In the Australian summer of 1991-2 my little baby girl, Josephine Marguerite, was teething. She was distressed and crying all night. My favourite band, U2, had released a new album called “Achtung Baby” which I had eagerly purchased. I had saved our pennies and bought a new Yamaha CD player with a new remote control to get better sound from my CDs. It “broke the bank” but it was brilliant.
For two weeks, in the summer of 91/92, even though I worked hard each day at my job at IBM, I slept in a bean bag with my little baby girl on my chest. A fan blowing on us all night.
Every time my little baby girl, sleeping on my chest, would wake up crying from the pain of teething, I would hit the “program” button and play the songs 3, 6, 9, 12 on the album.
My little baby girl, slowly, with the soothing sound of the music and the cool breeze of the fan, would settle on my chest and go back to sleep.
In the morning, I would pass my little baby girl to my wife and do my duty.
Sleepless….but full of love and devotion….I would go to work at my job at IBM to provide for my family that I loved so much.
I would repeat the process each day.
For two weeks.
16 years later…
My wife betrayed me…
My little baby girl betrayed me…
My little baby boy betrayed me…
Even the step son whose life I had saved from cancer betrayed me…
I decided that I must disown those whom I loved the most as the most vile and disgusting of people who would betray the one who clothed them, fed them, housed them, and sacrificed his health and well being for them.
I would sit on my balcony each night.
I would play those songs from 15 years earlier….3….6….9…..12.
I would think about killing myself at each repetition.
At the end of the repetition?
I would hit “play” again.
I would wonder if I would hit play or step off my balcony next time.
The emotional trauma of being betrayed by those that I loved the most was…severe.
A step son whose life I had saved from cancer.
A little baby girl whom I had held on my chest every night as she lay sleeping and in the pain of teething.
A little baby boy whom I had hoped one day would follow in my footsteps.
A wife for whom I had sacrificed much and given a new opportunity at life.
By the ones I loved the most.
All through that period of April 2008.
When any moment might have been my last.
One song resonated.
One song played.
One song rose above all others.
That helped keep me alive.
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