Naomi Steenson feels at peace in Broome. It is a sentence the Perth mother never thought she would speak. But she said it with a warm grin during a holiday to the town last month — a trip that marked the first time she had set foot in her former home in more than a decade. Mrs Steenson, 49, was living in Broome in 1997 when her newborn baby Blake contracted whooping cough and died seven weeks after being taken to Perth for treatment when he was just four weeks old — a time she described as “every parent’s worst nightmare”. Her marriage soon fell apart due to grief. She was heartbroken and it felt like all but a few close friends could even look her in the eye. The feeling of isolation prompted her to leave town shortly after, before returning in 2008 with her new partner, a policeman. During this short stay, her mother, who was ill with cancer, had travelled up to visit her for her birthday. She died during the trip, in a shocking kick in the guts for Mrs Steenson who left Broome again soon after. Despite the cruel hand she felt the town had dealt her, the disability worker and mother of two refuses to let life get her down and chose to fly up with her partner Rob for a five-day getaway last month. It was then Mrs Steenson said she finally felt at peace with the town. “Broome has been very unkind to me and in the same sense I still love Broome and I’m not going to let it get to me,” she said. “It was when I was sitting at the surf club in front of Cable Beach where we released Blake’s ashes after he died that I just felt warmth, I felt like I was being hugged. “Mum and Blake were there with me, it felt surreal and I understand that feeling now, a feeling of being fulfilled and content. “It all just came together, I met my friend Clare Cowen at the surf club, who helped me and was my rock all throughout Blake, then another friend Jill Hames turned up — without even knowing I was in town — who was the one that helped me all throughout mum (mother’s cancer battle). Mrs Steenson said she had taken time for herself on Cable Beach to try and connect with her little boy. “Every night we’ve taken a photo at sunset and I’ve gone for a bit of a wander down the beach and had a bit of self-reflection,” she said. “I was thinking of the mixed emotions, the bad, the good in life. “Time definitely heals pain but then when you recover you also feel like you’re losing them. “That’s why this trip has felt so special to me because it’s helped me to reconnect and have that feeling again, I needed to connect with him and my mum.” Reflecting on the hardships she had faced during her time living in Broome, Mrs Steenson simply said “it was s....” “Losing my baby after going through six and a half weeks in intensive care ... it was just any parent’s worst nightmare,” she said. “We lost him several times throughout that time and then had to make the choice to turn his machine off. “We were able to hold him for a couple of hours before he passed away, then it all became so real. “The low point was walking out of the hospital without my little boy; life is so cruel. “Then my marriage had run its course because our views on how to deal with grief were so different, then I had a second heartache when my mum came to visit me on holidays and died while she was up here. “She had cancer. We knew it was terminal but she just wanted to come up for my birthday.” Mrs Steenson said she still thinks about Blake every day but also counts her blessings and lives life to the full. “I never got those milestones, his first birthday, what he would look like, anything like that, just a few pictures,” she said. “I think to myself what would he be doing now, what would his milestones have been, who would his girlfriends have been. “Now I work with special needs children for a high school, so it is nice to see these milestones in other kids, especially the boys. “It’s probably why I love working with boys. “But I’m definitely at peace, I’ve come to terms with every-thing, its the mindset I choose to have.” Mrs Steenson said her baby boy who she only knew for 11 weeks was still her inspiration each morning. “I have to make the most of any situation because Blake never got that opportunity to have this time in life,” she said. “I think he would be proud of me and my can-do attitude.” Mrs Steenson now lives in Perth with Rob and her two children Teisha, 24, and Demi, 22.