Saturday, 24 March 2012

Celebrating mum at The St Anne's Hospice MCR Midnight Walk

11.20am, Saturday 15th 2002. 

England were beating Denmark in the second round of the World Cup in Japan, it was a lovely sunny day, there was chicken casserole for lunch and for everyone else it was just an ordinary day. But for Janet Staples - my mum - well that was the moment she left us - forever.

She was just 64 years old.

You can see more of mums paintings by clicking here

Six weeks earlier she'd been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. It came completely out of the blue and hit us all like a ton of bricks. We still miss her terribly.

This year it will be her 10th anniversary. I've learned a lot in that time about how to cope with grief and to deal with the difficult days. Of course everyone is different, but what I do is to plan something lovely and then try to power through - of course I think about her, and give myself time to remember, but I try to turn a bad day into a happy day.

On her first anniversary, Dad and I walked round the Derwent reservoir in the Peak District. 

Now nine years on we are going to celebrate the bright light that she was, by taking part in The St Anne's Hospice Midnight Walk. It's a 10K night time walk around the centre of Manchester on Saturday 16th June - I've promised Dad that he won't have to wear a flashing bra!

We're going to raise money and we are going to celebrate (I'll set up a Just Giving site nearer the time). 

We'll be celebrating Mum, but we'll also be celebrating the fact that the rest of us are still together 10 years on. And now with a new addition to the family - we'll also be celebrating mine and Tris' first wedding anniversary (if he hasn't chucked me by then!)

I'm telling you this now because there is an early bird discount if you sign up before the end of March - click here to sign up and join us .

Mum died in a hospice, where the staff cared for her beautifully. They treated her like the person she had been rather than the dying shadow she was. They gave her dignity. And while she didn't die in St Anne's here in Manchester, plenty of other people's mums have. And had things worked out differently for me two years ago, that's probably where I would have ended up. It might yet happen - who knows what the future holds.

So that's our plan for this year - to celebrate and do something good to remember a lady who spent her whole life doing good things for other people. Come and join us :-)

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