Meet Our Contributors: Neil's Story
We are excited to present the first of our Through, Not Around contributors!
Over the next few months, we will be sharing contributor profiles so you can get to know our authors. We are so excited for our essay collection to come out and we are beyond thankful for the people who helped put it together.
Neil, thank you for writing about your son, Jacob and for sharing a little bit about yourself here too.
1) Why did you decide to share your story in Through, Not Around and with the 16 Percent community?
When my wife Haylie and I were going through the process of losing our son Jacob to Potter's Syndrome, we sought out the experiences of others. When you have an experience like ours, you think that you are the only ones who could be so unlucky. Unfortunately, far too many people have gone through similar situations.
Reading the stories of others, helped us to heal and grieve. It is my hope, that in sharing our story, it can be of some help and/or comfort to others.
2) Has writing about your experience helped you heal in any way? What have you learned through this experience so far?
At first, I was hesitant to share our story. However, I think that sharing it has been helpful. It has allowed me to connect with many people who have gone through similar circumstances. Had I not shared our story, I would have not had other people open up to me about their own situations. Through this process, I have learned how many people are impacted by issues related to pregnancy.
3) Tell us more about you. What are your hobbies/passions/pursuits?
My biggest passion in life is spending time with my two daughters, Hadley and Eleni. They bring me more joy and happiness than I could've ever imagined was possible. I love them with all of my heart.
Outside of parenting, I enjoy running marathons, live music, traveling, and being outdoors.
4) What is your favourite quote?
My favourite quote is one which is popular with many people. I was introduced to it by my hockey coach when I was 17 years old. It is an excerpt from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt called "Citizenship in a Republic." More commonly, it is referred to as "the man in the arena."
As the aforementioned quote is somewhat lengthy, I will use one which has been resonating with me lately and fits in with what this book is about. It comes from a Dave Matthews Band song which is entitled, strangely, Samurai Cop.
Oh joy begin
Weak little thing
More precious there’ll be nothing, no
Oh joy begin
A great deal of the song is actually about, at least in my interpretation, being a parent. The above lyrics speak to anybody who has had a child. As we know, there is nothing more precious than that. It's a great song which brings to the forefront for me, the emotions and love that are involved in being a parent.