a little over two years ago, I, like many other people, became aware of the plight of fellow humans trying to escape from a brutal war, travelling towards safety and hoping to find sanctuary.
I have written here before about what happened next, about setting up a grass roots organisation, about learning more than I ever thought possible about aid, about support and about the evil in this world of ours. For the last twenty five months, I have stood with wonderful people and together we have made a difference.
From a small start we grew, a shop, containers, baby boxes, bras, medical equipment, all sourced, donated and shipped. I learned just how much hard work this involves. Hours and hours of sorting and packing, the aching limbs salved by cake, coffee and friendship.
It is really hard to paint a picture of how all of the above feels. At times it is like being in the midst of a crazy tornado, with boxes hurling themselves towards you, at others it is like being cocooned in a warm fuzzy blanket, such is the love and friendship we have found.
In the two years gone, we have also changed. Circumstance have shifted, children have grown, our personal priorities have to be different now.
It was with heavy heart we decided that now was the time to stop Now, before it became too tricky to continue with our own high standards. Now, before we stretched the elastic so much it snapped. Now is the time
We have a plan, of course we do, we shall end well. We shall certainly be more organised than our beginning became. We vow to make sure all the love is parcelled up and sent to reach it’s destination, we shall spend every last penny donated on help and support for those who need it most.
Yet, this is the practical side of the ending. The other side, the emotional side will take, for me at least a little longer. Firstly there is the friendships made across the globe. From the West Coast of American to the South of France, from the Greek Islands to Turkey, I have forever friends. People who also stood up and spoke out.
Locally there are even more special people, who I cannot imagine not knowing. One friend, who is dear to me, is the woman that the first time I met her told the tale of her literally taking a coat of someones back in a department store, to give to a cold tired refugee!! There are so many more, near and far, my life is richer for knowing them.
So, endings, are even more important than beginnings. Endings have to be done carefully, and each memory taken from the shelf of experience and placed into it’s own special box, to be kept forever. Then they shall be ready to be opened again, to bring back the love and the laughter as we tell and retell the story of the twenty five months when we made a difference.
It has been my utter privilege to be a part of this, I shall miss it and yet will remain ever thankful that we did it. I always had the thought that one day my gorgeous Granddaughter will be grown, and these cruel times will be history. I wanted, when she asked the question of me, as I am sure all those to come will do, ‘what did you do to help Nanna’ I wanted to be able to say, ‘I did my best, darling I did the best I could’ and alongside hundreds of others this is the truth.
Thank you Hummingbirds, for you have given me far more than I have ever offered to you.