While COVID-19 persists as a global threat and also reduces my opportunities for making in person donations, I have decided to continue with electronic ones for the time being.
A beautiful occasion presented itself to me, this time, on my literal doorstep, when I opened an envelope with a partially completed address to find a very touching letter to my mum from her friend, Tess.
I read the letter. I also took a photo of it and sent it to my brother and sister. I’m now also writing about said letter in my blog.
Tess is 79. She first wrote to my mum last year, almost 15 years after their factory closure forced them to seek alternative employments and ultimately cease their communication, to tell of losing her only daughter to heart failure. Tess started that letter with “I hope you don’t mind me sending you this note, I have some terrible news” and closed it with “you and I have always been friends so I thought I would tell you”. I admit I had heartache by the end. I was overcome with sadness for Tess and her loss and full of such pride that my mum was the person Tess contacted with whom to share her grief.
I have been inspired by Tess’s letters to donate to Friends of the Wisdom Hospice, the fundraising arm of The Wisdom Hospice. I did a brief voluntary stint on their ward as a teenager. I spent my week there serving tea and having conversations with the patients as I did the rounds. While it’s questionable if I added any value during my time there – thinking back to my 16 year old self, I’m not sure I was qualified to do either of my duties particularly well – I am eternally thankful for the experience.
The Wisdom Hospice, like all other hospices, does phenomenal work in ensuring all patients, their families and their carers do not feel alone and are physically and emotionally supported during a very challenging time in their lives. I have donated £50 to support them in achieving their vision and I have also purchased an adorable Olly Owl keyring from their online store.
I will finish this post today by saying thank you to Royal Mail for continuing to decipher the address on each of Tess’s letters and successfully delivering them to my mum. They helped to reconnect a wonderful friendship at the time it was needed the most. Thank you.