The three weeks since Master C was born have been one of the biggest emotional roller-coasters I have ever been on. I don't normally write about the most personal parts of my life on my blog, but this one is too big to gloss over here.
Whilst I was in labour in a hospital in Hertfordshire my father was being rushed into a hospital in Yorkshire after suffering a minor stroke. The elation that I felt for the couple of hours after Master C's birth quickly vanished to be replaced by shock and worry. What I have not written about here before is the fact that my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago, just a few months after Little Miss C's birth. Since then he endured two stints of chemo - one a conventional course, the second as part of a drugs trial. The latter of these bought him the extra time to be able to see his granddaughter grow up and also to be able to walk my sister down the aisle at her wedding in July this year.
This week he lost his battle against cancer. I am grateful however that I had the opportunity to take Master C up to Yorkshire to meet him first and that my dad lived to know of his grandson. There is no doubt that without Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield and his oncologist's determination to get him onto a new drugs trial he would not have lived long enough to do this. The extra time bought was so valuable for me, my sister and my mum and for my dad too. Not everyone is fortunate enough to get this extra time with their loved ones and I realise that, as hard as it may be to say it at this stage, we were actually incredibly lucky.
The significance of Master C's birth and Dad's death coming so close together in time makes the phrase "circle of life" seem even more poingnant right now.
To those friends (both "real life" friends and online ones) who have provided support through all this, especially since Master C's birth, thank you so much.