Monday, 23 May 2011

Top 10 unsung heroes*

I’m not much of a singer. I can perform a song and often have. Not drunk in a bar but as an actor in musical shows. I don’t do karaoke, for me singing in public is a paid activity, if anyone will pay me to do it. I once did a great public consultation street theatre exercise (paid) part of which involved me busking in the street. I don’t really play a musical instrument or, as I’ve said, sing but I played requests – CDs on a ghetto blaster. And I danced. It bemused passers by but was a good discussion starting point.

I often sing around the flat and today I would like to sing the praises of some of the people who have had a real impact on my life. My personal heroes. To save everyone’s blushes, mostly mine, I won’t sing musically out loud and will keep them almost anonymous, but I want to mention a few wonderful people.

In no particular order.

My mum – she was a remarkable woman, hard working, professional, intelligent, occasionally scary! She spent a long time campaigning for the release of Soviet Jewry or refusniks and, in her latter years, worked for the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture. She would have been 85 on 9 June.
And my dad – as with my mum, intelligent, almost unbearably so, and wise in so many ways. After my mum died, my dad was a very important part of my life and vice versa. I love and miss them both. I am glad they have not had to live through the last couple of years since my dx.
My BFF – she is nearly indispensable to me and unbelievably helpful in so many selfless ways.
My sister – a mainstay in my life, particularly since our mum died, even more so when dad became ill then died and since I went into hospital in 2009.
My agent – she has been a friend for a long time and I am lucky to know her and her family well. Her home is a home from home to me as I have stayed there often over the years. She surprised me by visiting (with a friend) when I was in hospital, a four hundred mile round trip.
My flatmate – he has proved himself dependable and considerate.
Jax (nearly her real name) – a friend from university days who inspires me often and makes me laugh every time we talk
Nev (not his real name) – we are in touch less often than I would like but, in years gone by, he was a faithful friend and, if needed, we would drive to the other end of the country at the drop of a hat for each other. He doesn’t live in the same country as me now.
Tanzy – I think one of the first things I might have told her was that she was miscast in a show I was directing. Unusually, I hadn’t been involved in the casting or, indeed, in the choice of play but it went fine and I learnt a lot directing it and her. In the years since and, especially recently, she has been a true friend.
My MS Specialist Nurses – there have actually been four of these but *Top 13 Unsung Heroes doesn’t sound as good as Top 10. Each has been supportive, informative and invaluable in coming to terms with and managing my MS. One of them even wiped my bum when I was incapable in hospital.

I thank all of my 'unsung heroes', including the ones I haven't sung about today. Normal, less flattering service, will be resumed shortly.

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