I know it’s Valentine’s Day and the commercial industry wants us to talk about romantic love but, actually, I want to talk about the love of Human Kind.
Some of you may know that the end of last year saw the upset of me having all my camera gear, my livelihood stolen, from my car in a week that was physically exhausting and painful. As a single mum doing my best to make ends meet and in that particular week hold it all together, I was absolutely devastated. However, being raised in Africa, I do know first hand that this could have been so much worse and I keep in mind that neither my son, nor I were hurt in any way. That said, it triggered a whole host of unwanted memories and put me on high alert again, something I have not experienced for many years since moving to this beautiful town.
If I had that night again, I’d have done it all differently but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I read somewhere that we are all just beautiful souls leading a human existence – the operative word being human! We all make mistakes; even those that stole my equipment. When you think about it, they cannot lead happy lives to behave in that way and by comparison my life is truly blessed with much to be grateful for. I just hope that they got a good price to serve some good purpose in their lives! I’ve also learnt that the only way to know if you are properly insured is when you have to make a claim…then suddenly the small print you missed becomes huge!
But one thing this whole thing taught me is that for one nasty act of one individual, there have been many, many acts of kindness from family, friends and this amazing community I live in. So many colleagues past and present, as well as social media followers – some I know, some I don’t – all offering to lend me their equipment so I could carry on working straight away. And then one special lady called Fran Martin, who I’ve worked with at The Hospice St Francis for many years, so kindly set up a crowd-funding page that quickly raised nearly £3000! Fran, I cannot thank you enough, you truly touched my heart.
Generous donations from friends, clients, strangers, my own teenage son and even his friends, together with unbelievably kind help from my amazing British and Australian family, means I am now back on my working feet. The support I’ve received has been so humbling and quite overwhelming that it is hard for me to find the right words to say thank you. But to all those that helped me in any way, be it financial or emotional support – THANK YOU! Self employment and single parenthood can feel quite isolating so you have no idea how heart warming it is to feel quite so supported by an entire community, I truly am so grateful.
I also have to give a special mention to my son for his incredible love, support, understanding and amazing hugs when I felt so broken. What an extraordinary teenage human he is.
Suffice to say, that in the end, Love Wins.