When I was in my teens I made the decision to buy and wear a pair of white trousers – as decisions go that wasn’t too bad. However, I also made the decision to wear red underpants with those same white trousers, don’t ask me why! To this day I can still hear the laughter that followed me throughout what seemed to be a very long night and yet the valuable learning of such events helped to focus and redefine future life experiences.
Consequently, there were decisions that just worked out great. I was once asked to stand in for a guitarist at a Rock ‘n’ Roll weekend. I decided to drive the 150 miles and play at the session. This is when I found myself on stage with Scotty Moore. “Who was Scotty?” you may say. He was Elvis Presley’s first guitarist in 1955. Just how cool was that?
The biggest decision I have ever made was to have children.
Making hard decisions
In reaching the decision to have children, my wife and I talked about what we would do if there were complications and something went wrong? It was important to do this as I once had a sister who died of Spina-Bifida at a young age. This is a complex condition which can be hereditary and affect families, so naturally, this was not an easy conversation. After careful consideration, it was clear to us that all life was precious and that we would have the child no matter what length of life expectancy. In so making the decision involving our minds and hearts, we had the chance to create more love in the world by spreading ours.
Following the first ultrasound scan of our fourth child during pregnancy, it was revealed that he did indeed have Spina-Bifida. It was heartbreaking. At that early point, we did not know if he would be able to walk, talk or have any regular control of bodily functions. The hospital doctor sat us down to discuss our options and in view of the severity of the situation a termination of pregnancy was offered. In these circumstances, I was so pleased that we had already decided to go ahead with birth. I can understand how difficult it must be to make a decision at this point during pregnancy and no doubt there are emotionally stronger people than me out there in the world. Yet when you believe differently, your world will unfold differently.
The consequence of the decision
Not really knowing what to expect, a crisp October morning arrived and Luke entered into the world. That profound event created the beginning of a wonderful journey of joy. I’m not saying it’s been easy and it has certainly been eventful. In fact, since Luke’s birth, we have spent many hours in the hospital with him, not least the initial 3 months in Southampton General hospital was a testing time.
Each moment spent with my son is special and yes, he can walk, talk and has become a great little dancer. Like me, he has developed a love of music and thanks to the wonderful people at the Starlight charity, who grant wishes and make dreams come true for seriously ill children; he recently went to a live gig to see a performance of his favourite pop group ‘One Direction’ – at that time with all five original band members! Just how cool was that?
I understand that you can’t always make a big decision up front, but when you can it is worth the difficult and uncomfortable conversations that may be necessary at that time.
If only someone had sat me down and said “John, you can’t wear red underpants with white trousers. Go and change”, I might never have suffered the ridicule at such a young age. But as you can see, all the past learning experiences have made me who I am today. Someone who carefully and thoughtfully makes decisions and acts with integrity to follow them through. Most importantly, I am a very proud father.
The Starlight Charity grants wishes to seriously and terminally ill children. They also entertain over half a million children every year in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK. Please take a moment to reflect – a small donation of just £2 makes such a big difference www.starlight.org
On another note, the guys from Beadoholic have a great quote from the Kind (Elvis) “Do something worth remembering” Read the full article click here:
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Article written by John Cassidy-Rice