It’s hard not to go down the memory lane of ‘this time last year’... Pre-Covid, pre-lockdowns, pre-home schooling, pre-groundhog days.
As I sit and type this, I am looking at his smiling face.
It beams out at me from a shelf high in my sitting room.
That picture was taken last Summer, it caught him as he was; truly happy, truly innocent, truly handsome, truly Ethan.
This time last year I was eagerly awaiting the return of my manuscript from a local publisher here in Galway called, Tribes Press.
The only people I had told about my pending manuscript was my husband D, my big brother Liam and of course Ethan.
They were all pretty good at keeping a secret!
As we all know, the pandemic hit in March of 2020.
By then, my darling brother was in his final weeks of life.
I, too consumed with pending grief and still trying to ensure Ethan's transition to adult services would still go ahead, simply left the manuscript to one side.
My brother passed away on the 22nd of March 2020.
Before he left us, he asked me to ensure I got the manuscript published.
He was an artist, amazingly gifted with what he could turn a lump of clay into and I, according to him, had ‘a gift with words’.
By the Summer, I decided to do my best to bring my words and tales of Ethan to life.
After many corrections my manuscript was ready to be turned into a book.
It was exciting but I was riddled with nerves and self doubt.
The plan was that the book would be on sale in December of 2020.
Plans are funny aren't they? We all make them, while knowing in a blink of an eye they could change.
September 23rd, six months after my brother Liam passed away, my beautiful first born son, Ethan, left this world suddenly.
My heart was already broken but when Ethan left me, it felt like my broken heart split into a million different pieces all at once.
I found it hard to breathe, let alone think of the book.
Time was a blur for a few months until one day in November something made me contact Tribes Press.
In January 2021 my book 'Ethan & Me' was released to an overwhelming response.
People from all over the world contacted me to tell me what the book meant to them and while reading and seeing all the posts about my book, I felt a little bit of my darling boy lived on in those who read it.
'Ethan & Me' is one family’s story of courage through adversity as they raise a child with special needs. It's a story about hope, love and courage. There are many laugh out loud moments in the midst of the daily challenges.
Ethan was supposed to be here with me on this journey of publication but instead he is within the pages, very much alive and very much Ethan.
For those of you interested in purchasing my book you can do so here:
Thank you so much to Firefly who have been very understanding of my circumstances over this past year, I hope to get back to writing regularly again for the site that helped me so much over the years.