Today you should have turned 65. We miss you every single day but life events, both big and small make us miss you even more.
Your birthday won’t be going by without a celebration. Mum, Abbi, Louie, Mila and I are raising a glass to you (OK Louie and Mila won’t be) by your memorial leaf in the tropical biome of The Eden Project tonight. You'd love your new hang out, it's right at the top where you can see the whole biome and lots of your handy work. You're also right next to the wobbly bridge so you can laugh at everyone struggle to walk properly as they cross in surprise!
We cannot thank the Eden team enough for everything that they did for you during your sickness and continue to do for us. From allowing us to host a celebration of your life event at Eden to letting Mum choose the perfect spot for your leaf and even smuggling us into the biome on your birthday with a bottle of bubbly when all the visitors have left. I can see now why you loved working there so much and were so proud of everything you did with your awesome team.
Bowel Babe, Dame Deborah James ended her battle with bowel cancer this week. Her zest for life really amazed the nation and reminded me of your outlook even towards the end of your life. It's really great to see the awareness of bowel cancer now. They're even adding symptoms to toilet paper packets!
Her final words shared with us were “find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”
I know that you found a life worth living, you certainly had your fair share of risks taken, thankfully you had no regrets and we all know you had rebellious hope, always. We're grateful you did 'check your poo' and allowed us to share more time with you and more special memories. You managed to persuade lots of your friends to do the same and here's hoping with the help of Bowel Cancer UK, more people will get diagnosed early from the increased awareness that comes with a high profile loss such as Deborah's.
You'll be pleased to know, I'm finally in my new house. That's right....homeowner! It's a very scary concept to me as it seems I may have to start growing up. Naaaaaah! I have many friends and family to thank for helping me get moved and I'm beyond excited to start making some changes that it deserves. I wish I could talk you through all my plans and have your cheap labour too if I'm asking! I think you'd be happy to see me here. It feels like my home already, even with the wallpapered ceilings and red carpet stairs. You always said to plant a tree first when you move into a new home, so you'll be pleased to hear that I say good morning to Neil the eucalyptus tree every single day and you're growing pretty fast!
Giving you a big birthday squeeze from all of us. We love you. Happy Birthday.