Sunday 3 May would have been Bluebell Walk; an opportunity to walk in memory of a loved one. Here’s Mike story about remembering his wife, Dee, by deciding to walk the Bluebell route in his own time.
“My wife, Dee, died from ovarian cancer at St Christopher’s on 29 December 2016, after 22 wonderful years of marriage together. When we were told about Dee’s diagnosis, we went through every emotion you could imagine; sadness, anger, and just wondering: ‘why us?’ But together we got through several rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and immunotherapy. Still, it wasn’t enough and I found myself having to say goodbye to Dee and face a life without her.”
“The horror of losing someone that you are deeply in love with is mitigated by how much they are cared for by other people and also how much you are cared for by other people too. The support that I received was far greater than anything I could have imagined. The staff gave me advice on ways that I could help Dee feel more comfortable and how to help get her to the toilet while she still could. These might sound like small things but being able to feel useful and like I was helping made a huge difference.”
The horror of losing someone that you are deeply in love with is mitigated by how much they are cared for by other people and also how much you are cared for by other people too. The support that I received was far greater than anything I could have imagined.
“The hospice is always in my mind and when, just after the New Year I received an email promoting Bluebell Walk, I thought this would be a great way to continue supporting the hospice. It is particularly fitting as Dee and I were both avid walkers and have walked much of the Bluebell routes ourselves. It will certainly bring back a lot of lovely memories for me.”
Sadly, we had to cancel Bluebell Walk due to Covid-19, but that didn’t stop Mike! After passing his £400 fundraising target, Mike set off on his own Bluebell journey as Team Dee.
“I did it – on my own and keeping a safe distance from the few people I met on the way. The hospice were great in providing me with a t-shirt to wear. And what a day to choose for it with cloudless skies, a bit of a nip in the air at first but t-shirt weather later on.”
Mike also talked about how his journey brought back such lovely memories of walks with Dee.
“The first part of the walk went very well apart from one muddy slither that reminded me of a time when, in similar terrain, Dee badly twisted her ankle and we had to sit her on a bench while I went to approach a local farmer to phone for a taxi – no phone signal in those days. He was extremely kind and drove us back to Otford where the car was parked.”
Finishing the walk and arriving at The Blacksmiths Arms, which is currently shut, Mike enjoyed a well-deserved packed lunch to end his 2020 Bluebell journey.
Mike assures us that “I’m now in full lockdown mode except for the odd walk round the block as I’m wearing pathways in the garden”.
Mike set up a JustGiving page for the event – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-raggett1 – and has so far raised an incredible £1,096!
Well done Team Dee and thank you Mike for stepping up for St Christopher’s by doing your own Bluebell Walk.
Like Mike, you can Step Up for St Christopher’s by challenging yourself to take 5,000 steps a day throughout May. Find out more about the our Step Up challenge here: www.stchristophers.org.uk/stepup