As told by James, Desmond’s father –
It’s easy to be a dad, but it’s hard to learn how to be a mom.
I lost my wife right after my son Desmond’s birth. She had complications with the Cesarean. We stayed in the hospital for four days, and then we came home and she passed that first night.
In the two years after he was born and his mom died, I had another son pass away, I had a stroke, and I lost my job.
My son wasn’t talking and I didn’t know what to do. He used to do these tantrums where he’d throw himself down and hit his head against the floor. Before, I would walk around for five seconds to try to calm down myself and give him space to calm down. I would be frustrated because he was frustrated and I wouldn’t know why he was doing it.
You have to know to ask for help. At first, I was like, “Me? Ask for help?”
I was given a social worker who made a referral to St. David’s Center. That’s how we got connected to Sue in the Home Visiting program.
I’ve come to learn that if I can just sit there and talk with him for those five seconds, it will be okay. It lets him use his words to talk to me so I can try to understand what’s bothering him, and he has calmed down a lot. He doesn’t do those tantrums anymore. Desmond is starting to speak. He’s doing so, so well. I don’t know what I’d do without Sue. I probably still wouldn’t be able to communicate with my son, so that’s been major.
Desmond means everything to me. He’s my buddy. He’s my life. He’s all I got. And I’m sure glad I asked for help when I did because St. David’s Center has allowed us both to make it.