He And I is a collection of sixteen poems or word pictures catching pivotal moments that tell the story, from traumatic birth to current times, of life with a disabled child and then young adult. These poems are fearless in sharing the love, the warmth and frequent humour with unflinching honesty. They capture what it means to have the privilege and challenge of raising someone for whom the world is sometimes confusing, overwhelming and often excluding. They also show how as a parent you can feel entrusted with loving and caring for a delightful visitor from another planet, one for whom you are both ambassador and interpreter. You are given extraordinary opportunities to view the world through a different prism.
These poems capture events and share them with the reader through moments of laughter, gut twisting fear and unconditional love. The reader is invited to understand the concept of the shadow child, that in many ways you feel you have two children – the one who is and the one who so nearly was, the child you dreamt about throughout your pregnancy and never quite got to meet. Yet they are not really entirely separate, they ebb and flow into each other, as described in “Door Ajar”.
Award winning playwright Lisa Evans describes it as “A work of heartbreaking honesty and love. You laugh, you cry, you begin to understand”.
I, is Lesley Beck, a semi-retired counsellor and psychotherapist living amongst the same wonderful friends and neighbours for the last 35 years in West London. He, is her son, an accomplished drummer, a director of the Mango Mammals Record Label, a songwriter, a man of wit, skills and talent. He has Down’s Syndrome, is on the Autistic Spectrum and lives in an assisted living community in East Sussex.