The Tribute

 

I just want to start by saying thank you all for coming here today, the number of people here is testament

of how loved mum was. We have received hundreds of well wishes from people all over the world that my

mum touched during her lifetime and their words ring familiar bells: courage, strength, love, devotion,

caring, infectious smile, generosity, inspirational, and ‘life’ itself and how much she lived it.

 

Mum was one of the most remarkable people we will ever meet. She spent her life loving and caring for

her family, and her friends. She was there for us through thick and thin – she was our mum, sister,

daughter, grandma, councillor, our agony aunt, and our friend.

 

Mum had a loveable character and was always there for everyone. Whenever I faced a difficult situation in

which I didn’t know where to head she would be number one on my call list… always there to give me

advice – as well as tell me off of course. Life throws at us some pretty hard situations, and mum certainly

faced a few of those throughout her life, although hard she battled through and met them with courage

and determination, but always wanting to protect those around her along the way.

 

Mum trained as a nurse. She was caring, compassionate and loved looking after people. She was a team

player and enjoyed the buzz of working as a team on the hospital wards.

 

Mum then transferred her many skills into the private healthcare industry where she took up several roles

over the years such as a Clinical Educator, Regional Clinical Specialist and Training Manager on an

international level. Mum loved working for ArjoHuntleigh the last fteen years and as a result work played

a big part in her life. She was professional, efficient and passionate about developing people. She had a

unique way of making people feel comfortable and good about themselves. People have told me that you

would usually hear mums laughter before you would actually see her. She would light up the room with

her big infectious smile as she entered and say things like ‘chop chop’, ‘come on guys’ or ‘bless hearts’.

She would keep herself going throughout the day with her love of strong coffee, often missing lunch and

snacking on a bar of fruit and nut. In the evenings there was always a nice glass of wine, lots of chatter and

at big events she was always first on the dancefloor. She would kick her shoes offand say ‘come on guys’,

she would jump around with her hands in the air to her favourite Abba song Dancing Queen. This became

mums signature song and dance.

 

Mum managed to develop fantastic relationships with colleagues from all over the world. They had great

respect for her and loved having her as part of their team. Many of these colleagues have become very

special friends in mum’s life from the depths of New Zealand to Luton and to sunny Wales. Mum was a

bubbly person, fun to be around and very loyal to those she made friends with.

 

Barford was a very special place to mum. The last few years of her life was dedicated to immersing herself

in to the community spirit. She was proud to call Barford home and her wonderful friends helped her

tremendously through good and bad times. She loved going to the gym, doing her spinning classes,

biking, taking part in the theatre and on a larger scale the Barford challenge. Everyone knew mum as the

social buttery of the village, alwaysthere for everyone and everyone there for her. All her friends have

said how privileged they were to know mum, she showed great strength and courage through her life.

There is no doubt that Mum wore her heart on her sleeve, she cried when she was happy, she cried when

she was sad. Her friends would call her Mrs Emotional with overactive tear glands. It’s so endearing that

Mum wasn’t worried about showing her vulnerable side. She shared her thoughts and worries which is

why people would feel comfortable opening up to her. She was a confidente to many and I’m sure there

will be many a secret buried with her today.

 

When mum was diagnosed and we asked her what she would like to do before she died, she said she

would like nothing more than to spend quality time with family and friends. She would insist on good

food, good wine, good conversation and good company. That was after doing lots of shopping of course.

She had lots of passions…. chocolate, twiglets, coffee, wine and of course her love of shopping… I have

never seen so many tops and shoes in my life. Every time I spoke to her she’d bought something new, and

it was always something she needed…any new item of clothing always had to be accompanied by a new

pair of shoes… just whack it on the ‘never never’ card she used to say. I will never forget the fairly recent

story I heard off my dad of the time when he was locked out of the house and he went looking for mum,

who was out with Ola… walking down the road, all he saw was a wheel chair parked in the middle of the

pavement outside a clothes shop. Inside he found mum sat in the back of the shop with a huge smile on

her face and shop assistants fussing around her whilst she tried on high heels… she bought so much that

we had to go in the next day to pay the remaining bill. Despite her passion to spend on clothes mum

always gave more and her generosity shone through throughout her lifetime.

 

To the end, mum was always able to have a laugh and crack a joke and even more importantly laugh at

herself which had us all in stitches… she loved the phrase ‘blame the brain’ when she did something

wrong, amongst other phrases such as ‘what day is it’ and ‘can I have a coffee’

 

She touched us all in dfferent ways, she showed strength to carry on and keep loving and laughing along

the way. Despite the prognosis of her illness she would be more concerned about how other people were,

rather than herself. As people joined her on the journey they too were touched by what a great personality

she was and how much love she had to give – she gave and didn’t expect anything back all her life. I know

you will all agree that she was an inspiration to us all! How, when life throws you a bad deal you look for

the positives, carry on smiling and as she would say ‘have a laugh, and a giggle’.

 

It was on the 27th June 2010 Mum was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. At that time, she was

more pleased (in her view) that she wasn’t going nuts and more importantly that it wasn’t the coffee

causing the headaches.

 

The journey we have been on has not been easy, and it is evident that research is still needed to

understand Glioblastomas and hopefully one day -nd a cure. Mum was passionate about making sure that

her journey and her experiences would not be in vain and her suffering can be used for some good, to

help others, so that maybe one day other people can survive. In a true testament of mums character on

her passing she donated her brain to research.

 

Mum setup the Maggie Harvey Trust to fund research into the disease, I know many of you have donated,

or raised money through various different ways – mum was eternally grateful and brought to tears by

peoples generosity the response so far has been amazing, if she was able to write I know she would have

written to each and every one of you and thanked you. She really does want the fight to continue!

When she was diagnosed back in June 2010, on that day we were told she would have 3 weeks to live. In

typical mum style she blew that out of the water, and all other life expectancies but sadly she waved the

white ag after nearly 1 and ½ years. Her approach during this time really summed up mum… not once

did she complain, not once did she get angry, she loved, she gave, lived life and was a true -ghter to the

end.

 

I want to thank everyone that has been there for mum, friends and family of old and also new friends. We

couldn’t have done it without you. We have our memories. Let's remember her with her blonde hair,

coming into the room and brightening it all up with her infectious smile.

 

Mum loved us and we loved her.

 

As she said in her own words ‘I don’t want to leave the party’, but when she left this party and moved on to

the next she asked us to pass on these words to you all…… ‘Thank you for a Beautiful life, and I love you all’.