40,467 Words

40,467 words. The number of words that have consumed me for the past two weeks.  40,467 carefully selected words combined in carefully crafted sentences by me and my colleagues.  Words that I have read and re-read, over and over.  Words that have filled 85 pages.  An astounding number of words it seems to me. An astounding number of words that  have taken up an incredible amount of time and energy and space in my head and my life.  But I am done. The words are done. They have been committed to paper and the pages are printed.  I can walk away.  I will walk away.  But the words are not done. These words that I have laboured over will forever change the lives of four small children, babies still.  The words will wrench the soul of the parents and the grandparents.  I am done, but the words are not done.  The words will continue forever.  I will walk away knowing that this astounding number of words that I have lived with for weeks are insufficient to describe the lifetime of a family.  The words are right.  The words are just. The words are enough – but they remain insufficient to account for the lasting and profound impact they will have on the lives of four little beings and their family.   These 40,467 words that now that they are written can never be unwritten, or re-written.  40,467 words that can never be taken back.  40,467 words written to protect children that will shatter a family.

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