In 2011, the third of our four beautiful daughters was born.
She didn't sleep. She didn't eat. She screamed around the clock in pain. I couldn't put her down.
We were sleep deprived, anxious, panicked, overwhelmed, confused & I was battling postnatal depression.
One quiet afternoon, my husband took the girls out & left baby & I alone to attempt to get some sleep.
We snuggled down & miraculously, we both dozed off into a deep slumber, her in my arms, atop my chest.
Five minutes in, we were catapulted awake by a neighbour banging away at the door, asking if our car was for sale. .
I was livid.
Fast forward two years & we call a company about a maintenance issue we're having in our home & an employee comes out to inspect. .
It's the same neighbour.
Our little darling had since been diagnosed as non verbal autistic alongside other medical issues & we were lost. We were devastated, confused, isolated, sleep deprived, traumatised, panicked, adrenalised & stressed.
I sense our neighbour's stress too. He's frustrated & exclaims "How can you not see this needs replacing?!" regarding our maintenance issue.
He pulls away in his car in a burnout, leaving tyre marks outside.
I call the company & complain.
Our neighbour returns to our door the same afternoon, teary eyed. .
"I am so sorry, I shouldn't take my personal problems out on my customers, I'm so so sorry".
I feel a deep sense of sadness for him & a strange sense of connection somehow.
Last year, in 2017, I saw him for the first time in four years. .
I was outside & heard the same sounds our daughter makes, & I saw him.
I sensed that similar energy again. .
He looked at peace.
I saw him..
Holding the hand of his beautiful autistic son. His son is the same age as our daughter. I know because I recognised him. I hadn't realised our neighbour was his father.
I realised so much in that single moment. The shared emotional journeys. I closed my eyes & I held the vision of both of us-our sad, sleep deprived eyes staring through each other that day at the door.
And I am so sorry his day was that much more difficult at that time.
If only I'd known.
I now assume less & understand more.