Well this rollercoaster of a ride all started a few weeks back, it all began
His death tore a big hole in my heart – he was my world. It was because of him I have became the plant woman I am today and also through him I met my husband and co-worker David, on his death the nameless Angel suddenly took on new meaning and we decided to name it ‘Treasured Memories’ a fitting tribute to the man who taught me the love and passion for plants but also for all those people who have been affected by cancer either directly or indirectly, our aim was to bring comfort and a loving reminder. So Treasured Memories came into being in March 2017. On it’s launch we dedicated 25% to the two charities that helped us so much in the final weeks of my fathers life – Marie Curie & St. Barnabas.
So during the 2017 season (March to October) we managed to raise over £200 in support of these two fantastic charities, so whilst writing my cheque I enclosed a letter explaining why I was sending the cheque and told the story of what had happened and how terribly grateful we were to these two charities for their care and help given, not only to my Father but to the rest of the family – their kindness and support made a super tough time more bearable and I will be forever grateful to the nurses.
Sorry! I digress, but have to give you a bit of a low-down on how we have got here today…. so please bear with me. So after sending this letter explaining why I was sending a cheque, I suddenly out of the blue receive a phone call from Marie Curie, asking if they could get a more formal interview on my story and my fathers battle with Cancer and most importantly the launch of Treasured Memories – of course I replied, so whilst sitting at the dining room table I gave a telephoned interview – it was all rather surreal and I never really thought much more of it. That was until a couple weeks later, whilst standing in the greenhouse potting some succulents – a job that always reminds me of my Dad – I received another phone call from Marie Curie, asking if I would be interested in sharing my story more widely and inviting me to be a part of the Great Daffodil Appeal which launches on the 1st March every year – I was somewhat speechless (which, anyone who knows me that takes some doing!!) Well of course I said YES!
So today, we find ourselves sat in the middle of Marie Curies headquarters in Vauxhall, London being treated royally with gorgeous sandwiches and plenty of coffee and talking about the Great Daffodil Appeal, the story of my father and the new plant we launched in memory of him and for all the people who have been affected by Cancer and the great launch they are doing next week that they want me to be a part of.
The great launch…. well I don’t know the full itinerary as yet but what I do know is this – on 1st March, in the early hours of the morning (about 2am I think they said) they start decorating. They decorate an area outside St Pauls cathedral with beautiful man-made Daffodils (approx. 4,000 of them!) and position lights to shine up through them when it is dark – this is called the ‘Garden of Light‘ – and relates to their tag-line “bringing light in the darkest hours.” This was certainly true in my experience of the charity.
There are audio stories from those who have benefited from the charity and visitors are then able to share messages for loved ones or memories on a big memory wall – this was such a poignant feature last year for visitors that Marie Curie had to erect a second board during the day to accommodate all the special memories. I can only imagine (and soon to experience) the atmosphere this event stirs, the memories it evokes and the pain and loss people have experienced through Cancer.
Of course through all this the charity hopes visitors will make donations big or small to help them continue to care and support the families and those affected by terminal illness. The Garden of Light remains at St. Pauls until the 11th March, but don’t worry if you are not in London there are events similar to this one being held across the country to support the work Marie Curie do so if you get the chance please go visit one.
So, that’s it, how an act of kindness in a moment of need has led to all this, I am so very honoured to be a part of this amazing event and can’t wait to be stood among all the daffodils, glowing in light and take a moment to remember the very special man who got me here! Thanks Dad x
And thank you for taking the time to read this! Will keep you posted on the event next week…..
If you wish to donate to Marie Curie they have an online donation page which you can get to by clicking HERE