While my heart beats

Today I seem to have been ranting about all sorts. I am in a good mood and feel ok. But I have kinda enjoyed being a grumpy old woman. The stupid eejit doing donuts in the car park across the road got called a (willy, but ruder) on facebook. I whinged about 2 programmes being on tonight at the same time (until Becster reminded me about ‘+1’ channels on Sky. Huzzah for her and Sky). And I went to town about a telesales call I had where I have asked them numerous times to stop calling and emailing.

But so many wonderful things have happened, too. I got the fry up spot on for the boy before he went on his trip. He arrived safely and is no doubt scoffing again (Chinese, I predict) and on his way to being merry with Pops. Brill.

I received email and messages today that have moved me. Really moved me. From people I do and don’t know. They reminded me again that the world is full of wonderful people.

I feel good. I feel humbled.

And I sit here now and think of the email from Mummy a few days ago that told me that people in Africa are praying for me.

I was brought up a Catholic, though I don’t practice any faith now. I am truly humbled and honoured by anyone who wishes me well in any way. This story is worth telling about how people in Africa are praying for lil old me.

One of my best friends as a child was Tania. We used to go to school together and she was from a pretty affluent family. We used to spend hours playing in their lovely house. Things I remember most were the playroom and the garden. In the playroom, we used to give those sofas some hell, I can tell you jumping all over them and flipping them over on occasion. We did girl stuff and we made angels in the snow. Generally a great time was had by all.

Tania and her family were Catholic, too and we all attended St Swithuns in Yateley, where I grew up. Father Carroll was the fat jolly priest in those days. It was a fairly serious church and the mass was yawntastic for my childlike mind. I used to be able to say everything without thinking. I didn’t realise at the time, but the sound of the bells and the smell of incense would stay with me forever. I find it very comforting to be in a church even now. Especially that one.

I did however spend most of the time looking to see if there were any good looking boys. Obviously this was probably by the time I got to a suitable age. Like 4 or something. Ha.

Anyway. Tania’s elder brother was delish and you cannot imagine my delight when he broke his leg and started wearing shorts all the time due to the plaster. Of course, I didn’t give his discomfort a second thought at the time! Church was a joy for quite some time.

Sean went to the same school as my stinky brother. I didn’t really know him (Sean, not stinker). But he looked so fine and he was always nice to me. I can’t remember any conversation with him. It was the shorts. And the HUGE wooden Rosary he had in his room that I remember. I can’t remember why I knew about that. He was much older and we never used to ‘play’. I can’t remember anything else about his room. Or much of the rest of the house to be honest. I can’t remember whether I was allowed in his room or whether I had sneaked a peek one day out of curiosity much the same as I do with bathroom cabinets (sometimes!).

He was a good man. One of the best.

He died on 2nd January 1993. Bloody hell. That long ago.

He was shot dead in Somalia by a hired gunman.

He was working for UNICEF at the time. He was known to be outspoken and just wouldn’t put up with things being ‘ok’ or ‘not ok’. He had to make things happen and change what he could to improve life for others. He fought (peacefully) for what he believed in. And it lost him his life. He was younger than I am now.

He was and is still known for saying ““While my heart beats, I have to do what I think I can do – and that is to help those that are less fortunate”

I think about him often and he inspires me. He lived an extraordinary life. He was an extraordinay man.

There is a charity that has been set up for years and his work continues. I know he will be chuffed at that. Mummy is involved with it, and the church and I love that. People around me now are helping me so much while I am here. And those close to me and I guess those that read this blog know that I have done a bit for charity but I don’t wish for my own charity or legacy. I have never done anything for this charity before but this is my way of making people know it exists, and perhaps providing more inspiration for the PMA crew who follow me. It inspires me more than I have ever said.

The charity is the reason these people so much less fortunate than me all the way over in Africa are praying for me. I thank you.

And every one of you that even fleetingly thinks of me and thinks something nice. Thank you.

8 responses to “While my heart beats

  1. Awesome post Pash. Absolutely awesome.

  2. Seans’ story is wonderful and inspiring. A life that continues to give joy and hope.

    Some people are real assets for the World.

    You are. Not just to your friends and family but to anyone that meets you in any way (including here) and is touched by your PMA, your realness, your frankness, the joy you find in little things like the sun in your window and your twinkling smile xx

  3. Well written Babe – very moving – and I am glad today feels good for you – you are an inspiration to all who hear your story, including your family

    Yes, Sean was a gem, an ordinary person leading an extraordinary life – It was his family who set up the fund to help them cope with their loss and it was your brother who set up the website and maintains it to this day

    It is a team of Trustees who manage the fund – my part is so small – All volunteers therefore no cost to the fund

    Many too in Africa who work hard to make the lives of the ‘less fortunate’ a little better

  4. Hi Pash,

    I started following your very down to earth and sensible posts on the BCC forum and often smiled at your frank and wonderfully refreshing attitude to the way you approach not only this terrible disease but life itself – you do not allow cancer to define who you are and that to me is an inspiration! I so do not want to be seen as the person with Cancer, but as ME, and you have helped me to have the strength to do this.

    I read your posts daily and have such powerful emotions about how you write and how you see things. I wish you every happiness and please, please continue to write such heartfelt posts, telling it like it is. I am so pleased to have ‘met’ you and feel that you have helped me on my own BC journey, continue to enjoy the sunshine as I am sure you are a ray of sunshine to all who know you.

    Much love and hugs
    Dena xxx

  5. Pash what an amazing post and what an amazing legacy your friend’s family have made for Sean…

    I remember when you first posted on BCC and said hello and that when you posted on a forum you tended to put your heart and soul into it 😀 I soon realised you obviously put your heart and soul into everything you do…:D

    Sending you much love and definatly thinking nice thoughts…

    Love Theresa x

  6. Pash, you really do have a way with words, I’ve given up reading books since following your blog and long may it continue, I need something to read at bedtime!

    Seriously, thank you for making me smile today

  7. Your writing skill grows and grows, you find a direct line to the heart without sentimentality, not easy to do. xx

  8. What a brilliant post for enlightening us all to the work your friend did and what the charity continues to do. I have read the childrens letters on the website and felt truly humbled by one little girls faith in God. It’s so easy to get caught up in the materialism of this world, when in fact, to overcome any adversity it is the power of spirit that carries you through and no amount of money can buy you that. I love your blog by the way and the picture of your eyes, they are beautiful, they and soooo sparkly!

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