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Living with Luke 68

June 1, 2016

Isn’t it weird Tiddles, this life? 
This week, I’m going to the wedding of Shane (who plays the Ref and other roles in Living with Luke – The Play) and his lovely lady Jazz. I wish them nothing but happiness and joy and all that they wish for. It took me back, Tiddles, to when your mum, TCMH and I were married, nearly 23 years ago BC (before children). We had big dreams. TCMH was going to be a jobbing singer and I was going to be a working actor. Nothing huge, just regular work that would keep us comfortable. I’d decided not to pursue my budding wrestling career to follow the acting dream. I toyed with writing when The Eldest Child came along. Children’s stories mainly. Nothing came of it. We moved into our present house, and then you came along and everything changed. I had an idea for a pirate story about brothers but that never came to anything either. The dreams of becoming an actor faded as bills needed paying and regular work hooked it’s soul-destroying, depressive claws into me. 

Then the hammer blow. And suddenly, I’m the father of an Autistic boy. 
The years pass and I write a book about a comedy pirate. I start wrestling again part time and I meet Paul Tyrrell – wrestling legend. After a couple of years though, I stop wrestling again for various reasons. I’m noticing that you are starting to be a little less tolerant of me, to the point where you are hitting me for whatever reason. It’s fine. I tell everyone it’s ok. 

But it’s not ok. It’s tearing me apart inside. 

And then the second hammer falls. And now you’re an autistic boy with epilepsy. The hitting increases, as does the rejections. It’s fine, I tell everyone. It’s ok. 

But it’s not fine, it’s not ok. My boy, my beautiful little baby, doesn’t want me in his life. 
So I start writing about it. All of it. All the stuff that was inside is now coming out. Some good, some bad. Funny-yes, but also some very sad, heartbreaking memories that has me blinking away tears as I write it down. 

And then people started reading it. And more people and more in different countries. And then through Shane, Paul Davies comes along and wants to make a play about it? And then I meet Ben, who turns out to be a brilliant StageSon, and then we need a wrestler and Paul Tyrrell re-enters and becomes The Autistic Shadow. And I meet Liz and Neville and Anna Kennedy. And I write a book about you and I. And suddenly, this weekend, I’m going to the wedding of The Ref and his lady. 

And all because, Tiddles, you were autistic. I would never have met these people were it not for you. The opportunities to reach so many people, touched in whatever way by the Autistic spectrum have all been because of you. It sounds odd to thank you for it, because I want to be your dad. I want to be the father to you that you deserve, and not the father that you continue to endure and tolerate. But without you, and all the heartbreak that your condition has caused me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. 

I’m right where life needs me to be, my beautiful, wonderful, distant son. 

Thanks Luke. 

Love Dad X


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