For the love of christopher a fathers tale
Most holiday romances have no conclusion good or bad. Just a few lead to fairy-tale. weddings and ‘happy ever after.’ Ian Lomax went to Corfu and fell in love with a Greek girl called Helen. They married in England and had a lovely little boy called Christopher. Blissfully unaware that his mother-in-law had plotted with his wife to abduct his son while on a trip to Greece, Ian found himself alone and broken-hearted in a strange country. This book tells the true story of Ian’s struggle through the Greek courts to recover his father’s rights to be part of the life of his son.
Picking up the pieces
Chapter 10 – Picking up the pieces.
The time had come when I had to go home and face my fears. I had to try to deal with the loss of Helen and Christopher. I considered it was like coping with a death in the family, but to me it was more frustrating. When a person dies, we all know we shall not see them again in this life, but Christopher was alive and well and these were human forces that seemed to be against me, not God’s. I had to try to get my strength back somehow for the fight ahead and not allow those evil forces to grind me down. After six weeks of staying with my mum, I felt a little better even though I had heard no news from Greece. It was Mum who decided it was time for me to go home the Love of Christopher It’s for the best, Ian,” she said gently so as not to upset me. I looked at her with desperation in my eyes. “I don’t think I’m ready yet, Mum. I really don’t want to be in that house alone with all my memories. I don’t think I can cope.” “You’ll cope, love,” she told me. “I know you will.” I knew Mum was right, so she and my step-dad took me home in their car. They dropped me off and let me go into the house on my own. I said goodbye and waved them off. Nervously I opened the door and just threw the suitcase down on the floor inside the door. I ran straight upstairs and went to bed even though it was only five in the evening. I couldn’t bear to look at Christopher’s room. I knew he wasn’t in there and my heart sank at the thought of not seeing him. I felt so much pain inside when I thought about Christopher. I missed the simple things like holding him in my arms and reading bedtime stories and kissing goodnight and telling him how much I loved him. All of those things had been taken away from me by the person I had loved most in the world. It was certainly like grieving when somebody died. I knew Christopher was alive, but I had to try and get over the loss of him not being there with me and not being part of my life. The hardest thing for me was that I couldn’t be a father to him and that felt like a dagger through my heart. I was so scared of seeing all the memories of Christopher and Helen in the house. Running upstairs was my way of dealing with it. I didn’t want to see the pictures of Helen and Christopher hanging on the walls. I walked into my bedroom and I could still smell Helen’s perfume and see her nightdress on the bed where we had slept together. On my pillow was a teddy bear that Christopher had given to me. I sat on my bed with my head in my hands and wept.
Everywhere I looked, there were memories of Helen and Christopher. I felt could not bear the pain. I just wanted to die, to end my life, a life I could not face without Helen and my precious son. Had I had tablets in front of me at that moment, I would have taken the lot. I just got undressed and crawled into an empty bed. I cuddled Christopher’s teddy bear and cried myself to sleep. I didn’t want to wake up ever again. My life was not worth living without my family. However, I did wake up the following morning still full of grief and despair. I went down the stairs and glanced at the pictures of Helen and Christopher on the wall. It broke my heart. In my desperation, I felt weak and ill. I sat on the couch and immediately felt sick. I ran upstairs and threw up. I felt so dizzy and I vomited for at least ten minutes. When I felt recovered enough to go downstairs again, I went into the kitchen where I could see Christopher’s coat on the back of the chair. There was no escape. The reminders were everywhere I looked. In the back yard I saw the blue bike I had bought him for Christmas. His toys were all around the house. Hopelessness was devouring me and there was only one thing on my mind – death would be my only release from the agony I was suffering at that moment in time. I opened the kitchen drawer and picked up a box of painkillers. There must have been at least forty tablets inside. I sat at the table and looked at the box in my hand. I decided to write a short letter to my mother to tell her she was my rock and how much I loved her. I needed to thank her for always being there for me. I wrote a separate letter to Helen. My head was thumping and I could hardly open my eyes, but I carried on writing to Helen letting her know how much I loved her and how I couldn’t understand why she left me. I told her I didn’t regret anything in our life together and I always loved her. I asked her to tell Christopher that I loved
him so much and it was the proudest day of my life when he was born. ‘Ask him to forgive me for ending my life and one day when he gets older, I hope he will understand I could not face a life of pain, sadness and emptiness without him.’ I closed my eyes and prayed for forgiveness for taking my own life. Picking up the box of painkillers, I emptied them into my hand and put some in my mouth. Somehow, my throat seized up and I couldn’t swallow them. Each time I tried, I vomited them back over the kitchen floor. It was that fortuitous physical rejection of the tablets that saved my life. Was it Fate? I don’t know, but as the days passed by I gradually settled in the house again. It wasn’t all plain sailing, but eventually, I was able to look at photographs again without getting upset. However, I didn’t venture into Christopher’s bedroom. I just could not face seeing all his toys and teddy bears, his things, his belongings. That was too much for me just then. It would be another two years before I could face going into his room. One of the first things I needed to do was to go to Christopher’s school and tell the headmaster what had happened. I made my way to St William of York Primary School and entered the school gates. When I saw Christopher’s old classroom, I started to fill up. I couldn’t help it, but I took a deep breath and pulled myself together. I went to see Mr Campbell, the headmaster. I sat in his office and told him what had happened in Greece. “I’m afraid Christopher will not be returning to school.” My eyes started to fill up again and my tears flowed, but after a moment, I pulled myself together yet again and thanked him for everything he had done for my son. I walked out through the school gates where I could see Christopher’s friends. I turned away for the final time and walked down the back streets, not the route I used to takewith Christopher on the way home from school. To go the usual way would have been too much for me to bear. My aim now was to pick up the pieces and prepare for battle. I needed to be strong and I was determined to do everything in my power to win back my son. I would do it for the love of Christopher.