"Planning a wedding is no easy task and is all-consuming. There are so many things to think about – venue, colours, themes, guest lists. But in the grand scheme of things all you care about is marrying the person you love surrounded by your closest family and friends. Sadly, there was a very special person that could not attend our wedding. My mum Janis.
Mum was diagnosed with cancer when I was at primary school and she spent the next 14 years of her life fighting her battle. She was an inspirational woman who took this challenge head on, always with a smile on her face.
My mum passed away on 12 October 2005 at home, surrounded by her family. Even though that day was over ten years ago now I still remember it as though it was yesterday. There was a Hospice at Home nurse present at the time and her name was Elaine.
We had all got to know Elaine and another nurse, Gerry, quite well in the weeks leading up to this, as they visited mum several times a day. They were fantastic before, during and after mum’s death. Whilst they obviously showed such huge amounts of care and compassion what struck me most about them was their ability to just know. They knew exactly what to do, what to say and how to behave which was so reassuring at the most unsettling of times. They went way above and beyond the call of duty and nothing was too much or too difficult for them. Elaine was supposed to go off duty at 7am on the day that my mum died but she didn’t. She stayed with us all until 1pm, she stayed in the background but was there, supporting us all with our grief and helped with the practical things on the day that had to be done.
It was so sad that my mum was not there to celebrate with us on our wedding day but I know she wouldn't have wanted such a happy day to be sad. That said I wanted to make sure that my mum was not forgotten on the day and that she was a positive part of it. My husband-to-be, Dave, and I thought long and hard about how we could do this and that’s when we thought of Rennie Grove Hospice Care.
Rennie Grove arranged for us to have their pin badges and personalised favour cards on the day, they looked so smart and professional and we felt so proud to be giving them to our guests. Half-way through dinner I stopped to just look at everything – trying to take it all in, when I noticed that all of our guests, including the bridesmaids had put on their pins. There were little pink and purple rainbow smiles everywhere! People had not worried about their expensive smart suits, dresses, ties and handbags they just wanted to show their support. It was amazing.
For the rest of the evening every guest I spoke to or danced with had their pin on in some way which made me so happy. It forced me to stop and think of my mum, and her amazing, brave, beautiful smile but in the most positive way.
I could not recommend a better wedding favour. What a great way to remember a lost loved one, whilst donating to an amazing cause."