This morning I learned that a childhood friend of my eldest child had been killed in a hit and run incident in Winchelsea, Victoria. I remember this child well, he and my son (daughter at the time) were good mates in primary school. Don’t recall exactly how old they were when they used to hang out, maybe 8 or 9? His name was Tyler, and he was the youngest son of a single parent family. His mother, Janelle, was a lovely lady I got along with quite well. I used to sit and have a coffee and a chat with her when i’d go and pick Alister (then Eris) up. She worked at an insurance company in town as a receptionist and Tyler was her entire world. As a single mother for nine of my eldest’s nineteen years, I know how it is to raise children on my own, and how close you become as a result. You’re all each other has, even when there is support from the extended family. I count my children as my best friends and most loyal supporters in anything I do. They are, as Tyler was to his heartbroken mum, absolutely everything to me and always will be.
I cannot fathom the pain Tyler’s mother must be feeling. My heart goes out to her. I hope they throw the book at the lout who hit Tyler as he rode his motorized bike and left him for dead. It was dark and the killer didn’t have his headlights on. I’m betting the car, an SUV, was stolen. The justice system has to make this piece of shit accountable for his actions. A mother has lost a precious son; a community its innocence, yet again, after the events of 2006, when Robert Faquarson killed his three young sons in Winchelsea dam.
Tragedies like this really bring home to you just how lucky you are as a parent and how precious your children are. I can’t tell you all how relieved I was when my son told me he had no intention of getting his license anytime soon. I have friends whose children are probationary drivers and they must chew their fingernails to the quick until the car pulls up in their driveway. I know I would, every time! As regular readers of my blog would know, I am the mother of a transgender teen. My son came out to me just over two years ago, informing me that he’d always felt like he was in the wrong body and that he fully intended to live as a male and change his name. We have gone through several counselling sessions together at the Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne, as it is the only gender clinic of its type in Victoria, as well as numerous doctor’s visits and, for the past year, Al has been receiving testosterone injections every three months. I recently began seeing a psychologist for my depression and low self esteem, and to do that I had to get my doctor to agree to a mental health plan. Imagine my disgust when my doctor, close to retirement age and a Catholic to boot, insinuated that my depression must be because of the fact that I had a daughter, and now I have a son. I was speechless at the time, and I wish I could have that moment back because I’d definitely tell him what I think of his assumptions. My son is NOT the cause of my long-standing depression. He doesn’t even factor into it. I’ve accepted his transition, largely because I’ve always felt, and said, that I didn’t need to have a son, I had Eris (his birth name). That’s how much he felt like a son to me, even before he came out and began living as a male. The idea that I’d “lost” a daughter is ludicrous to me. Especially now, hearing about Tyler. My child is still living, breathing, existing, gender notwithstanding. It’s not as if I’ve actually suffered the worst loss a parent can imagine. It’s not even slightly the same thing at all.
Rest in peace, Tyler. xo