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Living with Luke 60

July 7, 2015


So here it is, post number 60.

I am, as ever, astounded that a) it ever got this far and b) that people are still reading them. After all, it’s a blog about a father and his son, right? There are plenty of those in this world, right?

Well…yes. And no…

As the self help books are ever prone to reminding us, there is only one of us in this world. We’re unique. Even an exact copy of us will experience life in a completely different way to us, so yes, whilst there are indeed lots of fathers with sons, lots of fathers with daughters, and indeed lots of fathers full stop, there’s only one of me. One father of Tiddles.

And only one Tiddles.

Lots of beings called Tiddles, but only one Luke James Hannam. And he only gets one dad – Me. For all my faults and weaknesses, my failings, my strengths, my triumphs, I am and will forever be your Dad, Luke.

And for whatever reason that you may not approve of that, it’s a fact that you cannot get away from.

No matter what, I will always be here for you and you will always be my boy…my son.

I have no hopes for you, no dreams, except to be a part of your life once again. There is a fire, a burning love that would consume us if we let it, but until such time as you would walk through that fire with me, then I’m going to love you unconditionally and completely. And even a little bit sadly.

Sometimes, there is no shame in admitting a defeat. It’s all about how you get back up after that defeat that defines you as a person. They are all hard to accept, these defeats, these setbacks.

These failures.

And I have failed many, many times with Tiddles.

But we get up, brush ourselves off and go again. And again. And again. Why? Because I love him. Because I would do that for The Eldest Child and TCMH if I had to, and have had to in the past.

The other week was the first anniversary of our first performance of ‘Living with Luke – The Play’. It was, and continues to be an emotional experience, and we are due to perform to about 200 people this week in a one-off performance in Colchester’s Mercury Theatre, in Essex.

The whole thing has been amazing, from the writer and actors themselves through to the responses from every audience that has so far seen it. As much as it gets to me every time I say my lines – my words from earlier blogs – I enjoy every single show. Audiences ‘get’ it. They have taken this simple little story to their hearts, for whatever reasons they have, be it because they too are parents of autistic children, or they love the setting, the wrestling, the drama, who knows? It has the potential to become something much bigger, playing to more people over time.

But the one person who doesn’t get it, or even possibly realise that something like this even exists about him, is Tiddles.

He doesn’t realise the love and affection that people have for him, even though they have never met him.

And that’s fine. He doesn’t need it.

But he also doesn’t know the love and affection that the other character in the piece has for him, and that’s not fine, because I need it. I need him to know. But he probably never will know that either.

Oh, he may benefit indirectly from the future of the play, wherever that takes us. But he won’t know the reasons behind the play, behind the blogs in the first place.

As I’ve said before, these have all been love letters to my Quiet Prince. Things I wanted to share, needed to say, to make people aware that a father can love his son from a place of genuine, honest, heartfelt, simple, unconditional Love.

And throughout every blog, the same message has continued to thread and weave it’s way into every word I’ve put down here, every comic situation, every heartbreak, every triumph…

Every failure…

And it’s this, now, then and as it’s always been.

I love you Luke Hannam. I know that word means absolutely nothing to you and it probably never will, but I love you so much. You are my little boy and you always will be and I will love you and protect you until the day that I die…

With Love, from Your Dad…


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  1. Margy Martin permalink

    Privlidged to see ” Living with Luke ” play tonight at the Mercury and it’s powerful portrayal of the everyday highs lows and feelings of total impotence bought me to tears ! Thank you to all of the cast for such an amazing performance and thank you to Danson for sharinging the Fathers feelings, which are so often missed x Margy x

  2. Jayne Sheeran permalink

    So glad I got to see the play tonight, thank you for letting us into your life. Much love and respect to you, Luke TCMS and your eldest xxxx

  3. Katy Lewis permalink for sharing your story. Eddie is my Quiet Prince. I was so aware of the acute reality that living with an autistic child is so, so draining, frustrating, exhausting and isolating. You have enabled not only Luke, but my son also to have a voice. Thank you.

    • Thank you Katy for your very kind words. Here’s to our Quiet Princes. May they always be content.

      • Katy Lewis permalink

        I’m so glad that at last someone has highlighted the need for further support immediately after diagnosis of Autism. I have only just found a special needs counselling service. What impact would this have had on you at the time of Luke’s diagnosis?

      • I certainly think that it could’ve lessened the blow for both of us. TCMH was distraught immediately we left, so I couldn’t be, I had to hold it together for her and it wasn’t until I started writing the blogs that she realised how hard the diagnosis had affected me too. As I said, we were left to it with no idea what to do next. Some form of ‘grief’ counselling could’ve made a bit of difference.

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