For the past few weeks I’ve been racking my brains as to how to spend the 2nd December and trying to second guess how my sister Rachael would have wanted me to spend it. I thought about broccoli picking, swimming. listening to folk legend Melanie, watching the big bang theory, recycling or going to a folk gig. Then I realised that I don’t need to limit everything to just one day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t remember my big sister, smile when I see a photo, shed a tear when I hear a song on the radio or brim with pride when I think about her no nonsense approach to life and how she would speak as she finds.
I didn’t want to just spend the day working and pretending that the date was just an ordinary day but then in some ways that’s the easy option. Thankfully my younger sister Miriam invited me down to London to meet my beautiful nephew Samson for the first time which is something that Rachael would have most certainly loved to do. I remember how her eyes would light up whenever I told her what Freya had been up to and how she cried when I gave her their hand made drawings.
I remember when Rachael became really ill with Motor Neurone Disease or ALS as it’s known in American. I felt like I shouldn’t have fun or enjoy things but now I know that’s totally not what she would have wanted me or any of my family to feel like. Life is for living and life is short. Rachael was only 46 when she passed away last year on the 2nd December and every milestone and family event will be hard as it will be the blunt reminder that she’s not here with us. I’ll always be checking that the restaurant has a ramp or watching that my words are grammatically correct. Over time I hope to be able to reminisce, smile and remember these memories without getting upset.
When Rachael was at an all-time low I was desperate to do anything to cheer her up. As a cure wasn’t an option I contacted Fairport Convention, Melanie and Sandi Toksvig (some of Rachael’s all time favourite people) to ask if they could send a personal message to Rachael and they all came back with such warm and heart felt messages which were truly inspiring and I’ll be forever grateful. All very different yet special in their own way so thank you again.
In the words of Finding Nemo no matter how hard life gets we’ve all got to “just keep swimming” and surround yourself with love and happiness as much as possible.