10 out of 10.

I called my mum on my lunch break earlier this week, just for a chat as I walked round the park for some fresh air. As I headed back to my office I thought, just for a second, back to the weeks earlier this year, when it was cold and lonely and I wondered if I’d ever be able to do that again.

We laughed and chatted and made plans for the cinema this weekend. She lamented whether my brother will ever get a girlfriend and we gossiped about birthday surprises for my husband.

She’s had a letter asking her to fill in a survey on “how she’s doing”. She had to rate how she feels about her life, from zero (rubbish) to 10. She said she’s put 10. “I’m alive, aren’t I? And I’m cracking on.”

And she is.

This woman is a superhero.

I’ve started up a sponsorship page for my run and some of her friends and people at her school have donated. Some of them have left lovely little messages. I’ve had to keep it a little bit at arm’s length so far; I’m worried I’ll get quite emotional if I think about it too much. I was pretty overwhelmed at the starting line of the Great North Run (I’ll never forget that voice, booming through the PA system – “Who are you running for?”). I think I’ll be pretty emotional on the day. I want to record little videos from my training runs – I think people back home will find it interesting, and also to document it all a bit more. I’m sure I’ll be posting more on here too. I’m almost starting to freak out a bit about the distances, but I’ll just keep building it up, slowly and gently. And remind myself, slowly and gently, that it’s all for her.

A friend is having her 30th birthday party back home over the weekend of my birthday. I felt sad at first – sad we won’t be able to go, sad that I won’t be able to have a birthday party of my own – but then I thought, well, you’re doing something amazing. You’ve donated your 30th birthday. I want to get into that headspace a bit more; let Mum and my thoughts of her drive it. With the Great North Run, and with Tim, I was so driven by the fact that he had been so so sporty, and that I needed to run for anyone that couldn’t, and to celebrate the very fact that I could.

She hates that she still can’t drive – and we don’t know whether she’ll be able to – but she’s working up to walking to the end of the road, so she can get on the bus. “I’m going to do it; as soon as I feel ready for it I’ll just do it. I might not even tell your father!” (I asked her to please tell my father…).

I’m so ridiculously proud of her. And so so happy that she’s there at number 10.


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