There have been many people to enter my life, and they have all had a measure of impact upon me, but naturally some have had more of an effect than others. The influence of my parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins upon my life cannot be underestimated. The role of my friends, across all walks of my life, cannot be underestimated.
Of all the people to come into my life, the one to have the joint-most monumental impact is my wife. When I met her, I had entered into a frame of mind where I did not believe love was realistic for me. At the age of 22, this was quite melodramatic, and in hindsight, clearly I was being ridiculous, Nonetheless, I was prepared to accept that love was not in my future. It was in that moment, when I stopped trying, stopped fretting about the idea, that my wife came into my life. On that first day we met face-to-face, a romantic relationship was not what I expected, though I’ll confess to having a faint belief in the possibility. It was a distant hope, though I had not truly imagined it. Come the end of the day, we had hugged, and kissed, and when I returned home that evening, I felt as though her arms were still around me. It was a warmth I had not previously felt.
From there, the rest is history. My wife and I have had our ups and downs, but there is no one who has as great an understanding of me as she does. We have shared so much of ourselves with each other, and shared so many experiences, and our love has matured from the dizzying whirlwind of romantic love, to the deep satisfaction of being completely comfortable in each other’s presence. I will always have a home away from home at my parents, and I know my brother would put me up if needed, but when I return home, it’s to my wife. It is the four walls I share with her that hold the most warmth around me now.
Along the journey with her, we were granted that most precious of gifts, a child. My daughter has had her own, unique, incredible impact upon my life, and whilst fatherhood has at times left me stressed and tired, it has also given me some of my happiest memories. I will never forget the day she was born. I will never forget the first time she smiled at me. I will never forget the first time she walked in front of me, and I will never forget her first, fearless day at nursery. My daughter completed me. I did not know she was missing from my life, until she was born, and I held her tiny frame in my arms, and whispered ‘hello, I’m your daddy’, through tear-stained eyes.
There have been many people to make a meaningful impact upon my life, but my wife and daughter are the ones to have the most. I have no idea who I would be without them.