Once Upon a Time

Theirs was a love story like many played out across the world. Boy meets girl (though thankfully in Ireland it could equally be boy meets boy or girl meets girl). Boy and girl date before boy pops the question on a moonlit beach. Girl says yes and subsequently drinks too much champagne in celebration. They have a wonderful wedding day surrounded by family and friends (and June floods). They were overjoyed to discover two would soon become three. Their beautiful son Conor was born and they all lived happily ever after…

At least that’s how their story was meant to go. The genre of their story changed over the course of just one night’s sleep. The sudden and out of order death of their son turned their story into one of the greatest tragedies. No one is meant to bury a child. This was a tragedy our main characters didn’t know if they would survive. At times they didn’t want to survive such was the pain. To the rest of the world they looked just like the couple in the first few chapters but they were changed forever. The length of their son’s life didn’t matter, they had planned the rest of their lives around being three. Their new protagonist was missing. The boy who had kicked his way into extra time kicked no more. The boy they were ready to dedicate their whole lives to was gone. Life could never go back to what it was. Minor characters came and went from their lives. Thankfully many remained taking time to get to know our new characters and their new story.

However this is not the end. Theirs is once again a love story. It is no longer the conventional boy meets girl story but one with twists and turns and an unknown future plot. The love they have for their son Conor motivates them to keep going. Their love for each other is stronger for the experience of becoming parents to a little boy. They are finding ways to live as three even if one is invisible to the naked eye. A life lived, however short cannot simply be ignored or forgotten. It is easier to move forward in their new life by remembering and celebrating Conor’s life. There are millions of beaches still waiting to have Conor’s name written in the sand. There are stars to be collected and birthday cakes waiting to be baked. Their protagonist will always be at the centre of their story.

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Forever loved and always remembered – Conor Patrick.

Written on the occasion of Conor’s Mummy & Daddy’s 4th wedding anniversary.

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