I have just been given the greatest Christmas gift of my life, with the successful removal of an odious disease from my body and no need for further treatment, other than watching over the recovery. This blog is dedicated to Mr Tim O’Brien and his staff at Guys Hospital.
In May of this year I did not know of the existence of Mr O’Brien. Just one short month later he became the most important person in my life. Over six months two operations have given me back my life and now he will disappear as quickly as he arrived.
Throughout my life I have found that when I need help, whatever it might be, people will arrive and give me more help than I thought I actually needed, then disappear when their job is done.
To me it is one of the miracles of Life and we often lose sight of this wonder as we are manipulated, frightened and bullied to accede to the wishes and desires of the few in the pursuit of greed and power.
Life is a beautiful experience and over far too quickly and something we come to recognise as the years pass by. We are increasingly being ‘terrorised’ by the media as the 1% try to hold onto their power. This power is now gradually being eroded by the miracle of modern communications, lifting us out of the ignorance of millennia.
Now is not the time and so I will return to this abusive terrorism with my first piece of the New Year. For the moment I would prefer to stay with the miracle of Life and this story of the magic of the festive season.
A little girl goes to her first pantomime with her older sister and Gran. They have good seats just two rows back from the stage and so she sits and looks around in anticipation of what is to come.
The show opens and the players go straight into their warm up routine, calling to the audience and throwing sweets to all. The little girl is overwhelmed by this and keeps looking behind her to the rest of the audience, who are shouting and noisily responding to what is happening on stage.
She has never seen anything like this before and so her thumb goes into her mouth and eventually she sits on her sister’s lap for reassurance. One of the actors, who is working the audience, notices her and tries to reassure her by talking to her and throwing her sweets from the stage, all to no effect. She is not to be bribed out of her apprehension and so she continues to sit on her sister’s lap and suck her thumb.
During the interval it is obvious that she is not that unnerved by the show as she tucks into a large ice cream. Interval over they return to their seats. This time she sits on her Gran’s lap with her thumb firmly returned to her mouth.
As in the first half, the pantomime atmosphere continues unabated with the cast shouting at the audience and the audience shouting back. The little girl continues to alternate her attention from what is happening on stage to the responses and shouting of the audience.
Eventually the cast get to that part in the plot where they go into the “It’s behind you” routine, with the evil witch constantly creeping up on the unsuspecting star. After three or four of these stealthy approaches suddenly a thumb leaves a mouth and a little arm is stretched out pointing at the stage. With a face full of anxiety she screams “SHE’S BEHIND YOU!!!”
As I write this the hairs on the back of my neck tingle, as they did that evening when I witnessed the magic of Christmas touch yet another child. Ever since I can remember, I have seen it as my bounden duty to hold on to that childlike part that is within all of us and allow it to constantly restore my belief that Life can and should be fun.
In a world gone mad it is so easy to lose sight of the miracle that is this thing called Life and we are the poorer for it. Nobody will ever convince me there is no such thing as magic. It just takes a desire to step outside of our day to day lives and find it in the most unexpected places and particularly where children frequent.
I have taken the last month out to aid my recovery and look forward to returning to the fight in the New Year. In the meantime, I wish every one of you a Happy and fulfilling Festive Season and thank you, as always, for your continued support.
Until the next time.