By Maggie Smart, London.
I consider myself to be a very lucky person, so many good things have happened in my life.However, I did spend much of my twenties under a bit of a cloud.
When I was 21 I moved home from London, where I was establishing a career in hospitality and living a great whirlwind social life; working hard and playing hard. I moved home to spent time with my beloved Mum who was terminally ill.
I was home for a couple of months when I received a call at work to tell me that my Dad died very suddenly of a heart attack. One year and two days later, Mum passed way after a very difficult final few months.
I was utterly heartbroken and felt very much ‘at sea’. It was a very strange feeling, I felt like I had lost my rudder; I really wasn’t sure what direction to go in and so I tread water for quite some time. Making some bad decisions along the way.
I moved back to London and threw myself into work, working with my brother and establishing our fashion business. My work became my family and my life, my crutch and also my barrier from getting too close to people. I hid in and behind my job.. there was always a reason to stay late, I was always ‘needed’ and out at work before most things. Thankfully I had an amazing core group of friends who realised this and indulged me.
Then a wonderful thing happened, my brother told me he was going to be a father.
When his son was born, the first time I held him, I felt such a sense of pure happiness that it felt like some cloud had disappeared and I could feel the sun on my face again.
Our family was growing again, it gave me a profound sense of hope, of happiness, if lightness and optimism.
Sounds like a lot of pressure to put on one wee chap doesn’t it?!