I walked in, having finished the morning’s work before I would normally have left the house. It is almost like having a day off. The dog looked at me reproachfully from under the sofa cushions… at least until I picked up the leash. She hadn’t been happy about my early morning sortie without her, long before the hour when she would normally have been up and about. Ever hopeful, she had still managed to dump the tennis ball at my feet. I had looked reproachfully too… at the alarm clock. Three in the morning is no time for the damned thing to start shrieking that I needed to be up for work. I wasn’t alone though and it wasn’t all that long before the half-expected text came through, checking I was up and would be there on time.
The roads were clear. Few are out at that time of day, so the drive in the dark took little time and, as all preparations had already been made, I hoped the morning would unfold smoothly. Which, surprisingly enough, it did, with time for another run through of the speech while Nick decided whether he was more stable standing with knees flexed or locked if he had to hold both his notes and his walking frame. “You don’t have to think about this stuff,” he pointed out, quite rightly; the behind-the-scenes planning is far more complex than most people would ever know.
Breakfast and a final steaming of the suit, the poppy pinned to the lapel and the walking frame strapped to the back of the wheelchair… then I waved Nick off on his way to the station, where he would meet his companions, with whom he had competed in the triathlon. They are on their way to London, the UKABIF convention and the Royal College of General Practitioners, where, according to their website, Nick “will be a guest of honour” so they “can thank him properly” for the funds raised through your sponsorship of Nick, Heather and Eva’s participation in the Para-Tri triathlon.
Which leads me to my main reason for writing this post today. I have written before how much of an impact it has made that Nick has been given such support and encouragement by people worldwide. It is not so very long ago that his self-confidence and opinion of his own worth had been knocked so low because of his perception of an altered appearance and capabilities that he had become almost a recluse. I am ‘just’ his mum… anything I could say was only to be expected and could be dismissed as words of loving reassurance. Learning to value himself and his abilities again was a major turning point… and much of that has been because of YOU.
Nick wrote on his new blog: “To the bloggers that have followed my story on my mum’s blog and been regularly posting comments – THANK YOU. I feel like I know you all very well now. My wanting to help others is partly because of your kind words. Hearing your views on my actions really put things into perspective. This recognition meant that where I had not appreciated what I had overcome, I was made to re-evaluate how I perceive my achievements. What you’ve done for me is having a chain reaction. I want to share this feeling with others which is why I will be working with sufferers of neurological injuries, with the help of The Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital where I am currently having rehabilitation.”
Feeling a little teary reading that again, I too want to say thank you once again to everyone who has shown Nick such support. I tried to tell you… but perhaps seeing what he is now achieving will carry more weight than my words. Don’t ever underestimate the value of believing in someone and the difference that can make. It really can change a world.