Apologies for the not strictly wargaming content.
Regular blog readers may have noticed my comment a few weeks ago that I was going to be a dad again. My second child and my wife's first. Our baby was due in early October (due to be induced at 37 weeks).
Unfortunately, on Monday 16th September, my wife felt unwell. This resulted in an emergency scan being undertaken and as a result it was found that our baby, at 34 weeks and 2 days, had no heartbeat.
No words can even begin to describe the level of grief and pain that our baby's passing has lead to. Made all the more difficult and cruel by the requirement that my wife deliver our baby. She did this on the early hours of Friday 20th of September. We are both, obviously, extremely upset. I suspect we will remain so for some time.
Following his delivery we had the opportunity to meet our little boy, Joshua, to tell him he was loved and that we were sorry. And for him to have an all too brief cuddle with his mum and dad before he went on to the next stage of his journey in this world.
We endured, and continue to endure, the unendurable - mainly due to the love and support of our family and friends. But also through the dedication, care and empathy of the NHS staff who we dealt with.
We spent the last week staying in a suite at the local hospital, where I was also fed and looked after while staying with Amy. We were provided with a separate entrance and a room with a double bed to stay while we waited for the medication to induce Amy to take effect. When our son was born, he was treated with utter care and attention by the staff. We were given, free of charge, clothes which would fit him as well as a memory box of items to help us record our son's time with us, clay and ink materials with which to take prints of his hands and feet, cot cards and name tags and a host of other useful bits - all for us to keep and treasure, and to help use remember our little boy.
I would like to repay this kindness in some way, and to do something for Joshua. I would like to undertake a project with some contributions from the community with a view of selling or raffling off the completed project.
My current idea is a 10mm project - fantasy undead and orcs versus the 'free people'. The free people would be eclectic - a mix of whatever anyone wanted to contribute or paint that fitted the 'fantasy' setting. Arthurian knights, Elves, Dwarfs, Humans of any variety, Lizardmen, etc, etc - anything and everything from medieval or late medieval model ranges or fantasy ranges.
The baddies would be in black with a little red.
The set would then do some of the wargames shows in the UK, as a display or demo game.
The whole project would then be raffled (or auctioned) off - The proceeds would then go towards an appropriate charity in honour of my little boy whom I will never get a chance to share my hobby with.
This may take some time to organise, paint, set up, etc. Possibly it would take more than 12 months.
However, I would love if you, dear reader, could contribute in some way. Whether it be donating some unpainted 10mm figures, providing some painted 10mm figures or bits of terrain, etc, I would be grateful. It would mean a lot to me if someone out there would take some time to paint something for my little boy, that I could then use to raise some money for a cause which helped me and my wife when we needed it most. Either for a donation to the maternity ward or to the charity who provided the memory box we received.
I've not settled on unit sizes or base sizes yet - It would be more about look (massed ranks, ala Warhammer or Warmaster), with me either coming up with some simple rules or adapting something off the shelf. My initial idea is also that I would base the models, to keep both armies using the same basing technique. (edit: More information on these details can be found here).
If you think you would be able and willing to help, please let me know. This is very early in my thought process but the outline is there and I hope others can see my purpose and are willing to help.
James - dad of Joshua.