Hearing the sad news of Barbara Windsor’s passing last Thursday, got me reminiscing again about my dear old Dad…
He died just a few months after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (NOT as a result of this cruel disease, I should add) but that particular nightmare story is for another time.
Because I want to talk about happiness, not sadness this week.
I want to focus on positivity, not negativity.
I want to share the laughter, not the tears with you today.
And I want to shout about all the good things, the joyous things that can come out of difficult, painful experiences like the loss of a loved one…
Because for me, there have been many of them – and those moments have brought me gratitude and thankfulness in many different ways, one of which is what I’m able to do for the Alzheimer’s Society at this time each year.
For the last 3 years since my Dad died (on his birthday) I’ve donated the cost of my Xmas cards to the charity, in place of you receiving a Christmas card from Team FIT.
I’m grateful for your continued support – and I’m sure my Dad is too, so a BIG thank you from him and me to you and yours.
So, there’s a positive for starters!
All charities need donations to fund vital research into a cure – just look at the investment that’s been made in getting the COVID vaccine to us so swiftly, in order to protect the most vulnerable as we approach wintertime, and then hopefully roll out the programme to the rest of us.
That’s another positive, right there!
And what about the marvellous work of Kevin Sinfield, who recently completed 7 marathons in 7 days and raised over £1m for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, to support his friend and fellow rugby player Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with MND in 2019, aged just 37.
That’s yet another positive, wouldn’t you agree?
And of course, who can forget the awesome Joe Wicks, streaming live PE lessons to schools across the UK (long before lockdown I should add) – suddenly helping the whole nation stay physically (and emotionally) fit during this turbulent time, and donating all the money he’s made from his videos to help the NHS in its efforts against tackling coronavirus.
Positivity personified is our Joe!
And while our focus has been on the coronavirus for the best part of this year, let’s also remember the good deeds of Toy Story actor Tom Hanks, who sent a letter and a special typewriter as a gift to an 8-year-old Australian boy during the pandemic, who was being bullied because of his name, which was Corona.
Talk about a random act of kindness!
Or what about the generosity of Miley Cyrus and boyfriend Cody Simpson, who brought 120 tacos to a local hospital as a delicious thank you for the healthcare workers treating patients in the midst of the COVID pandemic.
Or the kindness of American singer Rhianna, who has donated £4.2 million through her foundation to help organisations in the US and around the world fight coronavirus. Her money will go towards food banks in America, protective equipment for frontline workers and research to help develop a vaccine.
And then we have some real heroes a little closer to home – with X-Men actor James McAvoy, who has donated £275,000 to the Masks for NHS Heroes campaign, to provide protective equipment for hospital staff across the UK.
And of course, our very own Man United & England striker Marcus Rashford, who has been working tirelessly with charity FareShare, helping to raise £100,000 which will feed 400,000 children across Manchester – and now making waves in other parts of the country, to help those kids who need free school meals.
Way to go Marcus!
These may all be celebs who are doing good deeds to bring light and joy to those who are struggling at this time – but I assure you, there are plenty of unknowns too, who through their own pain and suffering, are doing an equally marvellous job in making sure we focus on the positive and see that glass as being half full as we approach this Christmastime.
My Dad wouldn’t want me to be sad and I’m sure neither would Barbara right now.
So, let’s fill up that glass with some sparkly stuff today – and celebrate all the goodness that life has to offer, as we march boldly on into 2021✨
Until next time, Carry On Carrying On – and keep FIT!
R.I.P Dame Barbara Windsor