Football, work, campaigns and remembering

Growing up much of my time with my Dad was spent watching Huddersfield Town play football. Through the highs (not that there were many!) and the all too often lows, I watched Town with my Dad, and then subsequently also my brothers and sister, for as long as I can remember, spending every other Saturday down at the town ground, and around the country too.

I now find it really hard to watch them, not that it’s ever been easy, and this really hit home last weekend as they played rivals Leeds United. I watched the game in a small Lincolnshire pub with Nick, but felt so alone. I’ve not followed Town as much since Dad died, as watching brings back such strong, happy memories. I ended up sat in the pub crying in to my pint, and not only due to Huddersfield being on the bad end of a 3-0 score line. 

Watching Huddersfield was the one thing I did consistently with my Dad for around 20 years, and it was so full of little rituals that it’s still difficult, 2 and a half years later, to accept that those days are over.  

The other strange realisation I have had this last month is how little I know about how Dad was at work. I know that he was known as Nobby, that he was pretty popular amongst staff, and that he could be relied upon to suggest Nandos for a team lunch and to be the first, and last, at the bar.

But as I was sat in a meeting recently, with a man around my Dad’s age, I realised that I will never know what my Dad was like at work, in meetings and as a manager. I realise that’s a really bizarre thing to feel sad about; does anyone really know, or care, what their parents are like at the office?! 

I guess that maybe it’s one of those things that you didn’t realise you wanted to know, until the time for finding it out has passed. Living in London now and knowing how much time Dad spent here on business makes me wish so much that we could meet up for a pint and a Nandos after work.  

 

Of course, the reason he isn’t is the main reason for this blog: Motor Neurone Disease. And so here’s the part where I update you on what’s been going on with the South London group. 

At the end of October we had a fab comedy night organised by the delectable Daisy Cosker, taking the total she has raised for the Association in 2015 to over £10k – well done Daisy! 

  

On the night we had lots of campaign leaflets around, particularly one urging people to email their MP about benefit changes that could negatively impact on people with MND – people who already have big challenges, and don’t need their benefits to make their lives even harder. 

On the 1st December there will be a meeting taking place in Parliament about #MND and the campaigns team are asking as many people as possible to send their MP an email inviting them to the meeting in order to raise awareness of MND.

You can email your MP in less than 2 minutes by going to this link – http://bit.ly/1MKkzFx. Thank you!

Next month we will be taking people with MND in South London for a visit to Parliament, which I’ll look forward to sharing with you in December.

Finally, I’d like to give a special mention to the Rivers family. Eric Rivers recently died following his battle with MND. He gave a speech at the MND parliamentary reception, which really reminded me of my Dad, and left me feeling incredibly inspired. Thank you Eric for being such a big inspiration to the MND community, and to his lovely wife Davina and his daughters – you’ve been in my thoughts and prayers. 

  

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