On the 23rd September 2018, I spoke to Azariah Halliday, a bold, young mother to Miguel and Morocco. I was nervous before the chat because I knew the topic would be a hard one to discuss. We would be talking about Azariah's story, her experience of loving and losing her son (on her birthday) and of raising another at the same time.
Miguel Halliday was born a healthy, happy baby on 22nd June 2015. Azariah, 'Riah to those close to her, told me that it was a happy time. She felt blessed and grateful to be a mother. Her pregnancy had been a good one. Life was set to be amazing.
Life has a way of changing though and soon, Azariah's life took a turn that she never could have imagined.
The story you will hear below has the power to change your life, your relationships and your outlook. Riah's raw retelling of her experience will catch you off-guard as your listen, but I have no doubt it will touch you deeply and, as you prepare to go into 2019, it will help you to evaluate your loves and losses in a fresh way.
It's taken me some time to publish this interview because I wanted to do Azariah's story justice. I would listen to the recording over and over, wanting to convey every single moment in a way that would affect readers the way I had been affected on the call. I realised recently though, that nothing can convey Riah's experience better than she can, so here is the raw audio of our chat.
I hope you'll be as moved, motivated and changed as I was.
N.B. This call was never meant to be published so please excuse any questions and reactions. It was pure, unrestricted awe of Azariah's strength to continue.
Please note, reader/listener discretion is advised as themes may be upsetting for some.
Here is Azariah's story:
Audio Part 1
Audio Part 2
Azariah went on to speak about Miguel's home-going celebration and about the fact that people from Facebook, off the street and from all walks of life attended the church to see Miguel off in a way she never could have anticipated.
What came through most was her determination to ensure that her boys lived the best lives. At times, her voice belied her strength and threatened to betray her heart, but I knew that I was speaking with someone who felt they had no choice but to carry on.
Azariah, thank you so much for sharing yours, Miguel's and Morocco's stories. You are an inspiration!
You can follow them here:
You can find out more about Menkes disease here: www.menkesfoundationuk.com