Toni Morrison, a nobel prize winning novelist once said ‘you need a whole community to raise a child.’ She raised two children on her own whilst winning constant acclaim for her writing. She has my respect. I have one child and I honestly don’t know how I would have got this far without my husband, my wider family, my neighbours and my friends. Last weekend I added local business man and total strangers to that list.
Our level 2 BSL fundraiser took place 10 days ago in the most fantastic coffee shop run by Richard (left) We sat in the pretty cobbled yard where we alternately enjoyed early summer sunshine and then huddled under huge umbrellas and tarpaulin when the rain tried, unsuccessfully, to dampen the atmosphere. We had gathered about 80 friends, family and some people we had never met before to raise just over £1000 for our level 2 fees.
We had music, thanks to my husband and Rosie, Winnie and James, Jack Garrett and Anne Cunningham. I wrote a poem which you can listen to here: My Daughter (you might need to press your back button to get back to the blog) The best thing of all was the three BSL interpreters we had who interpreted what was happening beautifully. At one point the whole gathering was signing ‘What a wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong. It was incredibly moving and lots of fun! . I hope to post a video on here soon. In the meantime you can hear Pete’s song which he wrote when smiling flower was born:‘smiling flower’
I have often reflected in my blog how much smiling flower has taught me about the world. I don’t like asking people for things, both Pete and I found it incredibly awkward collecting money from family and friends on the day. Bringing up Smiling Flower has also felt lonely at times despite the best efforts of those who are near to us and who we know love us deeply. But, on the day we were amazed, moved, humbled by such a concentrated outpouring of togetherness, solidarity, love. There was such free flowing generosity from all who contributed to the day and towards our ongoing mission to foster the very best communication we can with our inquisitive little girl… So again I have learnt to a new level, that it is good to allow people freedom to show how much they care, it is good to lose some self sufficiency, and it has been wonderful to begin to feel that we no longer live in a town, but in a community.
I am not a catholic but I also like this quote from Pope John Paul II “…A community needs a soul if it is to become a true home for human beings. You, the people must give it this soul.” We would like to say a very special thank you to so many people for giving Chesham and family freeman some soul. Some of you live hundreds, even thousands of miles away but many live in this wonderful town. You know who you are. You made a difference xx