Lay Me Down

“These tears, they tell their own story”

 

Still up on this Sunday evening, missing people I shouldn’t really have to miss but I am, however, also thinking about how they’re still glowing inside my heart and about all the funny, stupid and crazy memories I have of when they were here! – thinking and be grateful that, yes, they were here and they lived! 

Last year I lost more than one person that I knew, three of them I had met in hospital and two of them extremely close to my heart. My best friend Bella (September 2013) and my nan (December 2013).

In fact, they both unfortunately died of Cancer. It is extremely hard to comprehend why this nasty disease attacked them both but it became clear to me that it could happen to anyone, at anytime really & of any age. Bella was 5 years old and my nan, in her early 70’s. 

I want to talk a little bit about Bella, she was the sweetest thing! Even though her illness was probably all she knew, she was a funny, chirpy character and the first time we met was at the rainforest cafe in London, so beautiful & we had an absolute blast, as girls do aye! … Half way through the night we took a beautiful photo, that I will cherish forever. I remember simply putting my arm around her and she just pulled me so close, with both arms wrapped around me, I couldn’t help but smile and know that this was a special moment. 

We listened to Jessie J all the way to the hotel and she told me so many silly stories about music, scooby doo, monster high and Egyptians – she loved to learn and draw about them. Too cute and very original I think! A total gem.

When Bella was abroad for treatment I would often send her silly videos of me singing and being absolutely stupid, because I knew that’s what she liked. Fun! – It was my way of staying in touch with her, whilst being so far away.

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I remember, I went to visit her in her last week of being here. Never have I felt so sick to see such a precious little thing, slowly fade. She wasn’t keen on anyone touching her and in that moment all I wanted to do was wrap both arms around her, like she did for that photo, and never let go. 

On my way home, although I felt a great sadness, I couldn’t help but remember the fun, her 5th birthday, our day out, the drawings she had sent me and more.

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When I learned that she had peacefully been taken, I cried, for at least three days solid but there was this part of me that wanted to feel ‘happy’ because I knew her, she was my friend and I was hers & most importantly she lived! She was here! Maybe not for very long but she still “lived each day until she died” – she had her first disco, an amazing 5th birthday, she played, she had fun, she was loved and again, she was here! 

 

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Bella & I

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One of the most healing things, for me, in those moments is music – either listening to music that reminds me of that particular person or to an artist that I knew they loved. I also listen to songs that I find relaxing and ‘healing’ in those moments of sadness and hope! … Links to my three favorite at the end of this post. 

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I often find that, in those saddest of times we can often forget; how much we laughed and how much joy that particular person brought to our lives. We almost forget that they were here and only know that they are gone. Of course, I’m sad when these things happen but deep down, I know they’re still here and I can’t help but smile because they were HERE! No matter for how long or for what reason, they had some kind of life. – & clearly life is a very rare, but precious gift! 

I think there can be a positive or a good in it (death), we have to take the time to see and understand it, as best as we can! Knowing that, no matter what, those people will always be loved, regardless of where they are.

Thinking of you all tonight, butterflies, angels, princesses – whatever you’ve chosen to be and wherever you are! 

 “Live everyday, like it’s your last” – Go smash it!! 

 

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Bella’s drawing and gifts for my 18th Birthday!

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Bella’s Mum and I

 

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Bella & I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D_U_vRUdTw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RDUjA0fN4o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsjt2UvmtrM

My site – https://www.facebook.com/HannahsHeartBeat?ref=hl

Hannah x

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Florida

So excited to say that I will be going to Florida this summer, for at least two months!

It won’t be like an ordinary holiday though, I will be going on my own and volunteering at the amazing ‘resort’ that is Give Kids The World (GKTW). – This is a place that caters to seriously and terminally ill children, through other wish organizations … They act like a ‘villa’ for wish families who are visiting Disney World Orlando, providing various activities and FUN for everyone who visits.

I can not tell you how excited it makes me, that I am going to be a part of these families fun and most importantly, amazing memories! Children like this inspire me and I love being around them, as well as having fun! Giving them smiles and hope, just as they deserve. They’re motto is “Where happiness inspires hope” and I very much look forward to being a part of making that happen… I can’t think of a better way to spend my summer 🙂

Wanted to share that with you all! Will update as I know more… Florida, here I come!

See link below for the official site and all the work that they do.

http://www.gktw.org

Hannah x

 

Florida, here I come

Florida, here I come

 

Smile and Wave

Hola…

Firstly… Happy Pancake Day!! – Even though I’m not at home, used my mum ma’s (love her) amazing recipe to make some of my own. YUM! I’ve definitely eaten way too many pancakes today, sure you all have too… to be honest, you’d be crazy not too. 

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It’s officially been a week since I arrived in Spain and it is so nice to have some sun!

I will be out here for a total of four months, trying to work on my Spanish, so I still have time to get a tan and have lots of fun, eating amazing food… I´m staying out here with a family that I know (so don’t feel completely lost), in a little town called Onda, near to the city Valencia – very beautiful.

The first week has been quite hard though, even though I have felt extremely welcomed and I understand a lot of people are saying, Spanish people speak incredibly FAST! It’s just part of their culture. Just means that I have to be ‘on the ball’ all the time, I can feel my brain working extra hard!

Although I understand a lot, it is hard to have a full length conversation with someone, that will come in time I’m sure but, it’s quite frustrating really. Especially because I am such a chatter box usually… The most annoying thing is not being able to communicate ‘properly’ with the families son, I always love being around children, having a laugh and in this case playing pirates and dragons but when you can’t fully understand what he’s saying to you (because he speaks so fast!) it is very annoying. I often find myself doing the Penguins of Madagascar, “Smile and Wave” act.

I will never be able to speak as fast as they do, that’s for sure! However, hopefully I will get used to their pace and become more confident in actually speaking… for now I just wish they would S-L-O-W D-O-W-N! At least give me a chance 🙂

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There is some good in it though, being able to understand a lot more than speak, i’ve already experienced and understood a lot about the culture… Last week for example, along with the family we attended what they call ‘Carnival’  – all the children dress up according to a topic they have been learning, in this instance it was a mixture of pirates, animals, nature and more, and they walk the streets with a live band for all the parents and family to watch.

It was quite an interesting experience, I could never imagine anything like that back home, we all seem so boring compared to this – ha-ha. it was amazing to see everyone gather together and watch the whole school parade about the streets. Parents and families were so proud and I don’t think anything could have wiped the smile off the children’s faces at that moment in time. Truly wonderful! It was just so nice to see a community come together like that. Something I have never experienced before but would definitely recommend – How fun must that be for everyone involved!

Just wanted to share that with you all! Hope it was ok and maybe you took one or two things from it too. Have a lovely rest of the week, for now, go eat some Pancakes!!

 

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See what I mean! … How awesome!

 

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Sneak peak of my next blog! …

 

Oh Yes... Can't wait to share why!

Oh Yes… Can’t wait to share why!

 

Hannah x

“Hair is so over rated”

After shaving all my hair off a week ago, I’ve come to realisation that hair is so over rated! There’s a lot more to life.

Having long hair meant that I had something to fiddle with when I got nervous, something to playa round with when I got bored and something to style according to the occasion.

So, of course, it’s a huge deal for a girl to loose her hair and I doubt any girl would cut their hair this short by choice, however, it’s becoming an interesting experience and I’m excited to be able to try out so many different hair styles, as my hair begins to grow back. I can do whatever I like with it & it’s exciting to know how fresh and healthy it will be!

We often complain about our hair though. my hairs to long, my hairs too thin, I’m having a ‘bad hair’ day, don’t look at my hair it’s greasy etc… In actual fact we should just be grateful to have hair! – having no hair has made me realise that we use it and make it a part if our lives a lot more than we think.

We can never really imagine ourselves without hair either but really, it’s not as bad as you may think! … I know I’m saying this after having done it by choice and I can’t imagine how painful it must be to loose your hair to being ill – must be so unpleasant. Especially, since shaving my hair, some of the looks I’ve been given are unbelievable! It always confuses me that people will stare but never have the courage to ask.

To anyone that is forced to loose their hair, my message would be to try and have a little fun with it, take it day by day and remember “it’s not what you look like, it’s who you are” that’s important. – plus, there’s benefits, like not having to wash it so often, or brush it morning and night and we gain about an extra hour, we don’t have to worry about styling it!

Anyone who can only see ‘hair’ isn’t worth keeping, there’s so much more to a person!

Had I not had the courage to support my friend through this shave, I would have never experienced what I’ve just spoken about and would have carried on moaning about my hair all the time, wishing I had this and not that…

Be grateful for the hair you have but remember at the end of the day: it will always grow back!

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Shave It Off

I´m back! … I realize I haven´t posted in absolutely ages! Really bad I know, however, I would like to try and make a fresh start as I do enjoy blogging, good for making memories and I hope that some of the stuff I post can be of interest to people.

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I´d like to quickly talk about my latest charity stunt! … ´Shave It Off´ … A dear friend of mine, who is 14 years old, was diagnosed with brain tumors and is undergoing radio therapy treatment. Due to treatment, she knew that she would loose all her hair. Before this happened she decided to shave it off and donate her hair to charity, as well as raise money for a couple of charities of her choice.

I could´t let her do that alone and so, my friend and I decided to shave our hair too! A girl having to loose her hair is such a big deal and even though it will grow back, no girl should have to go through that, let alone go through it alone!

It all happened within the space of three weeks, from dec icing to do it with her, to setting up a page, to then finally loosing our locks! The event took place, the weekend just gone, 22nd February 2014. I will remember that day for the rest of my life.

The day consisted of make-up, photos, laughter, love anxiety and friendship! – I really wanted to focus on making it an ‘event’ for my friend and not something painful to have to go through, I booked the make-up artist (Sophie Murray Make Up) and photographer (LauraO Photography), can I just say that they were absolutely amazing and it really made all the difference. They stayed throughout the day and it was so lovely to have their company. It also meant that 1) we would look nice before loosing our hair & 2) we have amazing photos of the event, which we will cherries forever.

It was a surreal experience, to think that I was going to have no hair and to do it by choice too, however, doing it with two of my closest friends and for a girl I love so dearly, it was all worth it. If anyone was to ask how it felt or what I was feeling at the time, I honestly could´t say. I couldn´t tell you how fast my heart was beating at the time or how sick I felt & the only thing I seemed to be able to do was to laugh! – which can only be a good thing.

It truly was the weirdest sensation, having razors put to your head and seeing your  hair just ‘fall’ off, can I just add that none of us had short hair either! I would´t change it for the world though and will say that I don´t look as bad as I thought I would. Some people thought I was crazy but standing up and seeing so much hair on the floor and feeling so happy to be there for my friend, was the best feeling! At the end of the day, It will grow back!

Also, we’ve managed to raise a large amount of money, so far between us we stand at just over 11,000 and no amount of hair could ever repay that – We were truly touched by everyone´s generosity. I will take this opportunity to say that the Just Giving page is still open, should you wish to contribute… http://www.justgiving.com/Shaveforcissy. We are raising money for two hospitals close to all our hearts.

To remember the event my friend bought us two girls a bracelet each, with a charm that has a pair of scissors and a comb! It was like it was meant to be, we also all have the same ring, which we wear on the middle finger of our right hand, just below the bracelet. I will not be forgetting the event anytime soon.

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A little message to you Cissy – Whenever you feel down or feel like you can´t keep on or lose hope, look down at your hand, focus on the ring and the bracelet that brings all three of us so close and remember how much Katie and I love you and that you are not alone. Let those items bring back the amazing memories of the weekend and don´t forget “As friends we fight” – Love you! Amazing girl.

The most important thing to remember is that “true friendship knows no bounds”. There´s always a way of turning a negative into a positive and part of that is surrounding yourself with people you love as well as people who love you.

The three of us after the shave!

The three of us after the shave!

Hannah

An Adventure…

Arriving here was a bit of a shock, it wasn’t quite what I expected but none the less I have to make the most of it and just take the opportunity as it comes. I am volunteering in an adult mental health center in Brooklyn . Although mental health is an aspect of life and the mind that I have always found a little scary, I didn’t want to chicken out of this but rather let it take me on a journey and different understanding of these particular people.
 
It’s Wednesday and I have only been here a few days but I can already tell that this is going to be an eye opening experience and one that I will be sure to never forget. The center is small and open plan; therefore, you really get stuck into anything and everything.
 
You look at these people and see that they aren’t harmless or here to cause us any trouble but merely just like any other human being. I always “feared” being around these people as I didn’t know what to expect and was unsure of how to ‘treat’ them… I see now and will without a doubt learn how this can be done and dealt with.
 
The center welcomes all their members with open arms and it really is inspiring to see so many members turn up everyday, you’re sure to meet a different mix of people everyday, from all walks of life… You wonder what brings them here. Deep down you feel a great sadness for these people and why they have had to end up like this? The members vary in ages and it’s eye opening to see that so many of these people have so much potential yet there is one thing that will stop them all the time… at times, they may not even be aware or be able to understand why or how. You know when you walk into the center that everyone around you will have something in common.
 
Although deep down it hurts to see people like this, you can’t help but smile at them all, say a simple ‘morning’ as they walk past you or give them a high five when you cross them in the lift. All the members here genuinely care for each other and that is so special, you can tell that they like this place and have their own sort of family here.
 
Saying that a few days in may seem a little unrealistic but that’s what I have picked up so far and I feel that is what makes this place so special. I know that I will be able to learn so much from being here and will get to know many of the members very well; which will for sure have its positives as well as its negatives.
 
At first I felt disappointed to be here, around people I originally ‘feared’ but I believe that I may have ended up here for a reason and that I will be able to gain life long skills and qualities as well learn so much from these incredible people, more than I already thought I would on this trip.
 
 
This will undoubtedly be an experience I will never forget… 

Don’t Push Me, Cause I Am Close To The Edge…

abseil

Today I took part in a 170ft abseil for the chairty, Rays of Sunshine. I don’t actually know what on earth I was thinking when I agreed to take part in this event. having said that, It was so much fun! I had never abseiled before today and the hardest bit was definitely getting over the edge of the building, although ‘The best way to overcome your fears, is to face them’.

Rays of Sunshine grant wishes for seriously and terminally ill children across the UK. I had a wish granted by them in November 2011. If you want to know more, please check out their website Rays of Sunshine – Granting magical wishes everyday, for some of the most deserving children in the UK.

x

 

You can get better, You will get better

bella

 

“Good friends are hard to find and impossible to forget”

People are always inspired by things; there are just some inspirational aspects of life that we connect with more and really take to heart. I believe that you can be inspired by anything; it’s just a case of being able to find it…
Suffering with a severe long term illness can be hard, however, opens your eyes to the world and through my ‘unfortunate’ health I have come to know so many amazing young people.

I will never forget the day I met a 5 year old girl fighting her battle with, what we call, ‘The big C’ who I have now grown to love. It is eye opening watching her fight for her life day in and day out with courage and determination to get better. She is confident and her beautiful smile could brighten up the dullest of rooms, like any 5 year old she is cheeky, funny and loves to spend time playing.
She dreams of being a rock star ballerina (that’s multitasking for you!) and is always dancing around to her favourite artist, Jessie J. Deep down, I know she will achieve her dreams and be great at it, wherever she does it. I can’t wait to have my front row tickets to her show!

She is my inspiration; it’s because of people like her that I found my drive and passion to carry on brining some sort of goodness into the world.

She is my ‘best friend’ & my biggest inspiration