It was my birthday yesterday, and I turned 38. I was going to dazzle you with a post about my new stationery design fad, with photos like this…
(depicting my age…)
(the work of my new beloved MS hole puncher…)
but I've been sidetracked by something far more important.
A little while back, in the blogspot days, I wrote a post about Harriet's stroke just over a year ago. It seems then that the time had come to get a few things "down on paper", as it were, to help me through what is, and has been, a very long and lonely journey.
Today I received a rather astounding phone call. It was from a barrister who I'd briefed about 2 years ago – a lovely fellow (a little eccentric which I liked), sharp, to the point, and capable enough to win our case with ease. But we really only dealt with each other for a matter of weeks, and I haven't spoken with him since. Anyhow, he tracked me down (having resigned from my job and finished on Monday(*)), and called simply to say that he had heard about Harriet and that I had been in his thoughts for the last 12 or so months and that he really wanted to make contact. Why? Well because, in his words, "I feel like we're now part of the same awful club."
But we're not. Two and half years ago, his little girl, 4 weeks shy of her third birthday, died during her afternoon sleep. No warning. No cause ever identified. Nothing. I cannot imagine the immeasurable grief that he and his wife and their families have endured, and continue to endure. Moreover, I cannot stop thinking about what sort of person he must be to pick up the phone and offer me such comfort, when I still have my little girl, however harrowing our experience has been.
I've felt so heavy hearted all afternoon, but also so buoyed by a conversation where someone else understands why I walk through life with a knot in my stomach and why I get anxious, irritable, angry and teary on a whim. Someone who understands that this journey will see me lose some friends, but gain others.
I've been thinking about Harriet a lot lately, and despite starting a new job next week (more on that later), I'm ramping up In The Round so that I can really start handing over some serious money to the Stroke Clinic. That's what ITR is about – so please, if you can spread the word, share the link, forward the blog, now's your chance. As a starting point, I'm hunting around for one special product which I'm going to nominate as "Harriet's", and 100% of the sales for that product will also go to the Stroke Clinic. I'm looking for something:
- $10-$15 price range
- Not limited to kids (well, maybe)
- In ITR colours of either black, white, turquoise or silver
The idea is that it be an "optional extra" at the checkout, but unlike a badge or more standard fundraising things, it will be practical. I figure it might just highlight the cause a little bit.
Don't forget, this isn't just about Harri. It's about all the little people who've endured things they shouldn't have, and their parents, carers, family and medical team who've been there every step of the way. It's about getting money, to get people, to get knowledge, to get answers, and to get help.
And to my friend, and dear little Iris, you're now part of ITR and all my thoughts.