The main reason for this post is to raise awareness for a charity I am raising money for, along with some close friends. We will be running our first (and quite possibly my last) half marathon in February for a particularly special charity, which has been a big help to our close friend who is currently battling cancer. For more details and a link to our justgiving page please scroll to the bottom of the post.
Before I go into the details, it feels relevant to reflect on the year and explain why I haven’t been blogging much lately.
This year has seen two family deaths for us. And my biggest regret is that I hadn’t seen my Aunt and Uncle in the months before their death. There’s always some work I needed to do, and then also trying to focus on my relationship with my husband as the past 3 years has been challenging with infertility looming over us.
Sitting in their funerals I felt a fraud, that extended family member who was deeply saddened by their death, not that you would expect it because after all… I hadn’t made the effort to see them for months. I just hope that they knew how many fond memories I have of them throughout my childhood, and how I hope to take some aspect of their personality through with mine.
This feeling of regret, combined with a sadness that we may never have our own little family unit, has made me seriously take stock of how we live our lives and who we spend our time with.
I read an article that said towards the end of peoples lives it wasn’t wealth, health or even relatives that governed happiness. It was how connected they felt to the people around them. Feeling like you belong, and being part of a community was highly important to overall happiness later in life. This gives me comfort, because I realise it’s not just about blood relations, and the children we may never have. Family is what you make it.
So for the past few months, I’ve been trying to not only keep on top of the housework but also spend time with friends and the people I care about most. Which has left little room for the blog, but I’m OK with that.
One person, in particular, I love like a sister is my best friend Jess. We have a really easygoing friendship, in that we don’t expect anything from each other, and love each other dearly, which means we always see the best in each other. She makes me feel like the person I want to be and somehow manages to see something good in me even when I’m at my worst. This unconditional friendship is something I truly cherish, and only one other person has ever made me feel that good, My Nanny Olive who died when I was 14 (and who I think about every day).
Jess isn’t one to text and call, which is good because neither am I. But I remember one day this summer having a few missed calls off her and thinking something must be up. I managed to ring her back, only to hear the devastating news that makes you go cold, her boyfriend had cancer.
It’s strange being on the outer circle of a crisis. You feel for the people involved even though you’re not direct family. You feel guilty for being able to go home and switch off from it. When you laugh at something funny you have a pang of guilt because you wonder how they’re feeling right that moment. You even feel guilty for feeling sad and crying about it, because after all, it’s not happening to you; ‘pull yourself together and stop being so self-centered!’
You also feel helpless. There must be SOMETHING you can do! Food parcels? Well wishes? It’s hard to know what’s overstepping the mark. And the last thing you want to do is bombard them, but you also desperately want to help in any way you can.
This is what lead to her cousin, sister and myself signing up for the Llanelli half marathon.
They had found the help from a local cancer support centre really useful, so her cousin and sister decided to raise money for them, and I joined in.
It’s called the Old Mill Foundation and offers emotional support, as well as complimentary holistic therapies to help get them through the grueling cancer treatments at the hospital.
I’m not a great runner, at all! I get bored and struggle to keep running continuously. Little did I know a half marathon is in fact just over 13 miles! When you think about how far that is it seems daunting, especially for a novice like myself. But when I’m struggling to keep going, am tired, aching and soaking wet from having to train in the rain I remind myself of what they’re having to go through.
I am privileged that I can go out for a run whenever I want and am healthy enough to be able to do so, and if I had just an ounce of strength that Darren has shown so far I would have nothing to worry about. This is what gets me through the training, and keeps me going to the ultimate goal of raising money for The Old Mill Foundation, and completing the half marathon.
I am so incredibly proud of all the strength My best friend Jess and her now Fiance Darren have shown throughout these past few months. They are truly inspirational and I love them dearly.
So we would be absolutely honoured if you would donate to our justgiving page to help us raise money for The Old Mill Foundation, and also to give me extra incentive to get through it!
For now it is set up as a crowd funding page, until The Old Mill has registered with Justgiving.
I'm Lisa and this is the Lovely Appetite blog. I’m always experimenting with recipes, hunting through cookbooks for inspiration or trying out new places to eat. Please browse the site and enjoy reading about my findings.