Runnin On Empty
GIVE US THIS DAY has been set up in memory of my brother Michael Hart and sister Michele Milliken (Hart) both beautiful giving spirits with a wonderful sense of humour who left their earthly chariots way too soon in 2015. Ironically my brother had been a Samaritan for 18 of his younger years. He also belonged to a site called "All The Fun Of The Fair" set up for Fair enthusiasts and showmen alike. He enjoyed supporting and helping out on the site, not only from a professional level but also a personal level as a friend & listening ear for those who needed. But overwhelmed by a bout of depression, despite having a wife, two sons and a family that loved him immensely, despite his giving nature & skill in saving others he was unable to show himself the same compassion & on the 6th May 2015 my brother took his own life.
We'd just started grieving for the loss of Michael, when Michele was diagnosed with a rare Sarcoma it was so rapid it took her within 10 weeks, leaving behind a husband, three daughters, step children & us her family plus her church family & friends. She had been a devoted Christian and church goer since her teenage years, it was extremely important to her and she always spent her time caring & helping others. She was an extremely talented Copywriter but there were no dreams of grandeur, she was just looking forward to growing older, watching her daughters get married one day, becoming a grand-mother and sitting out on a veranda in a rocking chair with her husband & all the family around just like in The Waltons & Little House On The Prairie. But it wasn't to be, Michele was looked after by the wonderful staff at St Lukes Hospice in Sheffield & was eventually called back home on the 21st October 2015.
Just a few weeks earlier we'd been sat holding hands and I asked her if she was angry with God and this was her response:
"No, I'm sad, but not angry. In the Lords prayer it says, Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread. Give Us This Day, it doesn't say Give Us this Week, Month or Year, it says Give Us This Day, and we have this day right here & that's all we can be sure of"
From infants school to adulthood, like most I've probably heard & said the Lords Prayer a zillion times, on automatic, words without any thought for their meaning? Until that profound moment shared with my sister. In that moment I felt completely stunned as if hearing the words for the very first time and I finally understood their importance and have gone on to share them many times since her passing.
I think alot of us are guilty of complacency and arrogance in our guarantee of tomorrow? But there are no gurantees, death doesn't come via invitation, it comes to us all as we go about our day, if we're lucky it won't be this day, but it will be another day & when that day comes It won't matter wether your famous or wether you work down the Chippie, all that will matter is how we've treated people while we were here, & likewise, others will only remember us by the size of our kindness not our material gain or superficial success.
Give us this day is a project that will continue my brother & sisters light by helping and supporting those in need and encouraging others to do the same. It is also a reminder to not put off the things you want to do in life. If you were thinking of calling Your Partner? Mum? Dad? Grandparents? Sibling? Friend? today's a good day to do it.
I've come to realise that Grief is a forever thing, it doesn't go away, you don't "get over it" and time doesn't heal and we have to try and learn to live differently. It's a rucksack fixed to your back that you reluctantly have to carry everywhere, It's an unpredictable two year old that goes from playfully laughing one minute, incredibly angry the next, to collapsing in a blubbing heap. Grief is a Torpedo that strikes often & when you least expect it, a familiar song, smell, memory, a moment, the emotion hits with such force it can knock you off your feet or at the very least leave you feeling wobbly. No matter the time frame I believe we'll always be wobbly but that's because we loved Michael & Michele so much & that's just the consequence we all have to pay for love and loss .
We're all on this journey of Life together but as individuals & sometimes all it takes is a little time & compassion to make a big difference, after all, we may only have this day?
Ironically both of these tracks were written a few years before our loss, but if you still have time with loved ones or you're going through something personal then I hope they help in some small way?
IVE US THIS DAY
Grief is a Forever Thing