is the third and last child of 'Curly' and 'Lili'. He was born after
decided to stop having more children and to accept the 'pigeon pair' of
their eldest daughter and son, and to be thankful for
what they already had. But 'Pumpkin' had other plans.
From the moment
he was discovered growing inside 'Lili', both she and
'Curly' felt a
great sense of peace and satisfaction. Everything felt so right for him
to be born, no matter what decisions they'd previously made. They looked
forward to this baby in a way they'd never been able to with their first
two, because their situation at those times had been economically stilted, and
they'd been very young and untested, then.
While they were only three years older by the time 'Pumpkin' entered the world,
than when their first child was born, the experience of those years had
'Pumpkin' was born so
perfect that when 'Lili' took him for his first checkup at the doctor's at
six weeks of age, the doctor questioned why she had taken so long to get
the baby to that checkup - until he read his records and realised
that 'Pumpkin' was only
six weeks old. On first glance, he had seemed to be already three months old. He
was an absolutely beautiful baby - which was something the doctor also
said when he was born - that he was the most beautiful baby he had
every moment of 'Pumpkin's' life. He was adorable. He was a lovely bundle of
love, and his siblings and everyone else thought so, too. And he was
funny and also assertive. She remembered watching him crawling on the floor, chasing
his older sister and brother, who jumped into a cardboard box to protect themselves from the giggling baby. He never saw himself
as their younger brother, but as their peer, and sometimes
as if he were older than them. But 'Lili' had a
problem when it came to 'Pumpkin.' She was persistently assailed by fears that
he was going to die. She would wake several times a night to check him in
bed, to make sure he hadn't stopped breathing. She kept a watchful eye
over him each day. She even took him to the doctor, at one stage, to have
him checked, because she was scared something was wrong with him. The
doctor was caring and sympathetic, but didn't find anything. She was a
good mother. She loved her children. And, apparently, she was just overly
responsible. So she tried to make herself believe that it was just a
feeling that, because he was so perfect, he wouldn't last. She couldn't
believe that anything so perfect would ever be anything but ephemeral in
her life. The years passing
never made this situation any better. She was always afraid that
would be taken away from her.
'Pumpkin' was a
toddler, he won a photo competition that saw his picture published in a
state newspaper as beach baby of the week. As a child, he and his
siblings became involved in the film and television industry, as extras and featured extras,
following in 'Lili's' footsteps. 'Pumpkin' was very photogenic, and had the most
beatific smile. He was a super
smart child, too, always ready with a wise remark or witticism. Nor did
he lie or manipulate others. While other children might lie through the
teeth when caught doing something naughty, 'Pumpkin' would just say, yes, I
did it, what now? He was smart enough to know that his punishment would
be less if he admitted responsibility. And 'Pumpkin' was a responsible person
in so many ways, at a very young age.
had a very
disabled friend who she used to visit regularly, to take on outings and
help out. Her friend had diabetes which had seen her feet partially amputated,
and she had to be pushed in a wheelchair because she was seriously obese.
She'd also had 13 heart attacks, which she'd amazingly survived. And
she was a psychic mentor of 'Lili's', who had helped 'Lili' to understand
many of her own impressions.
On one visit,
'Lili' had 'Pumpkin' with her. Her friend had recently returned from hospital, after
yet another partial amputation of her feet which showed gaping holes
filled with seaweed dressing. 'Lili' was astonished when her then ten year old son
sat down and began massaging cream into her friend's feet, with not a second
glance or even a look of distaste on his face. He hadn't even been
asked. He just did it. 'Lili' had always felt
that 'Pumpkin' was special, but that moment kind of cemented it for her.
'Lili' never cared what
other people said of her mothering relationship with 'Pumpkin'. He didn't seem
to let it worry him, either. And while her other children did seem to
note the special place 'Pumpkin' had, they also loved him. He was their best
friend. But what people didn't understand was the looming sense of loss
'Lili' felt about this child, and the feeling that she had to experience every
moment with him to its fullest, because something was going to happen.
It was when
was about ten years old that 'Lili' began to have a stronger thread of
premonition about him, and she 'knew' that he would have some sort of
accident at age thirteen. The age was very specific. At the time, she had
begun to more completely explore his astrology chart, which she'd done
previously, but without focusing on this future event. The astrology
chart had shown that he was prone to accidents and to sudden fevers -
none of which surprised her, because she had already experienced such
things with him. For instance, he once blindly jumped over their back
garden fence into a
laneway, in which sat a trailer full of window panes, and cut his legs
'Lili' and 'Curly's' children attracted their fair share of
troubles and accidents, and illness, growing up, so the astrology chart
wasn't much good at giving the details she needed. However, when she
focused on particular questions, her psychic energies soon received answers, and that is how
she got further
information about him. The trouble was
that, besides wait for such an event to happen, she couldn't do anything
about it. For instance, you can warn a child to take care. You can protect
them as much as possible. You can pick up the pieces when something
happens. But until something happens, you can't do much about it except
all that. Plus, having lived with such premonitions from the day he was
born, and having learned to cope with such gut wrenchings by putting
them aside, once acknowledged, she also put this new information aside. He
wasn't yet thirteen. There were years ahead to get there. And nothing else
could be done at that time.
was so skilled
at putting such long term premonitions aside that she forgot all about it.
Or, on the other hand, perhaps she was meant to forget all about it, so
that she wouldn't prevent his proper destiny from unfolding.
In the interim,
'Curly' and 'Lili' had become tired of the work they'd been involved in.
been running a business as a television technician for many years, and 'Lili'
was his partner in that business, and it is the bane of television
technicians, no matter their expertise, to be seen as people on 'the
take.' He was tired of dealing with obstreperous customers who spoke
down to him before he had even had a look at the items they'd brought in
for repair. His responsibilities had increased as the business had grown and he relied more and more on
'Lili' to help him out - which made it
very difficult for her to continue investing so much effort in her own career as a minor actor in film and television.
She ended up giving up her own career, but 'Curly' still became burnt out.
took their family for a short
holiday interstate, then, to visit with 'Lili's' parents, who had moved there
many years previous. That holiday made them feel so much at home in that state
that they decided to move there. Though they had been on holiday there
before, it was the first time they'd ever thought of living there, and
things moved fairly quickly after they returned back home. Within months
they were living in that state, with their business up for sale, and
their home as
well. The trouble was that their timing was out. They'd partly made the
decision to move on the basis that their children's most
intensive schooling was yet to come, so that it seemed best to move then rather than later. What
they'd forgotten to factor in
was the recession that was happening at the time, and to fully
check the fine print of their home mortgage. The result was that their business sold for a pittance, and the house was
foreclosed on because they put it up for sale but moved away before it
had sold, and the mortgage required that their owner-occupied dwelling should
be lived in by the owner until a sale occurred. They ended
up in a situation where they lost all financial security. They had no bills, because
those were paid out by the sales, but low returns meant there was
nothing left to go forward with. They found themselves living in a rented house, too
small to accommodate all their possessions, and regretted giving up a life of relative
security, just because they had both been so burned out
and were looking for a hopeful new future.
Having given up
his business, 'Curly' enrolled in University to increase his
skills in the area of computer programming. working toward a new career as an
engineer. 'Lili' looked for work to supplement his government study
pension at the time, but she was soon assailed by a serious heart problem - a
major arrhythmia that had been triggered by a simple retro virus which
had opportunistically taken advantage of her stressed body after the
events of migrating her family interstate, and the difficulties attached
to that process. 'Lili's' life hung in
the balance for many months, as doctors sought to find the right degree
of medication, and there was a time when she called her family to her bedroom and said
her goodbyes, just in case. She was told that if she survived, she would be on
medication for the rest of her life. But a miracle
happened - she survived - at the point of giving up and accepting death as
inevitable, the tide began to turn. Slowly but surely, over the next
few months, she regained her strength and she took herself off her medication.
She refused to take it, and she has never had to take it again, since.
The problem with
the playing out of these major traumas is that the safe and secure life
that 'Curly' and 'Lili's' children had
been brought up in was seriously rattled. Not only had their
ability to ask for and receive material goods been taken away, but the
hub of their activities, their mother, 'Lili', suddenly became unreliable. The result
was that the children went 'off the rails' for a time. They all went
through very wilful stages and became involved with peers in a seedy
'Curly' and 'Lili' struggled during that time to reassert
parents, and felt dismayed that all their philosophical and spiritual
teaching in their children's lives to date was suddenly rebelled against.
By the time 'Pumpkin'
was thirteen years old, he had been through a phase of running away from
home, and 'Curly' had spent many nights searching the city for him, using
only his 'psychic radar,' (which he has always been particularly good
at). 'Curly' and 'Lili' had also been confronted by obstructionism
and diversion during their searches for him, with doors being closed in
their faces by good people
who'd been misled by stories told by 'Pumpkin' to gain their
sympathy. (They wanted to believe this still beatific
faced child over his parents, even though they had no real evidence that
his stories were true. 'Pumpkin' had finally learned to lie). On top of that, when
the police were approached to join the search for him, their attitude
was that 'Pumpkin' was at an age when such things happened, and said they didn't have the
time to go chasing after errant kids !
It was a very hard
time for 'Curly' and 'Lili'. Looking back, astrologer 'Lili' realised
that the dastardly
planet, Pluto, was travelling over her Ascendant, then, which
usually brings a lot of upheaval and betrayal to a life - but nothing
really prepared her for what happened, or how one traumatic event
seemed to pile on another in those years, though the worst did seem to
pass and 'Pumpkin'
returned home, and 'Curly' and 'Lili' were finally able to talk with
again, and to bring some sense and order to their lives.
took 'Pumpkin' to
see a therapist for a while, but nothing was particularly found wrong with
him - except that he was being naughty. She even took him to
see a clairvoyant counsellor, in the hope that if he didn't
believe what she had to say, maybe he'd believe the other clairvoyant - but
the man only
said that he'd be all right, he'd be okay, and so she allowed herself to
be reassured by his message.
Soon after seeing the man, she had a series of
dreams about 'Pumpkin', in which he was lying dead and covered with layers
of dead leaves. Her knowledge of dream symbols knew that
dreams of death didn't necessarily mean death, but that a major life
change was looming. She cautiously waited to see what would happen,
thinking it only
pertained to the troubles 'Pumpkin' had been going through, inclusive of
experimenting with drugs and alcohol. She never thought about her earlier
premonitions, that she'd put aside so long ago.
'Pumpkin' had been
'back to normal' for three months when he was coming home from school
one afternoon with his brother and sister, and a school friend. It had
been another day when, as they'd left the house that morning, 'Lili' had said
to them, be careful walking along that road, please. The road in
question was a busy city road they had to walk along to get to and from
their school, and the traffic on it was horrendous and erratic. For some
reason, that road made her fearful, and she was about to learn why.
Later that day, 'Lili' and 'Curly's' eldest son,
'Spud', and 'Pumpkin' had been playing a spitting game with each other
as they walked home from school -
spitting on each other and then running away before the other spat on
them. Such is the life of boys - but 'Pumpkin' spat on 'Spud', and then didn't think
before dashing away, across that busy road. A van hit him.
daughter, 'Puddin', phoned her that afternoon, to say that a car had hit
'Pumpkin'. 'Lili' had received no
premonitions, no forewarnings, not even the gut aches she usually got when
something was going to happen to someone she loved. Nothing. So when 'Puddin'
rang, 'Lili' immediately thought that 'Pumpkin' may have been nipped by a car, but
he must be
all right. 'Puddin' didn't tell her anything else, so she wasn't prepared for
what she saw when she got to the accident site. 'Pumpkin' was lying on the road, convulsing,
between two ambulances. (She
never hears an
ambulance siren today without a sense of shudder).
The drive to the
hospital was a blur for 'Lili'. There was an extreme sense of unreality to it.
Despite all her premonitions from the day 'Pumpkin' had been born, those
events did not seem real. She wasn't in shock. She wasn't traumatised.
She just couldn't believe it was happening. She
however, to be there for her son through whatever process was happening
to him. So when the nurses later tried to usher her out of the emergency room,
she refused to budge. She stayed at his feet and talked to him. When they
took him away to take scans of his skull, she followed his trolley, but they
wouldn't let her in that room. As they closed the door behind the
multitude of doctors and nurses that had gone in with him, she 'saw' a lot
of figures dressed in white hooded robes also attending her son. She finally
felt able to relax, as she knew that those figures were supernatural
entities who would guide the doctors to the correct actions. (Two days prior to
these events, 'Lili' had been visited in her dreams by one of these white
robed, hooded figures - the first time she had ever seen one - and that
entity told her that there would be a lot to go through but that they would get there, eventually, and to hang in there until that happened.
So, when she 'saw' them in the room 'Pumpkin' was taken to, she was
reassured, though when the figure had visited her she hadn't even
thought of an accident happening. She'd just
thought the message pertained to what they had already been going through
the scans were taken, the surgeon came to 'Curly' and 'Lili' to tell
them that 'Pumpkin' had suffered major
trauma to his brain, that his brain was swelling so much that there was
no room left inside his skull, and that if it continued to swell his
brain would die. He also had a serious clot in the centre of his brain,
caused by a rupture when his head hit the tar. They were then told about
an operation that could be done, that was still experimental, to place
shunts into his skull to drain away the brain fluid, allowing his brain
to swell a bit more before it encountered the bone of his skull. There
were no guarantees that it would improve anything, and infection risks
always came from opening the skull. However, they were going to have to
operate on his skull, anyway, to remove the clot. The extra holes needed
for the shunts might increase the risk of infection, but at least it was a
chance for better recovery.
she often did when
placed in such a situation where she didn't know what decision to make,
'Lili' consulted her oracles. They didn't give a good answer. Either way,
'Pumpkin' was going to become disabled and suffer brain damage. There was no
escape from this destiny (and, much later, studying his astrology chart
with the accident in mind, she finally saw that this was an
ingrained truth). However, doing nothing would see him disabled
and living a relatively good life in the loving care of his family, or
allowing the surgery to go ahead would see him disabled and living a
relatively good life in the loving care of his family but with some
ability to interact with life. Of course, 'Curly' and 'Lili' then decided
to choose the surgery. The more 'Pumpkin' could interact with life, the
better his chances were of returning to it. The surgery went
ahead, and 'Pumpkin' was placed in an induced coma for the next eleven days.
All they could do was to sit by his bedside, be there with him and wait.
There were no guarantees that he would even wake up. The neurosurgeons told
them that the brain was still very much an unknown and that nothing was
set in stone, but they had done their best.
eleven days, 'Lili' didn't leave the hospital. She slept briefly in a nearby
waiting room or took turns with 'Curly' to stay with 'Pumpkin' at his bedside. They were in crisis mode and focused on pulling 'Pumpkin' through or
being with him when it was time for him to 'go'.
It was an
exhausting period. 'Curly' and 'Lili' were strengthened by the physical and emotional
support they had for each other, along with the input from their elder
children, who kept visiting the hospital after each school day ended.
After eleven days
in intensive care, 'Pumpkin' was moved to a normal hospital ward. He hadn't
woken up. He hadn't moved. 'Curly' and 'Lili' didn't think he was ready to be moved,
but the hospital decided it was time to go to whatever next stage
was possible, if any. So the family decorated 'Pumpkin's' bed frame, (which was of the type
that curtains could be hung from, though it didn't have any), with a
multitude of personal photographs. They wanted him to not
feel apart from them when they couldn't be there, if he ever did wake
unresponsive to anything, despite the fact that the medication inducing
his coma had been stopped. Soon after he was moved to the main ward, 'Lili'
watched the main neurosurgeon come to 'Pumpkin's' bedside, walking in
authoritarian strides until he reached her, and almost clicking his heels
together like a soldier. He didn't say a word to her, sitting at
her son's bedside, as he picked up 'Pumpkin's' wrist, raised his arm and
let it drop limply to the covers, but what the neurosurgeon said next made
angry. He told her, in a cold and impersonal tone, that most people in
'Pumpkin's' condition remained 'vegetables' for the rest of their lives, and
that she shouldn't expect anything more from this point.
'Curly' and 'Lili' had never felt more lonely, or more strong, in
their whole life - but 'Lili' trusted her card readings and oracles, and
she trusted her astrology, which she was again studying as she returned to
her home each
night, trying to find answers to what had occurred. (She wasn't allowed to
keep on sleeping at the hospital after he was moved to the ward).
Her dreams often had visitations, then, inclusive of a young blonde
car accident victim who called himself Stephen, who said he was watching
over her son every moment that they could not be there. The spiritual realm was
gathering around them, and especially around 'Pumpkin', in force.
believing that the neurosurgeons knew everything and that they should
give up trying to make things better, 'Lili' studied what she could about the
brain and what might stimulate it. When she found out that the olfactory
nerve was the only direct access to the brain, apart from sound, she gathered up
her collection of essential oils and took them to the
hospital to massage into him. 'Curly' and 'Lili', and their elder children,
then began putting into practice all the metaphysical healing skills
that 'Lili' had learned many years before, and which she'd also taught them. Twice a
day, 'Curly' and 'Lili' massaged 'Pumpkin's' limp body with
essential oils designed to stimulate the brain and to improve muscular
circulation, as well as for the healing of the bad surface wounds on his
limbs which had come from bouncing along the road. (He didn't have any
broken bones, but severe surface wounds that they thought might need
grafts - but the doctors were amazed when the skin healed without that
extra surgery, which 'Lili' felt was due to their personal ministrations, or those of
their spirit helpers). 'Lili' also laid her gemstones and crystals along
chakra points, and she and 'Curly' gave him daily healing, with one of
them standing to his head and the other to his feet, to magnify the
energy flow. There was a tremendous sense of spiritual energy
surrounding all of them at the time.
story after story to him, talked ceaselessly to him about their lives, and
'Lili' sang to him every night - song after song. (She
had been taught
to sing many years previously by an ex-Opera singer, and while she
wasn't on that level, she could at least hold a tune).
One night when 'Lili' was particularly tired and hadn't yet begun singing, the parent of another child came to
'Pumpkin's' bedside and asked when she was going to begin, because
her voice had
been soothing their child to sleep every night. She also began to get
requests from the nurses rostered on duty each night. (Even in the most
traumatic of times, humorous moments can be found).
hospital 'Pumpkin' was in was run by Catholic nuns, and Catholics still
believe in miracles. Whilst the family's alternative treatments and pagan methods
might have been against the dogma of the nuns' spiritual beliefs, the
nuns told them that 'God works in mysterious ways.' The only complaint
the family ever
had about their processes was that some of the essential oil smells were
getting up other people's noses, but when 'Lili' explained what those essential
oils were supposed to be doing, the nuns decided to put up with them. Again,
whilst the mundane realm seemed to be falling down around their ears, anything spiritual, or anyone who understood
the spiritual, rallied around them in force.
and 'Curly' were so proud of their elder children at that time. They seemed to pull together in such a
strong and cohesive way, offering the kind of support to their parents and
brother that only the most loving of relatives or friends can ever
provide. 'Lili' and 'Curly' appreciated their support and commitment. Their after school visits to
the hospital allowed their parents time to rest each day, and they brought a
multitude of school friends with them who supported them in this
activity, and who had also been 'Pumpkin's' friends. It was amazing to see
those very young people being so cohesive and caring, and all arising
from friendship and natural care. Many of those same children had been
from the group that 'Lili' and 'Curly' had considered to be 'seedy,' and had
supported 'Pumpkin' in his nefarious activities prior to his accident. It
was totally unexpected to see them turn on such a powerful force for
positivity when the necessity arose. It was a powerful lesson that
people on wrong paths always have the ability to turn around, given the
right set of circumstances.
'Lili', and their elder children were given some counselling
during this time. The hospital assigned a couple of psychologists to
family to help them align to their new circumstances. The trouble was that
the man assigned to their children was going through his own emotionally
traumatic time, where his father was dying and his relatives were
attending his bedside in force. He was opposed to that care and
consideration, and developed a notion that the best anyone could do at
such a time was to leave the person who was dying to get on with their
business of dying, and for everyone else to get on with the business of
their lives. His advice to 'Puddin' and 'Spud' was to forget about spending so much
time at the hospital to be with their brother, who might never get any
better, and to go off and spend the rest of their lives enjoying
themselves. That advice was badly taken. They had been brought up to believe
that in any crisis a family pulls together and supports each other, as
they had so far done, and what that man said went against
everything they believed in. 'Spud' took this advice the worst.
He took it to be an indication of the fallibility of authority - that
even the most professional of people, who should be able to remain
objective, could be swayed by their emotions to follow wrongful paths.
'Curly' and 'Lili' went into damage control and advised him that the man was only human
and had been badly affected by his situation, but had meant well, and
told their son to follow his heart and what he felt inside himself to be
true - but the seeds of doubt and discord against authority had been
sown, then, and they weren't to learn until years later how that was to
Months passed in
the hospital ward. 'Pumpkin' eventually opened his eyes, but didn't seem to
recognise anyone. Nor could he move. His body was limp like a baby. He
couldn't even hold up his head. He couldn't talk or make any sound. The
nurses dragged that limp body from his bed and strapped him to a table
that could be tilted until his body could stand upright. They had to
hold his head up as they did that, or it would fall forward. The idea
was to increase his circulation and to get his muscles used to the idea
of other positions, to hopefully bring some muscle memory back.
The first time he
showed any sign of body movement, other than opening his eyes, it was
complete lack of control, with limbs flailing everywhere. It was a
shocking sight to see, and made the family think of all the worst case scenarios
of brain damage they had ever known, but the nurses reassured them that this
was normal, that he had to learn to gain control of his muscles again,
as a baby does. The flailing limbs didn't last long. He was soon back to
a mostly unresponsive body, but the nurses and doctors then began
encourage him to try moving his limbs. He couldn't.
Very slowly, he
learned to raise one thumb in a salute, to say 'good' or 'yes,' and
there was some communication. He learned to smile. The family were encouraged to
take him out of the hospital, for walks in nearby city parks, and he
seemed to love this. They had to completely surround his neck with pillows
to prop his head up, but the smile came often. He seemed distant, as
though he couldn't quite understand what was happening to him, or was
too exhausted to examine it, but he loved the attention. He loved them being there with him.
had to learn
to swallow again before he could have the feeding tube removed from his
nose. He had to learn how to make his tongue work not only to eat, but
to talk, too. Eventually, he learned to move one arm, and the family made up a
sheet of letters and words he could point to, to communicate with them,
but the thumbs up signal was always his fall-back, along with the smile,
when the going got hard. Just as they had
strapped him to the tilt board to make his limp body stand upright, the
therapists and nurses then forced his body into a walking frame, and
physically dragged his feet and legs along the floor - like moving a
walking doll, one leg at a time, trying to stimulate that muscle memory.
Amazingly, as months passed, he gradually, tiny bit by tiny bit, learned
to move his legs. Every effort was extreme and exhausting, but the
therapists and nurses never let him give up.
began to make noises, and then to speak slurred and garbled words. All
through these months, his friends from school continued to visit and to
help the family out. They even fed him like a baby, and read books to him. But
when he finally learned to talk, and they heard what he had to say,
their visits eased off. Because he had lost all memory of who they
really were, or who his family were, and what relationships any of them actually
had to him. It became obvious that he related to them as people he was
getting to know and like, but not people he remembered or had a
relationship with in the past. His lovely school friends realised that
they were making friends with a disabled boy in hospital who may never
get any better than he was then, and who couldn't remember all the fun
times they'd had together. They'd put in such effort for so many months
in the hope that their friend would eventually return to them, but
suddenly realised he was gone forever.
Three months after
his accident, 'Pumpkin' was finally allowed to leave the hospital to return
home. Again, the family didn't feel ready for that step, but somehow found the
strength to take it on. Sadly, his school friends stopped coming to see
him. As far as they were concerned, he was now a stranger, and not the
friend they had known before his accident. Years later, the family have
occasionally heard from some of them. Those events also
scarred their lives and changed their viewpoints on the world forever,
but it is lovely when they remember how they all rallied around
extremely linked with 'Pumpkin's'. At that phase of her life, her children were
all teenagers, and she had looked forward to time alone with her husband
and a renewal of intimacy, and less burdens. Instead, she and 'Pumpkin' became
inextricably tied by their circumstances. She loved her son dearly, but even
the most loving parent needs space and privacy at times. Carer's rarely
get either. But whenever she felt the strain of the burden of caring for
her son, she put it in the perspective of asking herself how was he feeling
about being stuck in a body that couldn't move freely, that couldn't
communicate so well, and with all the freedoms he had once had as a
blossoming teenager, taken away, possibly forever. It was a sobering
thought, and helped her keep on track.
As time passed,
'Pumpkin's' intelligence began to show through again. He couldn't talk so
well, and took years to learn to talk as well as he does now (and even
now his half paralysed tongue makes it difficult to speak), but
there were more and more glimpses that his memory was returning, and times when his
old wit and humor came through, bringing back that sparkle to their
couple of years in his wheelchair, unable to walk much, but able to
stand for short periods. But he eventually learned to walk with a splint
and a stick. Long walks still remain a difficulty today, but
'Pumpkin's' motto is 'never, ever give up,' and he didn't. He
still pushes himself that extra distance in the gym. The drawback is
that half his body remains 'asleep' and so he tires easily. But what
people love about him is his attitude. He says that whenever he is feeling
angry or sad, he just decides to smile, and that simple action puts him
back on track. (It probably helps that he still has some short term
memory loss, so that whenever he does do that, he quickly forgets what
made him upset or angry in the first place, and just goes with the flow
of the smile).
was married for
a few years, to a woman who had been his Carer for a short while. He
lived with his wife and daughters in a large
house 'Curly' and 'Lili' had built to share. His first daughter was born
with impaired lungs, after his wife got the 'flu' in the later stages of
her pregnancy. The tiny baby spent a long time in the hospital, in an
incubator in special care before she could finally go home, and then had
to be fed through tubes for many months, and was hooked up to an oxygen
bottle for the first year of her life. (She is okay, today).
was an amazing father and husband, and wouldn't let 'Curly' and 'Lili'
do much at all to help out. He helped his wife with the baby in every
way, getting up during the night to feed her and change her nappies, and
doing all the washing. His life was very busy, and he enjoyed being a
father. It made him feel complete. But the marriage ended
soon after the birth of 'Pumpkin's'
'Pumpkin' became very sad and lonely for a long time even though he still had
other family around him, because he was
unable to see his daughters so often. It was
hard for him to talk on the phone to them because of his
speech difficulties, though he did keep on trying. So
his lovely girls do believe in him and still think he's
wonderful. That made up for a lot.
is such a bright and playful spirit who makes a bit of noise
sometimes, (he's a rowdy funny person), but just can't walk or talk like
other people do. As he got older, other people began to view him
differently. Losing some hair, growing a beard, and sometimes wearing
odd combinations of clothes made him stand out, especially when he
continued to greet people with friendly smiles and hellos.
Luckily, for every person who is turned off by his
disability, or doesn't have the patience to wait and let him reveal the
intelligence and humor bubbling up from inside, there is another who
loves him to pieces, and who thinks he is a wonder for how he manages to
do things they find it hard to do with fully able bodies. (...like cutting
his own fingernails, despite only having one hand that works, tying
his shoelaces using his teeth, and amazingly, even carefully planing and
sanding the wood for our Lilipily Spirit staffs and wands ). For someone who only has half a
body working, it's amazing to see how much help he can be. He also loves
collecting, sorting, and posting the mail for our business, and chatting
to the tradesmen when they come.
and 'Curly' try to bring as
much normality as they can to 'Pumpkin's' life. 'Curly' sees him as his
buddy, and they do many things together. To 'Lili', he is like the vedic
goddess Parvati's son, Ganesha - disabled
in a tragic accident, but still able to be loving and friendly, and to
bring a sense of balance to people's lives.
always counts his blessings. He knows that
he was blessed to have been married, and especially blessed to have brought two
gorgeous daughters into the world. Such things are not often a part of
disabled people's lives - so, even though some parts ended
negatively, the positives of his beautiful children make up for anything
he has suffered.
still never, ever gives up.
was colored in by 'Pumpkin' when he was still
rehabilitating in hospital.
following was written by 'Pumpkin' when he was still
limited to a wheelchair. Though the body was limited,
the mind still soared.