Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Happy times - me (left), mum & Laura
As some fellow ravellers might know, my lovely mum Viktoria Hoggan passed away on 17th November after a 7 month battle against cancer. The tumour began in her chest, growing very slowly over a number of years with no symptoms at all. By the time mum was diagnosed in mid-April the cancer had already spread to her lower spine & brain stem, meaning that at best all the doctors could do was slow the progress of the disease. Despite taking all the treatments recommended by her oncologist mum sadly lost her fight.
Mum was the absolute centre of our (very large) family. Any special occasion or family party, mum was right there in the midst of it all. Everyone descended on mum & dad's house at Christmas - me & mine, my brother & sister with their families, my gran, aunties, uncles & even my grown-up cousins & their kids. Some of us would have been there since lunch when it wasn't uncommon for mum to wind up making the full turkey dinner for upwards of 16 people! Mum loved to have people around her, especially the wee ones & absolutely doted on her grandkids (she asked me at my wedding reception when I was gonna make her a granny).
I can't believe she's gone. I knew (we all knew), soon as we heard that the cancer had spread to her brain, that mum wasn't gonna get better but I don't think any of us realised that she would be gone so fast. Mum didn't complain though - not once. There were tears of course but she never asked 'why me?' (although you can be damn sure that the rest of us were & still are asking 'why her?'). She never felt any self-pity & was more concerned at how the rest of us were coping with her illness than she was about herself. She was an inspiration to us all - as was my dad who nursed her at home until the last month of her life. When mum was taken into hospital dad ran himself ragged working, looking after the house & spending every available minute he could with mum, even if he was just sitting quietly watching her sleep.
I miss my mum every day - I can't see how this pain will ever go away. I keep thinking I'm okay, I'm getting along & doing the stuff I have to do then WHAM! it hits me again & I'm in bits. Keeping busy helps, as does planning fund-raising stuff (I'll be joining my sister & 2 of my aunties in flinging ourselves in the River Forth on New Years Day to raise funds for breast cancer research) but you have to rest sometimes & that's when the grief usually bites. Ravelry has been great - I've had lovely messages of support & sympathy from people I've gotten to know & when I can't sleep I can log on & spend a few hours aimlessly surfing the boards. In fact it's thanks to the generosity of some fellow-ravellers that I'm able to help my sister in some fundraising . . .
***HELP A GOOD CAUSE & ENTER A PRIZE DRAW***
My younger sister Laura (the bridesmaid in the photo above) is doing a SOLO SKYDIVE on 7th February 2009 to raise funds for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. Her target is £1000 & to help her reach this I'm organising a prize draw.
A number of wonderful ravellers from the UK Spinners forum have kindly donated prizes of -
1) 100g of Wensleydale roving, hand-dyed in shades of red & orange donated by Babylonglegs -
2) A $30 gift certificate for Spindlefrog on etsy donated by helix
3) A set of hand-made love-heart stitch markers donated by Wyndwitch -
4) 100g braid of blue superwash merino roving from Freyalyn on etsy donated by belaybunny -
5) A custom-carded sparkly batt or 100g of custom-dyed sock yarn donated by vampy
6) A $30 gift certificate for Shunklies on etsy donated by Shunklies
7) 'Flumps' yellow/pink handspun yarn donated by kraftykoala -
8) 100g of 70%BFL/30%Silk in ‘winter sky’ colourway - dark blue, mid-blue and grey donated by moggle -
9) A hand-made spindle/project bag from andsewtoknit on etsy donated by andsewtoknit
10) A braid of hand-dyed Falkland roving donated by Artis-Anne of Mam a Mi on etsy -
11) A braid of hand-dyed fibre or 2 sets of stitch markers donated by goldfishgirl of Wildcraft
12) Lornas Laces yarn donated by rdodo
13) Lornas Laces limited edition yarn in 'Irish Jig' donated by katt94 -
14) A $25 gift certificate for Needle Bling on etsy donated by Beth123B
15) 100g of natural coloured bamboo spinning fibre donated by Otiva
16) 100g of white bamboo top donated by Na-Na
17) 95g of BFL in Gathering Roses purchased from chrispindle on etsy donated by me*
18) A hand-made row counter pin & matching stitch markers donated by me
19) 100g of English wool tops KoolAid-dyed by me in colours chosen by the winner (I hope my dyeing skillz are up to it!)*
*If these are won by a non-spinner I will be more than happy to turn them into an approximately DK/worsted weight yarn on Daphne, my lovely Ashford Traditional wheel.
HOW TO ENTER
This is very easy. Just go to Laura's JustGiving page & make a donation. For every £2 donated your name will be entered once into the prize draw. For each multiple of £2 your name will be entered the appropriate number of times so £4 will get you 2 entries, £6 3 entries & so on. Anyone who donates £10 will receive an extra entry - 6 for the price of 5. Then just PM me on ravelry (if you're a raveller) or add a comment on this post (if you're a non-raveller) to let me know that you have donated & I'll do the rest.
IMPORTANT - DO NOT TICK THE GIFT AID BOX. The charity can not claim Gift Aid on any donations made in the hope of winning a prize so ticking the box means I will be unable to include you in the draw.
This draw is open to everyone, everywhere - I will happily pay international postage on all prizes mailed overseas. For non-UK donors there is an info page here.
The raffle will be open until 21st December & will be drawn on 22nd December by Alison, owner of The Mad Crafter. Prizewinners will be notified by 23rd December & a full list will be posted on this blog. I will wait until after the New Year to mail out prizes as Royal Mail is in uproar just now with the Christmas rush but prizes will be mailed before mid-January :0)
I'd just like to add a huge thank you to all the lovely people who have donated prizes for this & also to all those who have sponsored Laura so far.
I think that's all folks - thanks for reading if you got this far & the best of luck,
I just want to add a wee bit here.
I am absolutely overwhelmed by the kindness & generosity of fellow ravellers. When I originally decided to do this I posted on UK Spinners to ask if people thought a draw for some braids of hand-dyed fibre would be likely to get any donations for Laura. I had no idea that anyone would donate prizes. I have no words to express my gratitude to all those people who have donated prizes and who have sponsored Laura.
Thank you all,