Monday, June 25, 2007

A show of support

When I met Fel in college, her Mum had terminal breast cancer. She was diagnosed half way through Fel's final year of high school, and given three months to live. Fel adored her mum. From the sounds of things, she was an amazing person and I'm selfishly glad to have not met her, because her loss would have been shattering.

Fel was a very high achieving student. And when she received the news her grades absolutely tanked. Her mother lived for a year. Passing away shortly before exams in '02. Fel got the call to make a trip back home about a week or so before. She came in and told me that she would be leaving, could I water her plants and she hoped she had enough money to get petrol. I immediately handed over my last $20 and bade her to drive safe.

She went into her room to throw a bag of stuff together. It must have taken about 20 minutes. In that time I spoke to someone else in my hall who was (rightfully) quite popular and between us we made a quick whip around. I think we managed to raise $230 (or something like that). Pretty much everybody had a few dollars to kick in. People she didn't know were dropping by to wish her well and help out. The look on her face showed so much. Absolute relief. Gratitude. It was one less thing that she had to stress about. She knew that we were there for her, even though we couldn't be there when it all happened. It was an indication of our intention to be there if and when she needed us. If that even makes any sense.

A few people kicked in after she'd gone. I think we got her a card and some flowers. And a hallmate and I travelled to her home town, to just be there for her on the day of the funeral.

I'm telling this story so that you will understand that helping out/kicking in really does matter. Please, if you haven't done so already, check out a quick version of recent tragedies here.

6 comments:

Ms Smack said...

:( I can't imagine losing my mum so young and what a great friend you are, raising those funds for her.

Fabulous.

Mister Underhill said...

Well, I hate paypal, but the story is so horrible I will use it anyhow....

Spiky Zora Jones said...

Phis...you really do rule and you shine. You have a wondeful heart.

I'm so sorry for your friend's loss. I know how that hurts and one can't reahave lost family and friends these past three years and it hurts badly. It haunts me.
Keep shining you crazy diamond...later babes.

AdventuringJen said...

Hey
Just stopped by from Chris's blog.
That's a great post, and totally adding to something I've been thinking about all day - extending kindness and support and not being afraid to love people and so on. So thank you! :)

Echo said...

OMG I don't know what I would do if I lost my mom even at my age. You have such a big heart. I read your Avi blog and such a story really makes my heart go out to them.

phishez_rule said...

Ms Smack - I did what any good friend would do

MrU - I've only used it once. For this.

SZJ - Thanks :)

Jen - Even the smallest gesture makes a huge difference to people who have nothing.

Echo - It broke my heart.