It’s been thirteen months, but I still have periods when I ask myself, “I wonder what might have been if Barry was still alive”. Today I guess I’m feeling a little more sentimental because Barry would have turned 20 on this day.

Last night, I sat up quite late finishing a book I’ve been reading over recent weeks. By the time I put the book to one side it was 12.30am and I looked at Barry’s photo and said, “At this time 20 years ago I was in labour, Barry.” It was a short labour – only a touch over one and a half hours – and he was born at 1.08am. They say “no pain, no gain”, but in some instances that isn’t the case. In all honesty, I had little pain, but I gained a whole lot – a beautiful baby boy by the name of Barry Andrew Henderson.

Anyway, the thought hit me quite hard and I burst into tears. Who would have believed that my little boy would be gone before his 20th birthday? I certainly didn’t. Today, questions have filtered through my guard: Would he have found himself another girlfriend? Of course he would have done. He was handsome and funny, and girls were always hanging around him. Would he have settled into a job? Without a doubt. I know that if he’d given himself the chance, he would have found a new path for himself and that path would have taken him closer to happiness. And happiness is all that is required in life.

Sure, money helps smooth the way, but money without happiness means nothing. I feel the same about material things too. Having expensive furniture, nice clothes, an enormous house and everything else people dream about is fine, but unless you are happy…these things mean nothing. Happiness is what makes life worthwhile. And if you are truly happy, then you need none of those things I mentioned earlier. You could live in a cave and you wouldn’t care.

Barry lost happiness for a while, but I know that he would have found it again…if he had waited just a little bit longer or if he had voiced his sadness so that someone could have helped him. Now, I must send my son’s birthday wishes up to heaven. It’s totally unfair.

We love and miss you, Barry. Happy birthday.