A few weeks ago, I visited Malina's house and took her some soup. She was struggling with the irrevocable truth that her disease was progressing despite everything she had tried to reverse it. It was terribly hard to focus, even for a moment, on anything joyful, but I felt that I needed to try. I needed to find something that would give Malina some respite in the darkness. I thought about Barbara Kingsolver's High Tide in Tucson. She says: "In my own worst seasons I've come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon." I went out and returned a few minutes later with a bunch of daffodils. That was the last time I saw Malina.
I want to support the work of the amazing people who have spent their days nurturing her and guiding her family through this terrible sadness. On 18th March - mother's day - my sister Aimee and I are doing a fun-run, dressing up as a bunch of daffodils and running three-legged, to raise money for Cornwall Hospice Care. (If you would like to donate, my justgiving page is here.) Malina was bags of fun and I like to think Malina (who among her many talents loved performing in pantomime) would get a kick out of watching us camp it up in our panto-inspired, home-made daffodil suits.
For you, Malina.