A Race for Life and a Golden Thread

It’s a hot sunny day in Liverpool and I’ve well and truly earned my right to spend the afternoon relaxing in the garden after finishing the Race for Life in Sefton Park this morning with my daughter Jess and some wonderful friends.  It’s hard to believe it’s the ninth year for me and Jess.  Nine medals marking a long and painful journey that has stretched far beyond the 5 kilometre course.  In fact our experience of this event which is in aid of Cancer Research UK began the year before that very first race.

I’d taken the kids to Hague Hall in Wigan for a picnic and was totally bemused by the hoard of women dressed up in pink with race numbers on their fronts and messages on their backs.  The messages were in tribute to the loved ones they had lost, the ones that had beaten cancer and in some cases celebrating their own battles.  I watched on with an eight year old Jessica and my eighteen month old son Nathan, thinking of my dad who I’d lost to cancer some years before and never dreaming that the little boy sitting next to me already had leukaemia.

The next year, Jess and I would be taking part in a Race for Life event at Aintree Racecourse while Nathan watched on.  We were doing it for him, raising money in aid of cancer research which might make his future less bleak, there was so little else we could do.  The next year, we did it again only Nathan was becoming very ill by this point.  The year after that and Nathan was gone but we still had to do it, for him.  Always for him.  And that first year without Nathan, Jess and I were privileged to start the race which had been dedicated to his memory.

So today as I sit in my garden I’ll be thinking of my beautiful boy and missing him with every bone in my body.  Apologies if I’m being overly sentimental today but I promised you I’d add a couple more of my poems, so hears the next along with another painting by my super talented brother Chris Valentine.

A Golden Thread

Painting by Chris Valentine

Painting by Chris Valentine

A golden thread
links child to mother
Weaves the future from the past
Connecting one to the other

This eternal thread
Has not one strand but two
Stitching body to soul
Life with an immortal hue

This fragile thread
Can break but the cost
When mother loses child
It’s the future she’s lost

But this broken thread
Has one strand intact
Though a heart filled with grief
Is unaware of this fact

This golden thread
Leaves a connection open
Through memory and love
Comforts a heart that is broken

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