Monday, 6 July 2009

what a weekend

Well what a few weeks it has been but this weekend has been especially amazing.

My best friend's daughter had her bat mitzvah - the equivalent of a boys bar mitzvah - coming of age and to be part of their special occasion has caused more than a few tears from me - for all the right reasons. I have been heavily involved in the preparations, making the invitations, table plan etc and helping Debra choose her outfits which has meant that I have felt like one of the family, I even ended up washing up after afternoon tea/dinner on the saturday night. Paige was magnificent, looked spectacular all weekend and did her mum and dad proud. Her Dvar Torah (talk) on saturday in the synagogue in front of near on 300 people was amazing, clear and brilliantly delivered and I felt so proud to see that little girl so grown up. The afternoon tea today was amazing too and listening to her give her speech was wonderful, even though I was exceptionally nervous as I had written it with her LOL.

But to add to the amazing weekend was the fact that I took part in the Race for Life at Temple Newsam in Leeds. Not long after Stewart died, Gemma suggested that we should once again take part in this amazing event. Well not to do things by half, I thought what if I got a few friends to join in. Well, those few friends turned into 68 wonderful ladies and young girls - gemma's friends, who met with us sporting tshirts with Stewart's name on the back. Everyone bought their own tshirt and thanks goes to the wonderful printers, screenmachine, who charged very little for the tshirt and printing. he even did special ones for Gemma and I. I had expected about 40 people to join me, but no, 68 of them came with another 5 in the afternoon event. I was overwhelmed by the wonderful support of everyone but to see Gemma's friends join with us and do this fantastic walk/run was amazing. The walk was hard, with some exceptionally difficult hills but we took it steady and I am so proud of gemma for doing the whole 5K without moaning (well only a couple of times).

On the walk I found myself meeting some lovely people too but the greatest surprise was when an arm when round me and I looked to find one of Stewart's consultants. She had seen the tshirts and was very moved by the number she had seen, and she was only seeing a small percent of them. She had spotted me and came for a chat which was lovely, and without realising it she helped me answer some of the questions I had had. I now realise that what Stewart had was exceptionally rare and he was exceptionally unlucky and NO ONE could have changed the outcome. In some ways this has given me more peace than anything else.

To come round the last corner to find friends and family who had already completed the race or were there to support us was amazing as were those at the finishing line cheering us on. Gemma and I went through the finish holding hands and I have to say to see her beaming face as we finished, was the last straw and i broke down. The emotions of the day getting the better of me.

What surprised me most was the response of our friends supporting us and those taking part with us - they all said how incredible it had been to do it (some of them having done it for many years) and that it had had so much meaning but that also they thought so much of me for organising out group - no mean feat to get 60+ women organised, I can tell you. Yet, I don't think I am incredible, for me it is them that are incredible. You see I lost Stewart and I want to desperately find the cure for cancer - which I personally can't so all I can do is raise as much money as possible to help Cancer Research. It is those women and the kids that turned up having been sponsored to support me that are amazing and incredible. It is them that took time out of their busy lives to be by gemma and my side. It is them that walked the 5K with me. It is them you see at the top of the page (well most of them, my organisation isn't that good LOL). They are the incredible ones, more so because I decided to set a silly target of £5000 between us. And do you know what - they did it - and more. We are waiting for a final figure but I am so proud to have these people as my friends and colleagues. They truly are an amazing group.

I must also mention the fact that although they all ran for Stewart, each and everyone there ran for family and friends lost through this awful disease, and one special young lady was remembered more than any other amongst us. Kitty Doerfler, who died aged 18 months after fighting Leukemia from birth. I was honoured to walk alongside her Mum, Sarah, today - someone who came into my life since I lost Stewart but who has become a best friend. She is an amazing lady, strong, brave, courageous, funny, loving and warm - Sarah I admire you for everything you do and Kitty would have been proud of you today, I know how hard it was to walk with us all when we had our daughters there but I promise you, Kitty was by your side today as she is every day, smiling down on you.

After all this, my feet hurt, I am absolutely drained emotionally and physically but I am also exceptionally proud, not just of everyone round us and of Gemma but of myself because I did this, I made it happen and I have managed to succeed at turning the negative into a positive which was my goal. Now it's time to start organising, alongside St Gemma's Hospice, the mens walk - the Stewart Rudette Anniversary Walk which will be held on October 18th. And I will be challenging the men to beat the ladies fundraising :)

Good night to everyone and god bless you all, so many of my UKS friends have taken the time to support me through this and sponsor me - I couldn't have done it without you.

Miss you Stewart every second of every day but I hope today Gemma and I did you proud xxxxx


Eileen said...

Will you please stop reducing me to tears, Susy?!
Just checked in on my return from holiday, and once again I'm moved by your account of your fabulous weekend.

I know you are proud of Gemma, but there are so many of us who are proud of you, and all you've managed to achieve over such a ghastly difficult time.

I'm glad you 'bumped into' one of Stewart's consultants, it was probably a lot more helpful than any number of 'consultations' at the hospital or hospice would have been, especially now you can look back with a bit of perspective on how dreadfully unlucky he was to have what he had.

Sending a heap of congratulations, and a few hugs for the sore feet too!

Eileen xx

kjjc said...

Ironic that both eileen and I should visit here on the same day. Both of us reduced to our usual tears and inspired by your bravery. Good for you girl and well done to Gemma too.