The kindness of strangers

Ask anyone who’s been through a crisis what they’ve learned and I will guarantee a top three answer will be ‘you find out who your friends are’. Damn straight you do.

Luckily for us, we discovered what we’ve always suspected: that our friends are solid gold. More than I could ever imagine have popped up with wonderfully kind and encouraging words, homemade dinners, offers of respite, cups of tea, a couple of hours of swinging Ted around (literally – that boy HATES staying still) or being invited for lunch only to end up bringing lunch and making it for me despite being heavily pregnant (I owe you one, Vikki).

But as I say, we knew how amazing our friends are. What’s really touched me has been the kindness of strangers.

A card from one of my friend Ellen's pupils. Heartwrenching!
A card from one of my friend Ellen’s pupils. Bless!

Some of that kindness has come in cash form. The messages on our JustGiving pages would make you weep and many of the most moving are from people we’ve never heard of. One lady gave just because she’s a mum – I guess no mum wants their child to face what Ted’s facing – but it’s more than that. People have seen my distress and made the effort to help me.

There’s the girl from my therapy group who’s a friend now but when we barely knew each other she kindly lent me a huge load of cloth nappies and has been my guru on all things eco-bum related ever since. I’ve even made two new friends through crying in public. Once on a bus and once in the local cafe. Not my finest moments but the fact that someone reaches out and insists you take their mobile number so you can have coffee when you’re feeling low is really sweet. The fact they are mums and have both been through tough times must have some bearing on things.

In the dark times I feel lifted by the idea that good people are everywhere. Even in rushy, stressy, no-time-to-stop-and-chat London. Next time you need one, they’ll be there – all you have to do is ask

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