Our granddaughter was behind with her milestones.
I kept telling myself not to worry and that Sophie would catch up, eventually. You can only lie to yourself for so long, though, and I began to think back to when my daughters were babies, remembering how they would stand on my lap, albeit rather shakily, with my hands around their waists to support them.
This compulsion to stand up is in all babies, but not in Sophie.
On the very same February afternoon we interred my father’s ashes, we were given the devastating news that our darling little Sophie has Rett Syndrome. Like most people, I had never heard of Rett, a cruel, one in twelve-thousand, neurological condition that strikes at random, is not genetic, and robs children of their ability to walk and communicate. They can also suffer regular seizures and digestive problems.
Is it wrong of me to feel envious when I see frazzled-looking grandparents out and about with their excitable and energetic grandchildren? Is it wicked of me to rail and curse at God and the Universe for singling us out in this way? Yes, probably, but I understand how it is all part of a natural grieving process.
The Reverse Rett charity is working towards a cure and I want to support them with the sale proceeds of my novel, Gold Digger, which has just been published in paperback by Mardibooks.
I know that there are many other worthwhile charities out there all desperate to raise much-needed funds, but these children deserve the chance to lead normal lives. Sophie will never be able to run and play with her friends and, equally devastating, she will never say that precious word, Mummy, to my heartbroken daughter.