Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why you should sponsor 2...


When asked to write about my very special angel Mary, I thought 'of course', 'easy', 'why not?'.Now, here I am sitting down to write words I imagined would flow and I fear it might be impossible.

How do you possibly pay homage to one of the best people you have ever met? How do you pay tribute to a friendship, which spun the best part of 20 years??? Where do you find the perfect words only suitable for the perfect girl? How do you convey a lifetime of memories and a forever of gratitudes? I don't know!!!! I'm lost for words. (and I wish Mary hadn't distracted me so much in English class!)

I will however, do my best, and I'll start by telling you about her.

She came into my life early on, I think maybe in the swimming pool. And that was the start of it. The beginning of a beautiful, honest friendship, that I feel honoured and proud to have been half of.

Mary was the epitome of beauty, joy and radiance. She lived a life rich in everything and touched every heart that came her way. You could not but love this energising creature with a smile and a laugh that were utterly infectious. She never complained and took her illness in her stride. Always brave. Patient always. She was never 'sick', she just had CF. It was never an issue, never a problem, just a way of life.

She had hopes, dreams and aspirations just like every other girl. She had more courage and bravery then all the soldiers, in all the armies, in all the world. In lifes battles, nothing got in her way. She was so determined always. She was going to overcome her condition and never wanted any special treatment or recognition for her heroic ways.

Mary packed so much into her life, and she gave so much joy to mine. She liked holidays, spa trips, shopping, loved to gossip with the girls. Loved shoes, loved handbags, loved make up, loved fashion. She loved life. And most of all, she loved Alan.

As we grew up and got older and I started to read up and understand CF. I think I used to worry more about the future then Mary ever did. She had a wonderful attitude and would always say to me, 'what will be will be Clo'.

I knew God had great plans for her, I said this to her once and she said 'Oh, I'll make my mark yet!' Not only Mary, have you made your mark on the world pet, you're forever imprinted on so many hearts, in so many ways.

In 2005, Mary fronted the Irish Organ Donor Awareness Campaign,'My Life, Your Choice'. Although in desperate need of double lungs, Mary did his for transplant patients nationwide, not for herself. She simply wanted to raise awareness as the number of donors was depleting. On so many times she said, 'if one person gets a call after this, it will all have been worth my while'

This was Mary down to a T, always thinking of others, everything you would ever look for in a friend she had, Loyalty, Honesty, Beauty, Inspiration, Joy, Passion and support amongst so much more. She had a wonderful way of making everything ok, she often had an uplifting verse or poem or a cheeky grin or a simple 'cop on' or 'pull yourself together' that you couldn't help but pay head to. And God could she make you laugh, often til your sides hurt. (or until I thought she'd choke from the cough)

Mary was the type of person who when I was about to finish the book, PS I LOVE YOU, sent me a flower that day because she knew by time I got to the last page I'd be a blubbering mess. The card simply says 'because I know you'll be sad xxxx'. It was always four kisses. I'd give her three back. For that and for so much more, Mary, Thank you. She's the kind of person who had a card waiting to welcome me home after my travels. The sort of friend who organised my surprise 21st party.

We had plans to go to far away places and do so many things. Recent conversations often began with 'after your transplant', we'll do this and we'll do that, let's go here and let's go there. Of course we had unrealistic dreams too, but that's what dreams are for.

One of our plans from years ago was to drive across Europe in a camper van. This always makes me smile. And never fails to make people who know us laugh; everyone knows we wouldn't have space in a camper van for our shoes, handbags and cosmetics! Never mind actually journey somewhere in one! We may have set out on the trip but I have no doubts it wouldn't have been long before we phoned home for money to check into some posh hotel with a spa! And the laugh we would have had!

We planned our weddings, our dresses, bridesmaids, flowers, the works. The idea of Mary never been in any of that never ever came into play, not for a second. I was sure she'd get transplanted and live lifes dream. Her own positivity brushed off on all of us.

CF never held Mary back, if anything it gave her more of a push to do everything possible for her to do. She had such an amazing Aura and such a good outlook on life. All of Mary's CF friends whom I have befriended seem to all share this trait, I used to joke with Mary tat it must be built into the gene! I admire all PWCF and I know Mary did too. She found much comfort and solace, often inspiration in her CF friends.

To loose a friend to CF seems very wrong, I wonder why there is no cure, wish I was a scientist so I could invent one. Wonder why she couldn't have had one of my lungs (if we were compatible), I often used to ask her wouldn't one of my lungs be better then two of hers! She'd just laugh. I'd have given her both in a flash. I hope she knows I was serious.

To loose a friend so young is obviously something you never imagine. It's unfair, unjust, heartbreaking and wrong. To loose Mary is like having the life sucked out of life, its wrong beyond belief; it's something I can't describe. Something I know has not yet hit me. It's a huge void, a massive emptiness. It's lonely.

Under all the negatives, I feel honoured to have had a living angel in my life. I feel comfort in the fact she is now finally breathing easy and resting which she so deserves.

I feel thanks. Thank you Mary. For the good times. For your smile. For your flowers.

Thanks for your stories, for your gossip. Thanks for teaching me what life is about and that it's a gift. Thank you for your courage and bravery. Thank you for all the times you made me smile and the times you made me laugh so much we cried.

Thanks for the memories. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being you. Sleep tight and breathe easy. Mind me from up there and give Daddy a kiss. I love you to the moon, beyond and back. We'll all be along in a while.

Keep me a seat.


This piece was written by Mary's best friend. Please, help us see off CF. www.justgiving.com/emilysangels2007.


Kat said...

That's so beautiful, but so sad. It's always so sad. I'm proud to be one of your angels, Em - let's see off CF, for Mary and Sian, and for Emmie and Oli and Robyn and you, and all the other people affected.

Love always xxx

Sandylizz said...

That is so wonderfully written and a great tribute to Mary.... It so Hard to lose someone very close to you, and Im not sure it ever really sinks in that they have gone... You just learn to live with the fact you dont see them... I still see thing sand think I will tell my sis then realise I cant, (but mentally I still tell her) Once they are gone they never really leave our side... xx

sue said...

Hell Em, you manage to put into print what many of us feel, but find hard to put into words for the public to read.

You are an inspiration and I can't wait to meet you again.

Much love
Sue xxx

alan said...

Hi Emily , That was a beautiful tribute to Mary, as you know Mary fought so very hard with CF but at the same time she was also very determined to raise as much awareness of CF and Organ donation, She was one of the most selfless people i even had the privilage to know and love. whilst struggling with her own health she decided to take on a huge campaign that to date was the biggest one in Ireland. And to mirror your own words "If at least one person gets a transplant from this campaign,and she didnt, it would be worth it."
Your own courage and fighting spirit encouraged Mary to keep strong and most of all hope that she would recieve her transplant. Sadly that day never came and almost a year on from Marys passing people still acknowledge what a truly courageous and caring young woman Mary was. Mary had some wonderful friends in the UK and i know that she would be incredibly proud of the work they are doing to raise awareness. Emily i know your emails to Mary where a great comfort to her and she was very greatful to have such a wonderful friend in you. And i know she longed for you to get your transplant and live the life you dreamed of. Thank you for posting the tribute on your blog i know it would mean so much to her.
keep up the amazing work.
Love always Alan xxxx

Lorraine said...

I never knew Mary personally, but she is one beautiful young woman who keeps me focused when I'm feeling low - she draws me back to the "real world" and I'll make sure I pass on her special friends story to as many contacts I can and if I can put that story anywhere where people will read it and take notice, then I will. In fact, I will get it put on the boys website - in memory of Mary and as a reminder to people how fragile CF is and to show it's not picky on who it singles out.

siobhan said...

hi emily, passed the link round the offices at work so you should have a few more sponsors - saw that my boyf gav and one of the bosses here bob collins.
i'll be sponsoring you all too.

siobhan (from the cf forum)