|Ralphie - Chloe's beloved retriever |
Before Chloe was diagnosed with the dreaded Ewing's Sarcoma, I never really thought about kindness. I don't think I was unkind, but I probably thought other qualities like drive, courage, determination were all far more useful.
Not any more. To me kindness is the single emotion that has meant more to me than any other during Chloe's illness. I remember and cherish every single kind word/gesture from all of our wonderful friends who supported us. It really was the kindness that made the difference.
No wonder the NHS is trying to hard to recapture the spirit of kindness. We had a beautiful young girl who was ill. You find kindness in so many places in this situation. Maybe not so much if your loved one is old, homeless, mentally ill. Not so much kindness around then. Another injustice in life I guess.
Chloe's dog Ralph is a kind dog. When we were sad he'd put his head on our laps, when we were happy he'd skip off down the path with us. He watched our mood all the time and corresponded accordingly. Ralph is great with empathy and now I spend a lot of time just cuddled up next to his warm, soft, loving body. Ralph was so important to Chloe and remains so to us. To others he's just a dog; to us he's in the heart of our family and epitomises how I wish to live my life from now on.
I had a tiny sense of happiness break through my gloom today as I was given the chance to share Ralph's kindness with somebody else who is having a very tough time. I met Hayley through my yoga class. She's young, beautiful and glamours and works as a nurse at Great Ormond St Hospital. She's also been caring for her Mum, who has had MS, for many years. You would never ever guess this - she reminds me of my Chloe - she lights up a room with her beauty, her warmth and her compassion. MS, like cancer, is a bitch of a disease. Buy Hayley adores caring for her Mum, she loves her Mum so much that the care - whilst exhausting - is an honour not a chore. I get that. And Hayley and I had an instant connection.
So Hayley is letting me bring Ralph over to see her Mum next week and hopefully we can take her out walking. The idea of being kind to somebody else pierces a hole in my sadness.
So this is something I want to capture as I want this blog to be primarily about how to find hope and survive when you've seen just what hell is like. I really hope that Hayley and her Mum enjoy Ralph; but I suspect that I will get just as much out of the visit. I'm already looking forward to it.
""kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."