I’ve had this song stuck in my head all week. Why? Because I’m half way to my fundraising target! (62% of the way there actually, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it). Since I got my London Marathon place in September, friends, family, colleagues and complete strangers have rallied around me and donated an incredible £2,514.10. Even though I set my target quite high, I never expected to raise this much and I’m so grateful for every penny that’s been donated. Particularly to the audience members of a concert I was in last weekend who donated almost £1,000 of this total.
Whilst the dulcet tones of Jon Bon Jovi are particularly relevant to me this week, I really do feel like I’ve been living on a prayer all year.
Last Christmas, I was so depressed that I couldn’t enjoy my time with my family. We were at my aunt and uncle’s house on Christmas Day and I distinctly remember leaving the table midway through lunch. I went to the bathroom and sat on the floor and just cried. I could hear my family downstairs enjoying their meal, but I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t join in. This year, I’ve been given a second chance at life. All the odds were stacked against me in January and I was seconds away from death on several occasions. Despite my chances not looking good, I lived to tell the tale – something that I’m incredibly thankful for.
When you’ve lived through a near death experience such as the one I had, you get a new perspective on life. Suddenly, the important things at this time of year aren’t who gets to eat the last roast potato at Christmas lunch or who gets to decide what telly to watch on Christmas day. Those things are material. What’s important to me is the fact that I get another chance to spend a festive period with my friends and family.
So, I won’t be writing next week. I’ll be busy absorbing all the love my family have to give and getting ready to start the new year off a lot more positively than I did last year.
If you’re reading this, I wish you the happiest of Christmases with your nearest and dearest and, please, don’t forget to let those you are closest to how much you care about them.