A magical week

I’m not quite sure I can find the words to describe this last week. Being in that field In Wem has again surpassed any expectations I had.

I have been cocooned in a place where people get me. Where people understand my life. Where people share my joys and my heartaches.

Laughter is the greatest medicine of them all and this week there has been some dramatic healing going on.

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People came with stresses and worries and for this last week we have left them all behind and reminded ourselves of the true beauty In life, FRIENDSHIP

We all feel stronger with a good friend by our sides and that’s what this week has been about.

Community.

This week in that field in Wem has been incredible.

We have had fun days with bouncy castles and BBQs.

We have had balloon releases to celebrate and remember those that have gone before us. Tears have fallen and hearts have ached but together we were surrounded by love that eased our grieving souls.

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Everyone of us remembering a child or a loved one who was taken too soon.

The fragility of life with our children was there in the disappearing balloons but also the reminder to live life to the the full was there too.

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The special Olympic races were so much fun. The sheer joy and exhilaration as the children in their wheelchairs were raced along by competitive parents or teens.

Adults races with father and son determined to beat each other, young and old, wheelchair bound or wobbly walkers we had it all.

For me this was such a special time. Watching the faces of the children as they reached that finish line was priceless and such a wonderful memory to store up and cherish forever.

Special kids in the UK camp to me is all about grabbing life by both hands and living it.

The expectations and assumptions for our children get left at the gate.

I’ve spent a lot of time this week people watching and have had my heart refreshed by human kindness.

Teenagers being dragged about by toddlers. Young adults being followerd by young admirers.

I’m so proud to call these people my family.

I have had such a wonderful time. I could write blog post after blog post.

Sharing stories of a crazy gentleman who dress up in ball gowns.

Of a young man who defined the odds and took his first steps.

Of a terrifying car crash that thankfully only ended in a written off car, of the young driver who didnt care about about said car as long as his passengers were all ok.

Of trips to McDonald’s without shoes and of belly dancing and bottom talk.

I could share so much,

It was truly a magical week and although I am glad to be home in the comfort of my bed I am already missing my friends.

My nights around the campfire and the stories we share. Of drooping marshmallows and shared dreams.

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Camp was amazing this year I got to meet up with old friends and to make new ones.

Also my new motto from this week is simply

“Kill them with kindness”.

I love it.

It’s more than just the dress

After my last blog post about my amazing weekend I have a confession to make.

Yes the ball was a great experience.

Yes it was amazing to be with my good friends.

But I really really struggled.

People who have met me in real life will know that I’m an outgoing person who will pretty much chat to anyone.

But I am also rather insular.

I need my own space.

I hate crowds

I hate feeling like I’m not myself.

This is what happened this weekend.

It seems silly but the moment I put on my dress for the ball my confidence left me.

People using the words beautiful

Refined

Elegant

So not me.

I wasn’t comfortable

I didn’t feel real

Why did I do this to myself?

Even when ordering the dress I knew I wasn’t going to feel great in it.

I don’t do elegant, I do black and gothic.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

When out of our normal day to day life why do we put on a facade.

Why isn’t who we are good enough?

I’ve learned a valuable lesson and it’s a lot more to do with me than the dress.

It’s ok to hate crowds

It’s ok to love your jeans

And it’s ok to be me.

The crazy thing is my friends on this evening out have been my friends through the good times and my friends through the hardest times too.

They love me regardless.

Our friendships were forged on campsites where no-one I mean no-one can look great emerging out of a sleeping bag in the middle of a field.

We loved each other through morning breathe and we loved each other through many bottle of wines.

I had no need to pretend.

They love me for who I am.

Now i have only got to learn to accept these things about myself and the lesson will be truly learnt.

Oh and of course I need to find the perfect gothic dress just in case.

An inspirational night

On Saturday I attended a spring ball
held at the Queens hotel in Leeds a beautiful and very regal hotel. With stunning architecture and incredible rooms.
The reason I attended this ball was to help raise funds for charities that I am passionate to support, Special kids in the UK being one of them.

Yet this ball was extra special as it honoured a beautiful little girl Lucy Mai.

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Four years ago last november Dean and Annie and my husband and I faced the worst thing that could ever happen to a parent. The loss of a child. Within a week of each other we lost Livvy and they lost Lucy Mai.

Within a week our hearts were forever broken.

We began on the journey nobody ever wishes to start.

The year after our loss Dean and Alan invited Alan and I to the Lucy Mai’s Spring Ball. To join them as they raise funds in celebration of the life and the gift of Lucy Mai.

Now I can tell you that we didn’t attend due to money issues, child care etc but the truth is we didn’t have the strength.

You see to be part of the world of special needs when you have a child with disabilities is hard.

Yet to stay part of the world when your connection to it is lost is truly courageous.

And that is what Dean and Annie are , truly courageous.

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So four years on we finally found the strength to attend.

We were there on Saturday raising funds in memory of Lucy Mai. A beautiful young girl who was a gift to her parents and to all that knew her.

We there to raise funds to support charities that are lifelines to parents with children with disabilities. Each in its own way giving strength to many on this hard journey.

I know that Dean and Annie would tell you that they don’t do this all alone. That they have an amazing team behind them and yes to that team I say thank you.

But to Dean and Annie I want to say this.

“I’m sure Lucy Mai is looking down on you both with such pride.

You are a amazing couple who have faced heartache with such grace and courage.

I think I write on behalf of many when I say thank you for all that you do.

But I write on a personal level when I say that you both rock and that you both are inspirational”

Saturday night was a memorable night in so many ways.

I’m praying the night raised lots of money.

I’m also praying Dean and Annie realise how truly amazing they are.