With my first child I was an insanely neurotic mother. I held on so tight. I thought it was wrong for other people, even family, to want to hold her when she was a new born. I didn’t like the way they handled her. I didn’t like the way she smelled when they handed her back. I didn’t like it at all.
We emigrated and I had her almost all to myself. It was her and I, alone in the world. She was my harbour, I hers. We were together always. And I liked it. Nothing could go wrong.
To most of you the name Sophie Delezio brings up memories of a child severely burned and injured when a car crashed into her daycare centre in 2003. I cannot imagine the trauma that her family endured. I cannot imagine a child so small enduring such pain. A couple of years later, this same child was hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing. Unimaginable that a family is struck by tragedy of this magnitude twice.
It gives you reason to pause, hold those close to you a little closer and to remember to appreciate that beautiful sunset, the puppy that your child points out to you on the sidewalk and to take a moment to Thank God that all is well in your world. Because for many of our fellow parents and their children out there, it isn’t. And your life can change in a heartbeat.
On Saturday morning, I’m getting on a spin bike for three hours to ride a marathon to fundraise for Day of Difference, the charity established by Ron Delezio, Sophie’s dad dedicated to supporting critically injured children and their families during the first weeks of hospitalisation, to achieve the best possible recovery. To quote from their mission statement:
Medical research has shown that the more positive and empowered a parent can be during the child’s hospitalisation the better chance the child has of recovery. There are also secondary benefits. Divorce and depression are prolific in families of critically injured children.
By supporting parents better, we keep the family unit healthier and improve the quality of life for the child and family after their day of difference.
Our vision is ‘Restoring hope to critically injured children and their families’
If you’d like to sponsor my ride, every dollar counts and is appreciated. Please click the link below and “ride with me” on Saturday for a great cause.
To the many of you who have already opened your hearts – thank you from the bottom of mine.
And to those of you who have just read this, I hope that you are inspired to make a difference. I know that I was.