18th July 2010
Sunday 15th July 2007 was a sunny blustery morning as myself, my husband and my son Rich’ and his girlfriend set out at 7.15am to get in the car for the drive to London to take part in CRY’s first ever London Bridges walk.
We met up with the rest of the team at Westminster Gardens and looked around us. We realised that we were just about the only group walking in support of people.
We were walking in support of Rich’ and Rich’ in turn was walking with, and in support of, Kerry and Julie Mills from the CRY Surgery Supporters Network.
It broke our hearts to see photos of young people on t-shirts and we could not begin to imagine how those families felt.
What no-one could have ever foretold was that a year later, on the 24th July 2008, Rich would be so cruelly taken away from us.
In 2010 we knew that we had to complete the walk again for Rich and for CRY but knew that the weekend itself may be a problem.
So on the 11th July, Pete and I set out for London to do a practice run. I’m so glad we did as we soon found that one of the bridges, where we had stopped in 2007 for drinks and sandwiches, was the one where the memories flooded back in like an old cine film. I ran across the bridge to try and stop the hurt.
Armed with our knowledge we decided that we would attempt the walk itself. Sunday 18th July 2010 was a sunny blustery morning as myself and my husband, our best friends and Rich’s girlfriend Amy and her friend Joanne, set out for the drive to London. We had our badges of Rich pinned safely to our t-shirts and we were going to do this.
This time we knew how everyone else felt but armed with balloons, dark glasses and loads of tissues we were going to do this. That bridge came and again I ran across it but we all managed to complete the walk.
Seeing Alison Cox afterwards and chatting helped, as in 2007 Rich’ had attended a CRY meeting as a youngster with a heart condition. Speaking with her has given me the courage to write this, in that if anyone ever finds themselves in the same position as having walked the walk with their young person and then finds themselves in that ‘elite club’ of having to walk in memory of, then we found that it did help to complete a trial run of the walk at your own pace.
You remain completely anonymous which helps when you find your ‘moments’. It is a way that we may always walk in the future.
I am so glad that we walked and without the love and support of everyone on our team I don’t know that we could have done it at all. We ended the day with a meal and a glass of wine in the pub for Rich’.
With Rich’, in 2007, we completed the walk in 5 hours. I am so proud of him for managing to do this.
Love you always Rich’.