THE BACK STORY
After 20 years working in a stressful job and bringing up two lovely children (as most Mums know – a job with its own stresses!), I suffered a ‘crisis in confidence’. Age, life, menopause – whatever! Irrespective of the cause it resulted in me leaving my job and taking on a less stressful job in a more creative environment. ‘Never too late to take a gap year.’ I joked.
It was when I started work at PDA Card and Craft, a local printers, card and craft suppliers, that I met Linsey – affectionately known by some of her colleagues as ‘Lou-lah’.
The rollercoaster of life then took another huge and painful twist as my marriage of 23 years, to a good man, fell apart slowly and painfully for us both.
From one look at me in the morning, Linsey would know if I’d had a bad night. She instinctively recognised that I was struggling and that conversation would reduce me to tears. She never sighed and pulled that ‘here we go again’ face, when I talked through my turmoil AGAIN. She was patience itself!
If Linsey text me and I didn’t reply, she didn’t take offence. She recognised that I was in a bad place and had no words. She would send messages of support, with no expectation of a reply. She was my voice of reason when I most needed it. Our shared sense of humour gave us laughs at our worst times. She didn’t judge me, or abandon me, when my reasoning and thoughts were less than (far from) rational. Instead, she reassured me that it was a process I was going through and that I would get through it in my own time. She was ‘right by my side.’
The support, kindness and selfless friendship Linsey showed me, is even more incredible when you know that, two months after I left my husband, she had life changing news. Linsey was diagnosed with breast cancer, then had the further news it had spread to her liver.
For the previous two months I thought I was heading for the worst Christmas ever. Linsey had her first chemotherapy on Christmas Eve. This suddenly put life sharply into perspective!
Throughout her treatment and returning to work in her turban, Linsey was brave, dignified and serene. Her courage and positive attitude were and continue to be a total inspiration.