Journey Into Darkness

Tim Henning

There are some things in life that really challenge your sanity. I am a father of two and there is nothing in this world I love more than my children. Before I became a parent I had no idea how deep that love would be until I held them when they were born. Many had told me, I thought I truly understood, but it is simply not possible to fully realize that love and bond until it happens… at that moment, that single instant in time and space… I understood.

I have spent much of my professional life fighting for and protecting children. I believe with all my heart in the ASACP mission, goals and our ability to make a difference in children’s lives and make a positive contribution to the industry and world. During my 15 year tenure serving ASACP and the online adult entertainment industry it has been my honor to realize the many successes that have come to fruition…this was something I could at least partially control.

The cold hard facts are that horrible things happen … even to children.

Someone once told me that control is an illusion. We convince ourselves we are in control in order to ignore the fact that we are not. The truth is we are fragile, mortal creatures glued by gravity to a rock twenty five thousand miles in circumference, spinning at just over a thousand miles per hour, travelling around an insignificant star in an insignificant galaxy at sixty seven thousand miles per hour in a virtually infinite universe which current theory suggests is only one of an infinite number of others…Wow!

On August 9th, my eight year old daughter, my little girl, spiked a fever and began to bring up blood and was admitted to hospital. Little did my wife and I know what was in store in the days to come. There have been many tests and many doctors and it has been a seemingly endless ordeal for my daughter, my wife, my six year old son…and for me.

It has been forty nine days since that day and as of the writing of this piece we are no closer to knowing what is wrong with my daughter than we were then. I cannot describe the raw terror and helplessness one feels in this circumstance. In my professional life I protect children but in this case I can do nothing to help my little girl. It is a feeling of such frustration, sadness and fear that I simply cannot put it to words.

My child is such a wonderful gift I cannot adequately describe it with words. She is so full of joy and love, intelligent and curious about everything, loves to socialize with everyone and is a truly kind and loving spirit. She is without prejudice, untarnished and unfettered by the baggage, we as adults, collect and carry with us throughout our lives. It reminds me of a quote I heard once, “my shoes are too tight and I have forgotten how to dance.” Most children, the lucky ones, don’t have this problem but many of us as adults have “forgotten how to dance”.

When this began and the reality and seriousness of my child’s illness began to sink in I could only think two thoughts. Why my little girl and this just can’t be happening. Now after so much that has happened in the past forty nine days I only wish that I could trade places with her and make it all go away for her. No child should have to experience this but this is not the reality that we exist in.

The cold hard facts are that horrible things happen … even to children.

I cling to the hope that there will be a breakthrough and the doctors will be able to definitively diagnose and treat my child but it gets more difficult every day that passes to stay positive and strong. I can only give the following advice to those that are or will live through a similar experience. Don’t ever let those emotions win. When you think you can bear no more dig deeper for that strength… it is there and trust me, you will find it!

We become so consumed with the details in our lives, the little worries and stresses, our careers and responsibilities that we often forget to pay attention to the moments. We tear through life at breakneck speed believing we have all the time in the world and we miss many of the little things that make life worthwhile. I very strongly urge all of you to not make those mistakes.

When you go home tonight give your kids, significant other, family a hug. Reach out to your family and friends. Spend time with them, talk with them, play and have fun with them. Enjoy them and love them as much as you can. The moments are all we have… they will never come again.

It takes a few fractions of a second for the human brain to process sensory input and therefore we are all time travelers living ever so slightly in the past. We are all guests of time which goes with us on that finite journey through life until it’s over. Once it’s over, it’s over and that’s it…that’s all she wrote. Don’t squander that time, its short enough as it is…pay attention and love those people in your life as much as you are humanly capable. After all, when all is said and done it’s the only thing that truly matters.