Thursday, 28 November 2013

Happy birthday, my darling Diane...


Today's a special day. And a very difficult one. It's Diane's birthday. One of the days they warned me about even though I didn't need anyone to tell me how I knew I was going to feel.

This is the first birthday I didn't wake her with a kiss on her forehead, with a card I had pretended had just been mysteriously delivered without a stamp, and a present she'd made me promise not to get because she didn't want so much spent on her. It's the only time I ignored her. Honest.

Today was the first of her birthdays for over 20 years that I couldn't her watch her smile as she read the card even though I said the same thing every year.

"Together, forever, All my love, Your David."

I wrote it in the card I gave her today too...

Diane was born in Salford 72 years ago today. Born into a world plunged into darkness by war, a war that at that time had not yet turned in our favour. It must have been an uncertain time to bring a child into the world but it was the start of what would become a wonderful life.

Everyone who met Diane was the better for it. I was lucky enough to be with her for 21 of her birthdays and I know if I hadn't been, my life would have been much poorer. There would be less good in me now.

That's why I need her in my life forever. Together, forever. Like the card says every year. Like my card says today. She's still so much a part of my life and she's the inspiration for me to run this marathon in Rotterdam in just a few short months around the streets where she grew up.

She'll be with me every step of the way. My birthday girl. So today seemed the perfect day to officially launch the Running With Diane campaign it symbolises how I feel. I'm not running "for" Diane, I feel I'm running WITH her.
And the idea is to get loads of other people running with her, too. This movement will run and run (if you pardon the pun) with local events, runs and challenges across Manchester and the North West throughout 2014 and beyond.

All raising urgently needed cash for the charity Breast Cancer Care, and the incredible work they do helping sufferers and their families who are facing the same agonies, doubts, fears and pain that Diane and I did.

For the marathon in Rotterdam, we're aiming to raise £100,000 for Breast Cancer Care by hook or by crook, by pink iced cupcake or by whatever Great Beefy Bake-off idea I can come up with between now and then as well as donations and sponsorship. (Note that donating on the Breast Cancer Care page means they get more money - without the Just Giving admin charge, in other words).

That target looks a tall order now as I stand at the bottom looking up at it, but little by little we'll climb up it step by step, pound by pound (penny by penny if we have to!) and we will get there.

And then some, hopefully.

We'll smash it.

What's stopping us?

Do it for everyone who finds themselves closing their eyes on a loved one's birthday, wishing they could still wake them with a kiss on the forehead

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