has for his Silverback gorilla son shines through it all because after all that’s why I started writing them in the first place, to tell people just how I feel about my little boy. Possibly some people have gotten a better understanding about ASD, or maybe how difficult it can be for a dad to live with a broken heart for a son who lives with him but may as well be 1000 miles away. Who knows? Whatever you get out of these posts, thanks for reading them.
So, a little chrismassy story to finish. PACT for Autism had their annual christmas party the other week and I was asked to play my favourite role of Father Christmas for the children. I turned up, fully Santa’d having driven down to the venue in the full red outfit, minus the beard. Making sure I was as inconspicuous as possible, (‘So what does Santa drive, children when he delivers your presents?’ ‘A black Peugeot 207 Santa!’), I walked into the party to be greeted with a chorus of excited cheers from the children who had witnessed my entrance. With lots of ‘Hello there!’ and ‘Ho, ho, ho!’ and ‘Is this where I sit?’ I greeted the excited masses and answered all of their questions, which ranged from ‘Who’s your favourite reindeer?’ to ‘When will you die?’. (That last one wasn’t as morbid as it sounds, and the answers I gave were ‘Donder’ and ‘Never’.)
So it came time to leave, (‘It’s time for Father Christmas to go back to the North Pole, children!’ ‘Hooray! Start up the Peugeot!’) and as I made my way out of the door, who should I see standing waiting for me but Tiddles who was Very Excited and practically leaping from one foot to the other as I walked up to him. I’d already seen him of course to give him his present, but now I was going to stand with him and he seemed to be very happy about this.
“Hello young man and what is your name?” Said I in my Santa voice number 2, which is for public speaking, as opposed to Santa voice number 1 which is for visitors to the grotto – it all gets very serious at this time of year.
“Luke Hannam.” Came the reply.
“And do you know who I am?” I asked as we posed for a photograph.
“Daddy…” Answered Tiddles.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!