We always have an activity. We've had formal lectures, practical demonstrations, informal talks, and intimate soirees (usually if the weather is bad) of conversation and discussion. Someone gives a short Bible lesson. we serve a light supper, and we make a collection for a local charity - Zichron Menachem who give information, support, activities, visits, sibling treats, outings and holidays to families with children who have cancer.
This year we decided to make it all about Deborah as it's the 10th anniversary of her passing. Twenty friends reminisced and told stories about our times with Deborah. We looked at pictures going back 40 years. We were all together at summer camps, winter camps, a gap year on a kibbutz, and weekend visits. In between there were inter-city phone calls. Deborah grew up in Cardiff and the rest of us are from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Sunderland, and Glasgow. (We were only allowed to call after 6 pm and calls were strictly limited - remember how expensive it was to call out of town in the 1970s?). We were college students together, at each other's weddings (well not mine obviously) and watched each others' children growing up (mine is still growing up obviously).
|Deborah, aged about 19|
Deborah's husband wrote a moving letter from London as did another close friend. Her sister, Lisa sent a letter from Tel Aviv and Deborah's son, now living in Israel, came with his wife. We laughed and we cried - but mostly laughed.
As a result of Deborah's illness Lisa started BRACHA (which in Hebrew means Blessing). This is an organisation based in Israel to give information, support, advice and to advocate for people with the BRCA 1/2 genetic mutation and anyone living with a high risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. It's an amazing initiative that has saved and will save many lives. If only Deborah had had this information 20 years ago when she first became ill.
I feel truly blessed to have been part of such a wonderful community of friends. All good people who have journeyed together over 40 years and still enjoy each other's company.
Back on track with Reasons 2B Cheerful taking the weekend slot and the Linky is with Mich at Mummy from the Heart for the month of March.