Wednesday, 17th October
Keyword for the Day: Michael
Today, The White Cuckoo went live on Amazon. All day long I have been thinking about my angel child – Michael Charles Ireson, stillborn on 29th May 1981, to whom the book is dedicated. I wrote about it on this page if anyone can bear to read it – just click on this link . It does come with a health warning though – I suppose it is a bit depressing.
Michael is not only an enduring presence in my life, but in his father’s, his sister, Emily’s, and his two brothers, Garry and Nicky’s, too.
Paul and Harry in The White Cuckoo are Michael. He might not live in this world, but in the world of my imagination he has always had a life. Of course, the circumstances of his character’s life in 1910 were different to the life he led in the present day – but his personality and values were the same. In the novel, Paul and Harry held the same moral principles and the same respect for women that I am happy to say my husband, Bob, possesses, and has passed on to both his living sons. To my mind, it goes without saying that, had Michael lived, he would have held these same values.
Yesterday was a happy/sad kind of day for me. I would give up publishing a thousand novels for just one day with my now 31-year-old son. Every Sunday night, when we all gather for Sunday night tea, I think about Michael. When my grown-up children are screeching and laughing with each other, messing around chucking water over each other and even when they are being serious, chatting to each other in the pub or over the dinner table, I feel a physical tug, somewhere in the region of my navel. I don’t cry much about Michael any more – after all it has been a long time, and each day, week, month and year that passes by takes away a bit more of the pain of losing a child. But I do think about him a lot – not every day, but I don’t think a week passes by without me thinking of him, or being reminded of him.
Anyway, at 10.00 pm today as I crawled into bed I realised what date it was. The White Cuckoo will be available to buy tomorrow, on the 18th October 2012, which is 32 years to the exact day that Michael would have been christened, had he lived. We had already decided while I was pregnant that it would be on that particular Sunday later that year, when he was a couple of months old, because some friends of ours had already booked the day.for their son at the Parish Church in Kettering. The church always did lots of christenings together on the same Sunday of the month. We had planned to have a joint celebration afterwards to cut the costs!
When Garry was born in May the following year (1982) we stuck to the same Sunday in October for his christening. He was baptised on 17th October 1982.
So, if anyone has been reading ‘The Birth of a Novel’ on The White Cuckoo tab at the top of the page, this must represent the final piece in the jigsaw of synchronicity. Or do you think there will be more?
I hope you enjoy getting to know our son – the angel in our family’s lives.