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Aug 9

The Secret Fire

J.R.R. Tolkien was a very religious man, though this isn’t a well known fact. I read a biography of his lately entitled ‘The Secret Fire’ which describes Tolkien’s inspiration for his many amazing stories, and how he believed that God speaks to us not through prayer and sacrifice, but through music and nature… secret zephyrs and sun rays for your eyes only. When we feel inspired by these things, or feel raised goosebumps on our skin as a result of something beautiful, this is God speaking to us. I would love to go into more detail because it really is an excellent read, but I won’t, instead I urge you to add it to your reading lists.


A very strange and wonderful thing happened last night.

The Cologne New Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra performed in Wicklow Town’s Parish Church. The Chinese would tell you that anything set at 8:00pm on 08/08/08 would be a very auspicious event indeed so it felt right. It felt right, in fact, from the very first moment I laid eyes on the advertisement several weeks ago, but I don’t know why. I just knew that I had to go, and that I had to bring Laughingboy with me.

We sat on an empty pew right at the back of the church beside an open side-door. Cool air flowed past us, smelling of wood and stone and Wicklow harbour, and the crowded temple shuffled in anticipation. It all began with ‘Summer’ from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. (Listen to it here)

I was so delighted they started with this… it’s one of my favourites.  As you might know, the first movement is very quiet, with awe-inspiring violinny bits intertwinkling with the theme. Laughingboy’s ears pricked up and his eyes brightened the instant it started… the high pitches of the violins spread huge grins across his face and he began to move his arms about conductor-style, his heels tapping against the footrest of his wheelchair as he kicked and jigged.

The second movement ended and deafening silence ensued, broken by a sudden long and loud giggle from the happiest child in the world. This sound blasted its way up to the rafters and then bounced around the stone walls for a bit.   A sea of heads turned, and I gave them the thumbs up and a big grin. I was happy too, just watching the impact of this beautiful classical music on my son.

The third movement began suddenly with an excited torrent of harmony, and Laughingboy jumped. His arms and legs froze and his eyes grew wide, I thought he was going to cry from the shock but he didn’t, he just stayed frozen. I lifted him out of his chair and cuddled him on my lap so that I could tap the beat on his knees, and then it happened.

He leaned backwards and locked his gaze with mine, his eyes dark and intense (his pupils alarmingly dilated), but his face wore an expression of pure love. He then began to pour God into me undiluted. I felt my soul fill up faster and faster and I thought I was going to explode – tears brimmed in my eyes and my heart raced, every tiny hair on my body danced as I accepted this pure love… no, it was more than love, I can’t explain what it was, but when I looked up from Laughingboy’s gaze, I saw colours shine through the stained glass window that I’ve never seen before. The music became so clear, like it was as natural as a breeze rustling through long grass in the summertime – I could sense the pain and the happiness in the people around us and I loved them all just for being alive.

Instead of exploding however, I felt as it all began to slowly soak through me and radiate from us both as we sat, bathing in the energy, cuddling and bopping for two hours, floating out of the church when it was all finished. I pushed Laughingboy really fast… running all the way up the hill back to the car like a madwoman. We laughed belly-laughs as on-lookers stared and smiled.


When I got home, I found that I was interrupting a Wii night in with the Lads, but the Wiimotes were suddenly forgotten as they flocked to Laughingboy like moths to a flame. One of the lads – a regular visitor of Medjugoria and follower of all things God – stood beside Laughingboy for a long time, watching as he flapped his arms and legs and contorted his face into all sorts of grins and smiles. We spoke about autistic children having extra sensory abilities and put a heavy bet that Laughingboy was a definate contender for the theory, and agreed that there was something new about the kid, a fresh energy, knowledge… who knows what. It was certainly something amazing and I felt it, it’s still there, topping me up every now and then… it’s so hard to explain.

I finally found a way to communicate with my son and I’m the happiest mother alive. That’s all I know.

Bring on the comments

  1. Hails says:

    Wow, K8. That was beautiful. Made me cry!

    I completely agree with that idea – of God speaking through things of beauty. For me, it’s watching the sea. Fills me with peace. For you and Laughingboy, it’s music… treasure the gift, girl.

  2. Baino says:

    Oh K8 . . .nearly brought me to tears there . . .He’s such a beautiful looking little boy and it’s absolutely overwhelming that you’ve found something to help you click. . . talk about an epiphany!

  3. K8 says:

    Hails; Thanks for dropping in:) I love the sea!!! I could never move too far away from it for the same reason as you say. The peace draws me.

    Baino; We found each other through the fog :) I’m bringing him to every concert from now on. Except Metallica, maybe.

  4. Granny says:

    Now you have me near tears too. Happy tears for both of you! What beautiful writing. We want more………

  5. K8 says:

    Tanks ma :) Isn’t it past your bedtime?!?!

  6. Kate says:

    I bet you’ve been communicating with him for a good long while – this time, you just got to fully realize it. I hope that moment stays with you.

  7. Deborah says:

    Beautiful, wonderful, wow. I’m speechless.


  8. Anthony says:

    Long time subscriber first time commenter…

    Wow. Just… wow. I’m so happy for you I’m the stereotypical burly lad type but reading that brought tears of happiness to my eyes and what great writing too just beautiful.

  9. […] This is the piece she wrote. […]

  10. Beautifully written.

    I have to pass this on to another blogger from the other side of the planet that I read.

  11. Kelley says:

    I read this with a beam and a tear. Beautiful. Truly beautiful.

    My laughing boy’s eyes are slightly darker, the hair curlier.

    Adding you to my feedreader now. Thanks Xbox4NappyRash, you know me too well.

  12. Nelly says:

    That was so moving…and inspiring. He is a beautiful boy.

  13. Darragh says:

    Oh K8, thank you so much for writing this. Shockingly beautiful. Wonderful. Not only validates the reason I read this blog but validates life, love and music. Thank you.

    Nominated also. :)

  14. Just want to add my voice to those previous and say that was a beautiful piece of writing that brought me to tears. I’m off to hug my son … thank you

  15. prin says:

    absolutely beautiful! i had an experience very much like that with my own son when he was about your son’s age. such an awesome description of it. thanks!

  16. English Mum says:

    What beautiful, beautiful words K8. As a fellow Mum, they lifted me up and I laughed and cried along with you and Laughingboy. Give him a huge big kiss from everyone at English Towers. What a stunning and amazing little boy x

  17. Ashley says:


  18. Maxi Cane says:

    I can only imagine that kind of elation.

  19. Charmed says:

    I’m a big believer in the power of music. And the best music survives the test of time. And you’re more than proved that. LaughingBoy is simply adorable. Looks like he has a pretty special mum too :-)

  20. Dean says:

    Absolutely beautiful!

  21. I’ve popped over from Head Rambles and very glad I did …….. you’ve found a key …… it had to be there somewhere …… fantastic

  22. […] I won’t excerpt a word. You will just have to take my word that this is a blog post that every parent should read. […]

  23. steph says:

    Sterling stuff, K8

    For me, one of the most powerful moments of this piece was at the moment when… “A sea of heads turned, and I gave them the thumbs up and a big grin.”

    No wonder Grandad is so proud of you and Laughingboy!


  24. Shannon B says:

    Oh that’s lovely, you made me cry.

  25. Natalie says:

    Kate, that was such an awesome story, God came through as my hairs stood on end, I cried and I even got prickly feelings in my eye balls, weird and I swear true!!! Lucky lucky you to experience something so amazing – you just made my day.

  26. notmuchofacook says:

    K8-What a beautiful story. Laughingboy is quite a Luckyboy to have a Mom who gets it. Music is a wonderful way to communicate. Thank you for sharing such a tender moment.

  27. Maureen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experience with us. It’s a great reminder to all of us to be open to the beauty and love around us each day.

    Your son is so beautiful.

  28. Kate says:

    What a beautiful boy and what a lucky mum – treasure every moment K8!
    Peace and Love

  29. Brendan says:

    Not only did your and Laughingboy’s souls connect, but in doing so you connected with the universal soul and with the soul of each of us that read this. Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment with us.

  30. […] August 10, 2008 If you only read one blog post this year read this one from K8 the GR8… […]

  31. That was an amazing read- you did well describing the scene and the emotions. Your son is beautiful. I am going to see if I can pick up The Secret Fire this week.

  32. that’s an absolutely amazing post, and amazing moment that you had with laughingboy. I wish you many more moments like that for you and your son.

  33. K8 says:

    Oh my Lord I didn’t expect this reaction – I’m bowled over!!! Thank you so much. Sincere apologies to all those who got trapped in my comment filterer, I only just sat down with my beer and my slippers but almost knocked the can over when I saw the number of trapped souls!! Sorry to keep you waiting.

    (Hang on ’till I write up my replies….;)

  34. Grandad says:

    While you are at it, there are a few over at my place!!

  35. K8 says:

    Two hours later!!! Ok so there was a beer and munchie break and a most cringeworthy phonecall involving TAT having me on loudspeaker in his taxi enabling me to broadcast offensive material into a public place without my realising. Woops!!! I’m sure they’ll get over it, but will TAT learn? Who knows…

    So as I was saying:

    Kate: I spent €200 on a reiki course a few years back to see if that would help me to understand him?!?! I just couldn’t really get with it. I’ve been waiting to get on the Hannen course for the same reason… and here comes this, out of the blue. That’s what makes it so great, it feels like part of a plan which I have no control over.

    Thriftcriminal; I’ve been thinking of teeshirt designs all day!!! Will you make me a Thrifty mug? I’ll make you a set of post-its back.

    Deborah; Thanks!!! *grin* On a different level you could say that I didn’t write it though…

    Anthony; Hi! Always nice to meet one’s lurker. And with such honesty thrown in, I’m honoured you commented, thanks.

    Xbox4NappyRash; Jeez I wish I could travel so easily in person… I wish blogs had eyes. Actually no I don’t, that would just be creepy.

    Kelley; Thanks!! I pooched over to your site and tried to leave a comment but some operation went and aborted without my consent, so to sum it up: Dude!!! You’re feckin’ mental, but in a most excellent way… people say that to me a bit but I never really got what they meant until now. Also on the whole trampoline idea? Savage!! Velcro has got to be the best invention since sliced beer.

    Nelly; The Medjugoria lad in the story… he once told me that he believed Laughingboy carries the crosses of lost souls. They way he put it… even if I didn’t really believe it at the time, it all seemed to make a lot of sense. It makes him seem more beautiful somehow.

    Darragh; Oh wow hey nice one for saying that! I’m so happy it was as effective as I’d hoped!!!

    Mike; I’m delighted you commented, the knowledge that this post instigated a hug is a huge gift. Thanks!

    Prin; Oh how excellent! The knowledge that you understand and that I’m not being an overemotional weirdo is sincerely comforting :)

    English Mum; Big kiss passed forward! He made a very happy noise like he knew where it came from. He’s very happy in general today, like he’s getting all these positive vibes… maybe he is!

    Ashley; Hi and thanks!! You are too.

    Maxi Cane; Go to a live orchestra. It’ll blow your brains right out.

    Charmed; Welcome to my blog! Special is right… on a different planet altogether is another way of putting it so I’m told :) I prefer the term ‘medium for the insane’.

    Dean; Thanks for saying so, I love it when people comment out of the blue, the surprise of it gives me such a rush! Thank you so much.

    Daddy Papersurfer? Excellent name, dude. Thanks for reading this- I’m glad you liked it :)

    Sixty you so completely got it, I’m so eternally grateful for what you did wrote.

    Steph; The kid has a seriously loud laugh! It’s extremely strange being the person who has to not give a shit for the two of us, but it’s so much fun at the same time!!!

    Shannon B; Hello and welcome to you!! This sounds completely rotten but I’m so happy you cried. The overflow is so hard to explain in writing, but I really wanted everyone to feel at least a part of it. I got more than that!!! Thank you.

    Natalie; God is here, in Vivaldi, in Laughingboy… it’s like an amazing natural remedy, I’m so happy you feel it.

    Notmuchofacook; Isn’t music just the absolute most amazing invention in the entire history of man?!?! Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    Maureen; I so hoped that eyes might be opened by this, it’s so easy to focus on negative stuff, problems sometimes crowd the good stuff. Thanks for such a nice comment!

    Kate; *HUG*

    Brendan; The universal soul? It’s such a serious honour to be connected with such a thing, thank you.

    Michelle: Tolkien claimed that he was just the messenger of a higher power, and now I get it. This book made me re-think my whole set of ideas regarding the whole God thing, and with perfect timing. I have to give it credit for setting the scene!

    Raptureponies: I’m so happy you enjoyed it, I hope everybody gets to feel this, regardless of faith or creed or cynical disposition. I hope the world’s deadliest criminals touch on it at least once and wake up. I’m so buzzed, I sound like a feckin’ sap!! Ah well, I’m sure normal service will resume eventually.

  36. Rita in Texas says:

    God gives special kids to special Moms. I believe it. I have a special kid and it took her to make me aware of how special I am. So are you. I love your writing, it is the first time I have read your blog. I’ll be back.

  37. Paul says:

    You tapped into the light of heaven itself. Kate. May it continue to guide and comfort you.
    You are a very lucky and special foursome.
    A real privilige to know you.

  38. K8 says:

    Paul!!! Thanks for leaving a comment, it bowled me over! It’s a huge privilege to know you too… people like you make it difficult for cynicism to thrive, I hope that everyone gets to feel the energy of the greater good like I got from you and Corey and Aidan and everyone else I met through you.

    Guess what?!?! Fiona Downes was sitting behind me with her friend – she gave me a cushion without which I fear the whole thing would have been impossible! Those Pews are tough going;)

  39. K8 says:

    Hi Rita, thanks for commenting (sorry you got trapped too!!!)
    The idea of God giving these kids to us is one of the first things I heard after we discovered Laughingboy’s condition. It came from two drunken men in an inner Dublin city pub. They said it with such clarity and it’s what’s kept me going ever since.
    Welcome to cackaloo :) It’s a bit up-and-down but you’ll get used to it I hope!

  40. Kate, I read this last night and had to go cut some onions up, so I’d have an excuse for the tears. He is absolutely delightful and a blessing unto us all. I am so happy for you, K8.

    Doctors and scientist alike try to explain everything in the cosmos with equations and logic, when in reality, we understand so little of ourselves much less the universe. If you turn the number “8” on its side, you get the “∞” infinite sign. The infinite sign, as we know it, means the unknown or the boundless – that to which we deem incalculable.

    God is like the wind, we can feel it yet we cannot see it.

    It was a privilege and delight to spend time with LaughingBoy and yourself.

    Fantabulous writing on your part, K8. :)

  41. […] to my site using a feedreader or email. Thanks for visiting – Damien.I think you should read this. The Secret Fire. Such a wonderful blog post. Maybe send it on to more friends too and link to […]

  42. warrior says:

    Brilliant , I am so happy for you. My lad is 8 and when he was 6 took a great liking to vivaldi, asking us to put on Dalida at one stage cause he couldn’t remember the name. I think it’s brilliant you found this link. There is a lot of research out there about music and children. Play him Mozart and watch what happens :-) I am really happy for you.

  43. Darragh says:

    K8, I’m just adding my voice to the chorus as this was most definitly the most heartfelt, honest and uplifting post I’ve ever read. Well done.

  44. flirty says:

    beautiful story and beautifully written – amazing!

  45. Can do (when I get around to sorting it out that is) :-)

  46. Mary Witzl says:

    You’ve made me cry, Kate, and the way you described this is just beautiful. I love Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. And wherever Vivaldi is, I know he is rejoicing.

  47. K8 says:

    Jefferson; That’s so well put, the unknown and the boundless… I think that if this didn’t exist, and if everything was laid out in defined mathematical terms, life would be unbearable. I’m so glad you get it.

    Warrior; I took up your suggestion, I’m playing him a Mozart CD through the playstation on TV right now… all the trippy colours and rhythms are displayed on the screen and he’s absolutely enthralled!!

    Digital D; Thanks a million :) I’m flummoxed!!

    Flirty; It was really hard to write, I’m so glad you liked it.

    MJ; I likes magicals :) Thanks for commenting!

    Thrifty; Yep, I hear ya.

    Laura; Thanks! I was looking for the YouTube link for the baby giggle video you posted – how handy is that?! Isn’t it classic?

    Mary Witzl; I think most of the magic really is in the music, that’s why I was hoping that people would be able to listen to it while reading. I’ll be listening to classicals a whole lot more after Friday night.

  48. Just what everybody else said. Exquisite. Now you just have to add on a small sunroom at the back for the Cologne New Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra.

    Lovely to read.

  49. K8 says:

    To the Good Sir Mulley; I tried to comment on your fluffylinks but the page wouldn’t load – arg. Thanks for linking the post, I’m seriosly chuffed :)

  50. K8 says:

    Hello Nick; Thanks for commenting! Hey I wish I could rent out those musicians, I would at least have loved to thank them for what they gave us, but the standing ovation said it all I suppose. I used to play the violin myself, I’d love to learn all over again but somehow don’t think Laughingboy would appreciate my catersquawl noises so much :)

  51. Quickroute says:

    WOW! – gobsmacked – wonderful!

  52. grannymar says:

    Catching up after a weekend away from the blogs…

    What a wonderful post to return to. Obviously from the bottom of your heart! Thank you and Laughingboy for giving us this moment. May it change many lives for the good.


  53. Laurie says:

    wow…now if only I can wipe these tears away fast enough so that the rest of the office doesnt see them! Or perhaps…I should just point them in the direction of this post and you…now that would be something!

    Brilliant, beautiful astounding post!

  54. Paul says:

    An extremely personal post written from the heart. Kudos to you and Laughingboy. A beautiful post.

  55. […] post of the Month? Posted on August 11, 2008 by raptureponies It has to be K8’s about her gorgeous little Laughingboy. One of the best posts I’ve ever read, written straight from the […]

  56. K8 says:

    Quickroute; Fanks for sayin so:)

    Grannymar; We’re both on the God theme seems like;) I loved the letters to bits. Glad you liked me post, thanks very much for nominating me.. to you and to everybody, I’m knocked for six.

    Cheers Bock me aul’ flower!

    Laurie; A blubbing office – explain that to HR:) Thanks for commenting and for the compliments!

  57. andar839 says:

    hello dear sir, andar here. i enjoy post of yours very much so. i am agree to you. good day.

  58. K8 says:

    Welcome to my blog Paul, I’m flattered you should say so, thank you kindly!

    Raptureponies; Your link is too kind, sound out.

    Hello Andar, thank you for reading this, I hope it helped you in some way. Good day to you.

  59. Steve says:

    Thats one of the nicest stories I’ve read in a long, long time.

    When events like that happen, to me, it’s what makes life worth living. These things should always be remembered for when the bad times happen nothing is as bad as these are good.

    And when someone looks at you with pure love it beats any feeling ever.

    Thanks for writing that and bringing a smile to my face.

  60. Jo says:

    Hi K8, I just wanted to add my comment to the hundreds. Beautiful – tears running down my face!

  61. […] a little breath.  So if you do nothing else today, pop over to K8 the GR8’s blog and read The Secret Fire (just click on the words).  It is by far and away the most stunning, emotive and beautiful piece […]

  62. Taffy's Mum says:

    Led here by EM ……

    Having been brought up on Classical Music by me pa (6 hours in the car on summer hols to Cornwall – classical on the organ all the way!) I have to confess that I am not a lover but this post reminds me how different musical instruments can get across so many feelings where words are not required or in your case possible.

    After a wet and soggy morning in London, the sun is shining as I read your post with a smile and tear in my eye.

  63. Mary says:

    A beautiful story!
    My heart is with you all.

  64. tatoca says:

    such a moving and inspiring post. you and your boy are beautiful souls

  65. Jay says:

    The idea of God being in all of us and in the living things in the world around us – and also in inspired music and art – is very familiar to a Quaker. And Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is definitely inspired. Wasn’t Vivaldi a priest?

    I’m so happy that you found a way to communicate with your son. That’s absolutely priceless, no matter which way you look at it.

    Different things ‘speak’ to us all. Music seems to speak to your son. Perhaps he will develop a musical gift when he’s older?

  66. K8 says:

    Steve; Welcome to me blog:) Perfectly put, dude. The ying and the yang and stuff… it all balances out eventually.

    Jo; I’ll let you know next time they play, sure you’re only down d’ road! Talk about inspirational… it’s amazing what these lads can do with a few bits of wood, steel and horse-hair.

    @ English Mum; Thank you so(x 1,000,000) much for saying such loverly things and nominating me! The original squishee had worn off until I read your post. You’re as sound as a pound on the ground:)

    Taffy’s Mum; I’m with you only with Opera. All the wailing just drowns out the musical effects! How cool that the sun came out while you were reading this? I’d like to say that was me but it wasn’t. It was my co-writer.

    Mary; Thank you so much:) I’m so happy you liked it!

    Tatoca; Welcome with hugs:) Thanks for saying so, it soothes my paranoia!

    Jay; It’s like a sensory gift he already has… it’s not just with music, but with voice tones and loud noises. Banging forks against our plates evokes the most amazing reaction with the kid- it’s like he’s visualizing the noise, or hearing vibrations we can’t even imagine. Someday it will take a form that we’ll understand and it’ll knock our socks off:)

  67. cathy says:

    K8 –
    As everyone has said, that was absolutely lovely! I’ll be sharing it with my friends; so inspiring and heartwarming…and what a beautiful child. I’m so glad that you had that experience and that you shared it with us.

    And now I’ve got to go ask your father why I can easily comment on your site, but I keep getting error messages with every character I type into his!! :-}

  68. Jay says:

    Hmm. Perhaps he has synesthesia?

  69. K8 says:

    ***Wikipeediing big word***

  70. K8 says:

    On the ball!! So that’s what that’s called… I saw a documentary on this once and thought how amazing it would be to translate music into a psychotropic kaleidoscope of colours, synesthesia, I so hope Laughingboy has this.

  71. K8 says:

    Hi Cathy! You did get filtered though :( Sorry ’bout that!

    Thanks for passing this along – if it gives people back their appreciation for good music and the small blessings in life, I’ll be a very happy camper :)

  72. K8, I shed a couple of tears reading this post it was just so beautiful. I spent a goodly amount of time explaining the whole thing to my BFF in the car this morning and when I got home and checked my mail you had tagged me. I am complete. Thanks for all you do! I think you’re awesome and if i didn’t live all the way over here in Canada I would love to take you out for a pint, and see that beautiful boy and hear him laugh for myself. As it is I feel like I did.

  73. jennynib says:

    K8, your post moved me more than I can say.

    I’m caring for some very sick relatives at the moment and have believed in ‘Gods’ Smile In Sunlight’ since I was a child. It keeps me cheerful and working hard through good days and bad.

    Your darling boy is more than a blessing K8, he’s the living, breathing, smiling, giggling, gorgeous word of God.

    Thank you so very much for this beautiful post.

  74. As a Classical composer I have to tell you how happy your post has made me. We say that when one experiences what you and your son did one is touching the heart of the composer, but I personally believe that it is closer to touching the very essence of God as the composer became the channel through which love flows.

    May you have many, many more experiences like this with your son through music!

  75. Rita in Texas says:

    That must be what angels look like. And just think, he came through you…straight from heaven.

  76. Jay says:

    If you think that he may be a synesthete, it might be worth contacting the UK Synaesthesia Association for help and advice about communicating with him? Worth a try maybe.

    Each time I come back to read, I’m struck by the beauty of that photo!

  77. DRE says:

    There is no real parallel. We all try and do the best we can for our children who are born with our burdens or catastrophes thereof. My sons are “physically perfect” – but the events of their lives always lead me to believe that God and magic aligned will and do sometimes lead us to those moments where we know. No extrapolation on that – we just know. And it works for Moms’, and Dads’ and childrens’ souls alike. God will be there if we believe. Screw all the wrong or rights – a soul that is open will bare what is true and bearing on the souls around it.
    Bless you for your beautiful writing and thank you for opening (again) the tightened parameters of my soul. Your son is going to be just fine with your love. Trust me.

  78. K8 says:

    Ms. Barbara Jane; Lovely to meet you:) Your cousin Lorna introduced us, I’m so glad you liked the post, I’m delighted and honoured that you passed it forward like that. How cool it is to make new friendships over just a page of words! Virtual pints ’till we meet someday?

    Jennynib; Welcome and thanks:) Evading cynisysm and sadness is a tough job, made a lot easier by looking for the good instead of expecting the bad. It’s just a shame that it’s hard to mention God without sounding like ‘that’ sort of person.

    Incurable Insomniac; What a gift to be able to compose! I used to play the violin in an orchestra… the power and rush I felt as a part of a unified mass of harmony was amazing, to be the composer would be unimaginable.

    Rita in Texas; The hardest part about having a ‘special’ kid is comparing them with their able-bodied peers, I wonder did you go through the same thing? It took me a while to realise that while he will never talk and laugh and play, he will also never experience war, lies, or betrayal. That’s heavenly indeed.

    Jay; I will contact them, if not just to learn a bit more about the potential. It’s a great photo all right – it was taken just after a bath and hairdry… one of Laughingboy’s favourite activites:)

    DRE; “Screw all the wrong or rights – a soul that is open will bare what is true and bearing on the souls around it.” So perfectly put. I’m going to adapt this as my new mantra, the knock-on effect of this attitude could change the world. Thanks for commenting!

  79. Ted says:

    I am a grumpy old man (similar to Headrambles, I think).
    What I have just read has put me in my place.
    A really beautiful pen picture.

  80. Astounding – you gave me tingles just reading.

  81. …came by via Grandad….what an amazing story…so beautifully & poignantly written. Thank you for sharing this special moment with us. I will reflect upon it often.

  82. Kate, I don’t know what to say, only that I understand how you feel, not being able to conect with your own child is heartbreaking.

    I am so happy for you that you have found a way through the fog.

    Him upstairs might be trying to drown us all, but knew where he could find you and Sean.


  83. third coast says:


    He’s a lucky kid, and you’re a lucky mom. God nailed it this time.

    third coast [Longtime lurker, usually expecting a chuckle from the cab stories]

  84. K8 says:

    Ted; I shudder to imagine a world without grumpy old men… the music would be too loud everywhere, and nobody would get the papers read. Thanks for commenting, ya big softee:)

    A whole lot of nothing; Hi and welcome:) Thanks for reading, I’m glad you liked it!

    The travelling bra; You’re welcome!! I had to write it down somewhere, but was seriously paranoid about being over-mushy so I’m so happy you enjoyed reading it, thanks.

    Queen of Clean; Him upstairs has a very funny way of doing things alright! I’m sure the rain will be overcompensated by sunshine sooner or later though, whatever form it may take for each of us.

    third coast; Well howdy, lurker! More cab stories to follow – mind you, they’ve been very nondescript lately. I hope they haven’t sussed me out…

  85. Enrique says:

    Increible Exelente Gracias..

  86. […] Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. It seems they are inspiring many memorable moments as they tour, if this wonderful post from K8 the GR8 is anything to go […]

  87. gaye says:

    Hi Kate,
    I have been working as a support worker for people of all ages who have disabilities. Last month or so my work involved children more and more. Then I found another job, in a nice, big organisation called Baptist Community Services. I will be working closely with children ages 5 – 12, on outings, respite care programs. My first shift is on Saturday with a group I have worked with before whilst working for the other organisation. Your post made me smile and cry at the same time. I think there is nothing better for me in the work I do to help people, both carers and clients, than when I feel I have managed to connect with the child, in some level. When the little hand holds mine, or eyes bore into me, telling me I am doing OK that they are comfortable, happy. And I love being able to help the parents who are the sole carers, 24/7, give them a few hours break here and there so they refuel on energy.
    Thank you for sharing those moments, written so beautifully.

  88. […] just messing. Doing so would be what top oral hygienists refer as supersilly. Besides, there are more deserving posts (yes, I linked K8 twice for a […]

  89. […] The Secret Fire. Congratulations to K8 the Gr8 for an inspiring and uplifting blog post. One of the best ones I’ve read all year and I think most others would feel the same way too. […]

  90. Grannymar says:

    Congrats and welcome to the couch!

    Very well deserved winner of The August Blog Post of the Month.

  91. Darragh says:

    EXTREMELY well deserved K8, well done. Hooray for you :-)

    Brilliant post – one that’s resonated with me since I read it.

  92. K8 says:

    Hey, wow. Well honoured, me :) Chéid Míle maith agaibh!

  93. Well done, and well deserved K8.

  94. paul says:

    hello K8, congrats. I’ve a phone for you from O2 as prize. Drop me a mail with an address to send it out to you.


  95. […] the Gr8 won August’s Blog Post of the Month. O2 are sending her a phone too. Fair play to O2 too for keeping up with the sponsorship despite a […]

  96. Well done and congratulations. Richly deserved.

  97. Eamon says:

    My friends used a reading from Tolkien (The Hobbit I think) in their wedding. It was beautiful and not out of place in a religious ceremony.

  98. Rick says:

    Ach shite. I was trying not to cry here in studio with the lads outside looking in through the glass. Shite.

    I couldn’t be happier for you, for the moment, feck the award :-)

  99. K8 says:

    I’m well humbled, thanks for all the comments :)

    Tell you what though, this phone is nifty – we had a few fights what with me being a Nokia girl for so long, but I have her cracked now! Thanks O2 :)

  100. There wouldn’t be enough phones to give you the prize you deserve, not only for the fantastic writing and the way it conveyed a million personal emotions so fluidly translated for all, but also for the wonderful mother of an a beautiful child.

    I know every child is special, but yours is a particular beaut!

    Been catching up with my reading today and only noticed I had missed this.

    Enjoy the phone
    Enjoy your laughing boy
    Enjoy it all


    Ps Nokia to Sony can be a killer, but worth it, they are mostly excellent.

  101. Glasses says:

    My son listens to ACDC, Sabbath, Led Zep (etc) with me all the time and we regularly share looks of deep love – so Vivaldi and Co. don’t have the monopoly on life-enhancing music! The family is a completely agnostic one too, but that doesn’t stop the love flowing.

    Nothing against your post. Just a point of order I felt needed to be made.

  102. […] our K8 won the award, and part of her prize was a new phone.  With only the minimum or persuasion [that involved […]

  103. LizMcGPR says:

    First time visitor – truly loving post, hit me at the base of my stomach. He is beautiful son and such a wonderous moment, the first of many. Well scripted and emotionally raw. Well done.

  104. The secret fire. What has been given to us freely, the only catch is whether we choose to see it and listen to it, feel it, embrace it and serve it. It is what pierces our souls at times when we feel alive, it is what keeps us alive, the secret spirit which is the wielder of life. It is the spirit which calls every human being at all times, never resting, never betraying. Your boy feels it more than we do and it is what catches his gaze, the spirit of life and love, the spirit of the creator our father.

  105. K8 says:

    Elfinamsterdam; I’m sorry for the late reply- you wrote such lovely things that it felt hard to accept the compliments! Thank you so much, I am enjoying it immensly :)

    Glasses; Apologies to you too for being so slow with a reply, for I am a lazy cow. I hear you re. the music thing… not a churchgoer myself though I will be soon for the sake of my kid’s conformity, at least until they make up their own minds. Classical music is awe-inspiring, but in small doses for me which is ironic because it really did pave the way for both the artists you’ve mentioned, and the artists I like… Incubus, Foo Fighters, Nirvana etc… now matter how ridiculous that may seem, it’s true and there’s no getting away from it. You need to give it a better chance!!

    Liz; Thank you so much for dropping a comment by :) I’m delighted you enjoyed the read.

    Roland; I’m in awe of these words, they are perfectly put. Thank you so much for writing them here and connecting with me… all the way from Lebanon! I cannot believe my post has found its way to such a beautiful country. I’m humbled and delighted.

  106. Hangar Queen says:

    Hi Kate,

    Thought I was all cried out tonight.

    I was wrong about that too.


  107. K8 says:

    Oh hey sorry ’bout that! :( I hope you’re over the worst? Life’s a very strange thing.

  108. Ruairi says:

    Wow – I had to scroll down a lot to make this comment – and I’m not surprised – really nice post – best of luck in the blog awards next week.

  109. K8 says:

    Thanks Ruairi – I’ve me hair-curlers at the ready ;) I love a good session.

  110. I don’t know how I missed this the first time. Man, this is moving. I’m so glad you’ve found what makes your wee boy happy, and what makes you happy together. Truly beautiful. You and LaughingBoy are so lucky to have each other. Love to you both.

  111. […] kop, Suzy,, Tommy, George and the blacknighters, nialler, annie, Sweary, Ryan, K8…. start a company, publish a book, make something better, create something, start something, […]

  112. Eileen says:

    I’m so glad you shared this with us, what an amazing tale and so eloquently told.

    Well done. A very deserved winner of best post.


  113. K8 says:

    Problemchildbride; Thank you! It’s nice to inspire love, but pretty darn difficult unless all the players are involved. I think it had something to do with planet alignment.

    Eileen; Hello again – glad you got home safe :) Thanks for dropping by for a read! I love your site, I’ve forwarded it to a singleton friend or two of mine.

  114. unstranger says:

    Only hearts can hold onto Love like yours and your son’s. There remains that God is in a position of doubt the world over; but not here.
    Love to you for you.

  115. K8 says:

    Welcome Unstranger, thanks for leaving such a beautifully put comment here, and for the love which is mirrored right back. I’m looking forward to reading your blog :)

  116. […] bloggers. Congrats to the winners – all listed here – and a special nod to Fiona, Raptureponies, Kate,, Sweary and the queen of bloggers Suzy. It was great to meet so many friends, to make […]

  117. Derek says:

    A fine bit of prose Kate, generously peppered with flecks of love, sage, inspiration and simmered with a thought provoking awakening.

    In the words of Dickens “please sir can we have some more”

  118. K8 says:

    Clever film!! Thanks for the link, it makes me want to visit the beach :)

  119. Irish Mammy says:

    Well deserved ‘best blog post’. It has me filling buckets of tears here (could also be the pregnancy hormones adding to the emotions). What a unique and special moment to share with your son – and thanks for choosing to share that moment with the rest of us as well!

  120. […] right.  I just don’t know what I am.  The other day I sent him a link to fellow blogger K8 the GR8’s amazing piece The Secret Fire.   If you’ve never read it (you should – do it right now), K8 talks about: […]

  121. […] The secret fire Digg this!Stumble upon something good? Share it on StumbleUponShare this on TechnoratiPost this to MySpaceShare this on FacebookTweet This!Send this page to Print Friendly […]

  122. […] I’ll get better. Don’t waste your sympathy on me, think about Laughingboy. […]

  123. […] many times have strange things happened like this perfect wee house, like the time in the church with Vivaldi, like the strangest feeling in his bedroom as I stoop over his bed performing a myriad of […]

  124. Thank you for this informative and needful blog as I have got some notes from here.

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