Monday, 7 January 2008

Sally.

I didn't go for my easy 3 miler today as it just wasn't possible, what with hubbie's work/sleep patterns, children etc etc. Still, never mind. Hal Higdon said today should be a rest day anyway so that's fine by me.

So far I have reached 15% of my fundraising which is great. A big thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far!!

If you have been reading this blog from the start then you will hopefully know why I am running for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. If not then I'll tell you now. My Mum was a nurse in Liverpool and one of her great friends was a lady called M. Years later, having been living in different parts of the country for ages, they came across each other again and as both had families now they rekindled their friendship.

The A family and my family were inseparable. We went on holiday together, had weekends together, tea together. Our parents went to dinner dances together and spent evenings together. The 4 of them got on like a house on fire. And we children did too. There were 4 children in my family and 2 in theirs - a girl, Sally and a boy, R.

Sally was a freckle faced redhead with a button nose and a ready laugh. My brother, M, always had a soft spot for her and I remember them being very very embarrassed when caught having a kiss one day !! I remember Sally coming riding with us one day and she was scared stiff of the horses. When I heard she'd got her own horse ( they had moved away by then ) I couldn't believe it. But when I saw her on her glossy, bucking pony, flying over jumps and supremely confident I was amazed. But that was Sally. She wouldn't let anything beat her. She not only overcame her nervousness of horses, she ended up doing cross country, dressage, show jumping and exercising local hunters.

Everyone who knew Sally loved her. And that's not just said for the sake of it. How could you not love her ? She was funny and feisty, clever and kind. She married and had 2 gorgeous children, a husband who adored her. They moved to America and lived a life I could only dream of with a big house and a place by the lake for weekends. She was fit and healthy and loved her sport.

And then she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had gone for a routine check as the disease had occurred before in the family. And the check showed a big tumour that she hadn't found self-checking. Sally and her family did everything humanly posible to fight against her illness. There were ups and downs. Their neighbours and friends in America rallied round and did all they could to help, cooking, baking, babysitting. M went back and forth across the Atlantic, unbelievably strong and caring in the face of everything. Sally's husband sent e-mail reports on the state of her health. She fought and fought.

But eventually it was too much. She passed away too soon. She only reached mid-way into her 30's and left 2 great children, her lovely husband, her wonderful mum, her brother. And a lot of friends who miss her still, who still can't quite believe that feisty ginger has gone.

Maybe I shouldn't write about Sally like this, maybe I should keep it all private. But tonight M sponsored me and said that Sally would be proud of me, and do you know what ? I felt a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat because I am proud to have known Sally.

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