Walk Tall

It's been a difficult time recently in our family. Over the summer and autumn my eldest son's 3-year-old daughter became increasingly sick, she couldn't eat, was reluctant to drink and very disturbingly, walking caused her so much pain that she gave up trying to even stand.

She was duly admitted to hospital and every test was done to determine the cause. Each test came back negative, which was incredibly distressing for her parents as they really needed to have a diagnosis so that something could be done about it. The MMR vaccine, chickenpox and brain and spinal tumours were all considered to be possibilities, then ruled out by MRI scan, lumbar puncture or blood tests, resulting in a scenario of nowhere else to turn. She was discharged from the local hospital and her parents were given the dubiously helpful news from her consultant that most cases of undiagnosed lameness resolve spontaneously within six months to a year.

However, a few weeks passed and she seemed to get no better. Their family were going through a stressful time anyway as they were moving to York due to a change of job for her Mum. The little girl got increasingly worse over a period of a couple of weeks ending up being admitted to York Hospital, as no amount of persuasion could get her to eat, drink or move. She seemed to be shutting everyone out - even her parents. The hospital's priority was to get her rehydrated and to eat something before the walking issue could be addressed.

Four weeks down the line there's better news and she's been discharged, still with no diagnosis, but is a much happier little girl and slowly starting to walk again and hopefully the eating and drinking will get better in time. I'm so happy that she seems to be finding her old self and taking pleasure once more in the things she loves like nature, colours, rainbows and fairies.

The reason I'm now telling you all this is that I wrote a song for her which I'd like to share with you. I found the whole idea of a small child being so vulnerable and poorly incredibly painful and writing a song seemed like I was doing something when nothing else was any good. It's said music heals the soul and I'm sure there's truth in that, so I've played this song every day in the hope that it will somehow find its way to her and help the healing process. So here it is, recorded on my phone, let me know what you think:

Walk tall, you can touch the stars in the sky
If you believe you can do it, you can climb the mountains high
Your tiny legs won’t fail you, they’ll keep you safe from harm
Walk tall, little one, walk tall and keep calm.

Run free, chase the wind around the trees
The world is full of wonder, just waiting for a key
Unlock the door and step on through, with feet as light as air
Run free, little one, and shed your woes and cares.

Your eyes will sparkle once again, your smile will light the room
Walk forward into happiness, the future’s there for you…
If you walk tall.

Step lightly through the rainbow, approach that pot of gold
Imagine some new stories like the fairy tales of old
Life’s mysteries and problems weigh heavy in your head
Step lightly, little one, and learn to trust instead.

Your eyes will sparkle once again, your smile will light the room
Walk forward into happiness, the future’s there for you…

… the future’s waiting for you if you walk tall.


  1. So glad Yorkshire is doing the trick for her, soon she will be up and about on the North York Moors

  2. I have a little granddaughter who will be 3 in a couple of weeks and your story really found its way to me. I know how difficult it can be to get through to these little people at times and although, thank goodness, we haven't had anything like this episode happen, Thea can be quite hard to understand at times and sometimes, efforts to do so just result in more anguish. Healthwise, so far, my daughter is getting very adept at using Homeopathy, so for the 'passing' bugs etc. that works well. However, I am convinced that children can react quite strongly and unexpectedly, to family events, emotional situations, etc in ways that we can't always see at the time. I wonder if your little person was reacting to the house move in an unexpected way on top of some other apparently inconsequential (to an adult) things....perhaps. This would mean that none of the tests would bring anything to light and everyone would feel as perplexed and worried as ever, which little people react to as well, causing them to become more anguished and perplexed, inadvertently.

    I don't have the App you have used for your song but it such a sweet idea and I love the words...I will listen to it as soon as I can.

    I hope you little granddaughter recovers daily and is soon back to being herself. ☺️

    1. Thank you, Anthea for your caring message. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you've said. Enjoy your granddaughter, I hope she stays well and continues to thrive xo

  3. Hello Jean and Philip,
    I have enjoyed reading your blog and really do appreciate your lovely photos.
    I am distressed to read about the worry that you have been through over your grand-daughter's illness. Poor wee soul! You all must have been beside yourselves with concern and questions. I hope and pray that she continues to be on the mend. Any updates as to how she is doing? Please let us know.
    Happy New Year to you and Philip and all the best in 2015 with your tours and in all that you do.
    Best Wishes, Eileen


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