Yesterday I told you how we found out that my niece had been abused by her father and our lives changed forever. Naturally the police and social services were involved, however it took over a year to get her father behind bars. During that year, we rallied together as a family but it was almost too big for us to handle. During that time we first discovered that my brother was ill, and I was planning my wedding. My sister made the arrangements to sell the house that they had once shared as there was no way she could afford it on her own and started the wheels in motion for divorce.Now I get a little hazy as to the order in which things happened but during that year my sister sold the house she had once shared and her ex-husband halted the sale at the last moment, despite being in prison at the time. The result instead was that the house was repossessed but even that was not the process it should have been. As you might imagine with all this going on at the same time as my brother being desperately ill, my niece struggling with everything that had happened to her and the court case at which she testified, life for my sister was incredibly stressful and quite frankly awful. I was really quite worried about her at this time - she had some friends that I just wasn't sure about and she was going out a lot, drinking a lot. Frankly though it was nothing to do with me, there was nothing specific to worry about and goodness knows she needed the break. Everything just felt a little bit crazy. And then she discovered she was pregnant and it was as if the baby was sent to bring her life back on track. It might seem crazy to some but I truly believe that this baby came for a reason, despite all the odds. He came to give her hope again and to remind her of the future still there waiting. That it wasn't all hopeless as it all must have seemed.
Life that had been so crazy seemed to settle back down. She still had the repossession to deal with and as I said that didn't happen as it should have done. Everything took a long time to happen, longer than it should have done. There were no guarantees that she would be housed, that she could be initially placed in a bed and breakfast with her three children, whilst pregnant. Thankfully when the day finally came, she was housed and by some miracle she was housed directly opposite my house. That evening her waters broke and the next day her second son was born. I was her birth partner and that day is very precious in my memory. I was already pregnant with my first daughter at this time, and my sister in law was also pregnant and I was looking forward to us all having babies so close in age to each other.
At this time it felt to me like life was on the up, or at the very least was settling to a new kind of normal. My sister was beginning a new life which seemed more hopeful than it had just a week earlier, my brother was doing well, I was excited about my new baby...life was full of hope. The truth was very different - my sister was battling severe depression and my brother was shortly to be diagnosed with a second tumour.