Is he really up there? Of course he is, where else could he be?
At the start of this update I recall a conversation I had recently with somebody I really respect. In the conversation I made a comment about how much I hope Huw really is up there. This guy just said ‘of course he’s up there, where else could he be?’ As if to say ‘well he’s got to be somewhere so it must be there’! I still don’t know what to think or believe but it was a nice comment, full of conviction, and it made me smile.
There have been other things to smile about this early Autumn too. The final amount from Ben, Rose and Mackie running the Blackpool half marathon and Ben’s Dodgeball event in March – a total of £446 from 2 superb and moving days earlier this year. Well done and thank you to those 3 – for the great company and great heart they showed as much as for the fund raising. And it was fun to have Ben out cycling with us on a day trip a few weeks ago too – although I finished the day taking a tumble due to a combination of new pedal clips and inconsiderate driving on the part of an Audi driver!
I’m pleased that at least 4 of us (Michelle, Kev and Steve) are also taking part in the Conwy half marathon on 24th November. It’s good to be doing something with a real purpose the day before Huw’s 18th birthday and I couldn’t think of 3 nicer people to do it with. There’s the possibility of some of Huw’s friends doing the event with us too – I’d love that and will keep you posted (and my fingers crossed!) It’ll mean so much to be doing a big challenge that day that feels like we are doing something for Huw, at the time that should have been such a happy milestone in his life. Huw will spur me on that day in North Wales on 24th November – to do absolutely my best in respect for Huw. Huw spurs me on every day – and will do one way or another every day for the rest of my life.
There have been other times of reflection recently – Carys spending the long weekend at the Leeds Fest – having a wonderful time and us at home reflecting on how much Huw would have loved a weekend like that – and how much he would have livened it up (not that it needed any more livening up)!
I also had the pleasure of exchanging mails recently with friend of Huw’s who moved away some years ago. This girl asked me to send her some new wrist bands. I was only too happy to send them and told her how nice it was to see photos of Huw’s friends wherever they are – wearing the bands. She just replied and said ‘Well me and my sister never take them off xxx’. It was so nice to hear that from such a lovely friend of Huw’s.
Returning to Huw Trust events, I should tell you about a mammoth 24 mile walk that Will is organising to take place in October. Will was a team mate of Huw’s for Hepworth – playing in goal – so he spent matches behind Huw and I know he was aware of Huw’s class as a centre back which resulted in relatively little getting through to Will in goals! Will is a fine keeper and an even better cricketer – but it’s his class as a friend of Huw’s that means the most and I’m looking forward to joining Will and the others for a tough day in October. You can read about it on the local newspaper web site here – http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/teammate-huw-thatcher-organises-memorial-5743421
And you may also be interested to learn that the Upperthong Cricket Club raffle raised £308 for the Trust, although I haven’t yet paid that in. As a result of the raffle, Chris is now the proud owner of a Ryan Giggs signed Manchester United Football shirt, Paul can practice his soccer skills with a Huddersfield Town signed football, I somehow won the signed cricket bat and Mark and Jane are good for a round or two after making off with the £100 cash prize! Thank you so much to Rob Oakley and to all those who supported the raffle! And I’m so pleased we were able to donate some decent prizes because everyone at the cricket club is amazing with regard to the Huw Trust.
Finally, you’ll see the new photo of Huw at the top of this post. Every time I come across a new photo of Huw it is something to treasure. Here’s one I got from my Mother recently. It was taken on 27th December 2010 – at that last Christmas. The previous day Huw, Carys and me had been to see Cardiff City – there had been heavy snow and they both had to push the car out of the snow after the match. On the day of the photo we’d had a lovely day meeting up with Huw and Carys’ cousins. Mum recently told me of a conversation Huw had with her the evening of this photo – he had been talking to her about his plans and dreams – for his football and for university in the future. A happy time – Huw thinking responsibly and positively about what the future would hold. Every photo of Huw has a story, every photo is something to treasure. Every photo is another reminder of dreams and potential he never had the chance to fullfill – as well as a reminder of why we love him like we do.