Monthly Archives: April 2014

So Grateful, Humbled and Overwhelmed…

We have been overwhelmed by the all the many and various ways so many people have supported us through this difficult time. With relatives flying round the world to surprise us, old friends making wonderful and moving tributes and so many people offering their condolences both in person at the funeral and in many beautiful letters. We are simply humbled by all the support and know that Daddy would be so  touched – as someone wrote in one of the letters it is ironic that his funeral probably turned out to be the one party he would have died not to miss!

We couldn’t believe that even his gym sent us flowers…

The funeral was never going to be an easy day, but we were strengthened by the tremendous support of all our family and friends. We are so grateful to so many people, but especially Reverend Jenny Edmans for allowing us to use the All Saints Church in Brill and for guiding us through such a beautiful service; Esther Brazil for her heartbreakingly beautiful rendition of Laudate Dominum, which reduced us all to tears, but was the perfect send off! And S&R Childs for making the process as easy as it could possibly be under the circumstances and providing everything we asked for and many things we didn’t even know we needed. Daddy would have especially loved the yellow flowers which are still brightening up the house…

Perhaps the biggest tribute of all was the massively unexpected generosity of all who donated to the collection at the Church – even the Funeral Director couldn’t believe that we collected over £1700, which will go towards Cancer Research UK and hopefully ensure that others do not have to suffer as Daddy did.

We are also grateful to the fantastic recommendation of the Idle Rocks in St Mawes, where we took Mummy after the funeral for a surprise break in the hope that a few days away from it all would make everything easier to face…

It couldn’t have been a more perfect place and in the spirit of Alice’s poem, even the dreadful weather seemed appropriate…

I Live On

 I died but did not leave you.

I am here, and have not gone.
Though my spirit left my body
don’t be sad, for I live on.
 
 

My love is all around you.
Can you feel it? Can you see?
That gentle breeze upon your face

is not the wind… but me.
 
 

I’m the sweet song of a bluebird

when spring is in the air.
I’m the roses in a garden.
You can find me everywhere.
 
 

Whenever you are missing me

look up to heaven’s skies.
I’m the twinkle in the stars.
I’m the sunset, and sunrise.
 

 
I’m a raindrop and a rainbow.
I’m the ocean’s waves of blue;
So everywhere you go you’ll know,
I live on, loving you.

 

Despite everything we cried, laughed, walked (for miles!) and had a wonderful few days together…

On our last morning we awoke to an enormous rainbow encircling the town – perhaps we have all gone crazy, but we decided to interpret this as a sign that Daddy approved…

 

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Brave, Gentle and Loving to the end… Always an Inspiration

We know he only liked to share good news, but we don’t know how to make this sound they way he’d want it to…

David died on Monday (14 April 2014) with his family by his side.

His funeral will be on Wednesday 23rd April at All Saints Church, Brill, Buckinghamshire at 11am and all are welcome at Oak Grove afterwards to share stories and remember and celebrate his life.

He couldn’t have been a more loving husband, a better father or a greater man. We feel honoured, humbled and so privileged to have had him for so long. He will be forever in our hearts and we hope he will forever watch over us from a better place.

We are so grateful for the many beautiful letters from dear friends, including the quote below, which really captures his essence…

Some people just can’t help making a difference in our lives,
By simply being who they are,
They make the world a little brighter,
A little warmer,
A little gentler,
And when they’re gone we realise
How lucky we are to have known them.

Daddy, words can never convey how much we love you.

With you watching over us, we are more determined than ever to raise awareness and fund research in the hope that others will not have to suffer as you have done. Your kindness and Integrity will be a constant source of inspiration and we will forever draw strength from the many happy memories you’ve left us with…

Daddy never seemed to want to speak about death and we respected his wishes. But afterwards we wished we knew what his views had been; what he had feared, what he had hoped for. As if in answer he left a reference to this poem amongst his papers in the office…

Death is Nothing at All

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, 
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight? 

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well. 

Cannon Henry Scott-Holland
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Feeling more motivated than ever as we start our training in earnest…

It’s been a tough weekend with Daddy seeming to take quite a turn for the worse, but he’s still every bit as much a hero as ever!

The NHS have miraculously provided us with Celine – a “live-in” carer, who couldn’t be kinder – we feel so lucky to have her. But even she has said that she cannot understand how he can still be so alert and considerate despite all he’s going through – always apologising and thanking us all. Despite her 8 years as a carer she assured me that she has never encountered anyone with, “such a strong heart”, as she puts it.

His courage, patience and bravery are an inspiration to us all! And we couldn’t feel more keenly the desperate needs to raise funds to find new treatments for this all too common and all too barbaric disease.

At his insistence Alice and I went ahead with our first ever 20 mile bike ride into the centre of Oxford and back… aside from the hills it felt surprisingly easy – we had arranged to meet some friends for moral support and re-fuelling at the Isis Farmhouse, a really unusual Oxford tavern by the river. We were impressed by the Isis’s Chocolate Beetroot Cake and their scones weren’t too bad either 😉

 

It was good to get some fresh air, a quick endorphin fix and a sugar top-up…  Judging by Alice’s smile it certainly seemed to work for her!

it is magical down by the river and we even saw a few ducklings which plopped into the water one after the other before I got a chance to take a proper picture…

Isis Farmhouse (4)

Tikkun Olam – Our lovely cousin was with us today and he mentioned the Jewish theory of “Tikkun Olam” or the sense of responsibility that we all have to ‘heal the world’  and it just made me think that, while he may not have been religious, throughout his life and still even now Daddy has honoured this principle.

If only the world could heal him back.

 

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Light amidst the Darkness…

I randomly received a lovely message from an old friend today simply saying he hoped I could find some light among the darkness, and then tonight I came home to this…

I didn’t have a camera, but took these pictures on my phone to show Daddy and I think he liked them.

I haven’t read the Bible in ages, but was strangely reminded of this passage from Genesis…

Then God said,
“Here’s the symbol that represents the covenant that I’m making
between me and you and every living being with you, for all future generations: 
I’ve set my rainbow in the sky to symbolize the covenant between me and the earth.
Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow becomes visible in the clouds,
I’ll remember my covenant between me and you and every living creature,
so that water will never again become a flood to destroy all living beings…”

“Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”

I don’t have fixed religious views and can hardly believe I’m writing this , but it was such a strangely moving sight.  It did feel like someone was watching over us all, especially Daddy in his time of need 🙂

In the words of a much loved wizard… “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”

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So Happy with our New Bikes!

We were pretty pleased with ourselves this evening when we returned unscathed from our second ever bike ride on road bikes (the first being yesterday!)…

It is such a relief to discover that we actually like cycling 🙂 It could have been a bit of a disaster if we just couldn’t get the hang of it!! I can’t believe how much easier they are than the ‘Boris Bikes’, but at least it is a pleasant surprise to find I can actually make it up a hill without getting off!

We had a great chat on our ride this evening (yesterday we were too busy figuring out the gears etc to have the brain capacity for talking!) and we thought about how lucky we are to have something positive to focus on. It is so hard watching Daddy suffer. He is so brave and selfless, but I had no idea that modern medicine was so limited in it’s capacity to alleviate this kind of suffering.

Just getting out of the house for an hour, having to concentrate on learning something new and feeling the wind in our face was the most amazing relief.

We came back rejuvenated and refreshed,  and so much more able to cope. It’s amazing what a shot of endorphins can do! 🙂

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We Have Bikes! Thank You Cycles UK

All the guys at Cycles UK Bow Lane deserve a medal – they couldn’t have been more helpful this morning! And we are so grateful for their generosity.

As it turned out I needed to be at home in the evening to be with Daddy so we made a last minute decision to get up at 5:30am today to try and collect the bikes first thing… it turned out excellently. Despite the fact that we had made an appointment to get all the bikes and gear fitted at 4:30pm today – they weren’t at all fazed when we turned up at 9am.

We were in the shop for nearly THREE HOURS and Dave and Dane were so helpful and patient with us.  They made sure the bikes fit us perfectly – we actually cycled them indoors with the rear wheels raised so that they didn’t move, which surely is something every shop should do – so they can really see if you are able to move properly.

They fitted water bottle holders, bells, padlocks, armadillo tyresmulti tools and saddle bags all without any fuss and constant enthusiasm! We also got some seriously padded shorts (apparently an essential for long distances!) and very high viz jackets. The service was absolutely 5 star!  🙂

Alice even got a personal lesson in wheel removal…

To cap it all – we actually managed to leave some of our gear behind (we were a bit flustered by the time we left as we were in quite a rush to get back to Daddy, but by the time we’d got home Dave had already emailed us to let us know what we’d left and that he was posting it to our home address – amazing!!

Thank you so much Danny, Dave and Dane – We couldn’t be more grateful!

Thank you

I actually managed to do a short test ride this afternoon back in Oxford (my first real session on a road bike!) and couldn’t be happier with the bike and can’t wait to start cycling to work. If you’re thinking of buying a bike we can’t recommend these guys enough!!

Now we just need start working on the swimming… Aaaahhh!

Ps. I showed Daddy the pictures and I think even in his current condition he got vicarious enjoyment from seeing us get our new toys!

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