Many parents tell us how the support of their friends has been vital in helping them through difficult times. Here Laura describes the role her best friends played in her son Billy’s naming day.
My two best friends, Arron and Carrie, were very keen on getting all our boys named together as they were all born within a four month period of each other and also we are very close. We refer to each other as chosen sisters, sisters by choice not blood. We have been friends since we were small, and I spent a lot of time living at their house and going on family holidays with them. Billy was the first born of the three boys and both Carrie and Arron have been so supportive since he was diagnosed. They even came to Kings College hospital from Birmingham with their birthing plans after Billy’s second operation when Carrie only had a matter of days until Luke was due.
As Billy has been in and out of hospital a lot this year both Arron and Carrie organised the Naming. Their care and attention was remarkable even down to the date, Billy was named – 31st August 2019 – as his liver transplant was on the 29th August 2018. Arron and Carrie even waited an extra year so Billy could be a part of this as he was too ill the year before. Just before the invitation went out, Arron and Carrie called while I was in hospital with Billy to ask if I would mind if they could ask for donations for CLDF rather than gifts, I was overwhelmed by this selfless act of kindness.
We had the naming ceremony at Arron and Dave’s farm in Droitwich. It’s called Dodderhill Court and is a special place for Alec and I as we got married there in 2014.
Here’s an explanation from the Celebrant who conducted the ceremony
“A naming ceremony’s purpose is to officially give a baby their name and to make their name known to all his family and friends. A naming ceremony has an extended purpose of presenting the baby to his community and to celebrate the arrival of the new person in that community.”
Also, it allows the child to choose their own faith path later in life rather than the parents choosing this for them. The child still has guide parents (god parents) and the ceremony follow a similar pattern as a christening except there is no religious aspect.
On the day, Arron had put a chest out decorated with pictures of Billy from the CLDF family day that we attended that were branded with the CLDF logo with envelopes out so people could donate. The next day when we were packing up and Arron decided to sort the donations out, we discovered that we had received £1,000 for CLDF. We were all amazed by people’s generosity and endless support. I have said many times I do believe that people’s kind words and knowing that people are thinking of you when times are tough is what has kept us going and that’s what community is. On this occasion it was shown in donations and lot of them.