If you want to send any photos from the party please send them to:
Thank you

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Its taken me till today to be able to sit and write to you all. The day on Sunday seems a bit of a blur. But what I do remember of it are good memories. Katie would have been very pleased to see so many friends in the church - about 350 I have been told - and would have loved to hear the stories and praise from her parents, brothers and sister and also the moving peices from the String Quartet. Many thanks to all who contributed to the service - it was a real tribute to Katie's wonderful,yet far too short, life.
The party also went well as far as I could tell. The children seemed to be very happy which would have been Katie's priority. They loved the activities laid on by the amazing staff at the Hanbury creche and leisure/beauty centre and also adored the Abba Girls. I know there were many people I did not get round to see/speak to so I am sorry if you were one of them. In fact I was so busy trying that I forgot to take any photos - if you have any good ones please email them to me. Also we did not manage to do Katie's disco playlist justice so maybe that's an excuse to have another party in the future?
Thanks also to Hollie and clan for throwing flowers off the cliffs of Fair Isle in tribute to Katie while we all celebrated at her party. Her love of bird watching as a child was mentioned in the service so it's quite fitting that you were doing that from the Bird Observatory up there.

BBC online are due to write something in their health section about Katie and melanoma after Tom contacted a friend of his. And Take a Break Magazine are due to be contacting me to write an article on Katie's fight.

Meanwhile life goes on. The kids seem happy, the school are being very understanding - I said they should still make Mothers Day cards when the class teachers asked me what they should do - and I have lots of paperwork to attend to!
So finally a big thank you for coming to the Thanksgiving Service and the party. I will continue to add significant things to this blog as it will serve as a good reminder in the future. And if any of you have some photos from Sunday please email me a copy. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Hi Giles
I'm not surprised Sunday seemed a blur to you - you had so much to attend to and you looked as if you were coping tremendously. Thank you so much for having us at both the Thanksgiving Service and Katie's party - we all really enjoyed ourselves and were absolutely amazed and in awe of all of the hard work that must have gone into all of the preparations especially photo albums with their captions and details of Katie's too short-lived life. Thank you for keeping us all updated we are so grateful you have been able to share your lives with everyone and the awareness both Katie and you have produced through Katie's blog.I'm glad the children enjoyed Sunday, they are such lovely children and I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is for you to try to continue and put a brave face on. Take care all of you, you are all in our thoughts. Sarah, Cal, Will & Emily.

Anonymous said...

Hi Giles

You did Katie proud with the service and her carefully expertly planned party.

I'm sure she was jigging around to Abba in heaven.

I know that whatever you do with the children on Sunday mother's day will be special too.

Fran xxx

Nicola Keeling said...

Dear Giles
Your family astound me at your strength. Sunday was amazing in so many ways and as ever it's so sad the person we celebated was not there to participate. I hope she was in all of us. I am an old school friend of Katy and arrived to the church with my friend Catherine who introduced us as old school friends! I just said hello Giles as I felt I had known you so much over the last couple of months. You and the children have coped so well as have Katies parents and brothers and sister. You are all a marvel. I hope you continue to find the strenght over the next very difficault years ahead bringing up your children and grieving for your missed and loved for wife. Life is cruel but take solace in your many friends and family around you. Many of whom showed their support on Sunday. I will miss Katie but have learnt so much from her. With lots of love Nicola Keeling xx

meltem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
meltem said...

Dear Giles,

I didn't know Katie. I have heard of her through Sara in Baku and since then I have been reading her blog. Her fight effected us, me and my husband, deeply, maybe because we are also parents. We put ourselves in your and her position and realised how everyday of our lives is actually a gift that we should take advantage of every minute. Thats what Katie had been doing until the last moment. I wish I could know her personally, because she had a lot to teach about life. We wish you all the strength. The children are very lucky to have a daddy like you.

pat said...

Dear Giles
Thankyou for the Thanksgiving service and Katies party, the service was lovely and really enjoyed Katies party. Bet she was watching us all from heaven. Will be thinking of you all on Mothers Day. Thankyou for keeping us all updated through Katies blog.

Love to you all Pat.

gillianfn said...

I was alerted to Katie's blog because I have a Google alert concerning malignant melanoma, skin cancer etc, which emails me every day. The reason for this is that I run www.factor50.org.uk which I set up following the death of a close friend in May 2008 (it seems so awful to say "nearly 2 years ago") He was only 30 and like Katie, he battled bravely against this awful illness. This blog touched me whilst at the same time I became angry at yet another young life being stolen by this illness much too soon.

The reason I set up Factor 50 was to try and pump some much needed funds into Malignant Melanoma research - my understanding is that it doesn't get as much as some of the more "popular" cancers and I set out to try and redress the balance somewhat.

I hope everything you do in Katie's name helps melanoma sufferers in the future.

annie said...

many times its hard to know what to say and hope that a look will convey everything (not sure it does and how could it really.)
The Thanksgiving service was so heartfelt from all the family and its so moving listening to the violins. Katie's would have loved the party with you, the children and her family and friends. Abba were really fun. The photo album was a delight to look at...Sophie, Sam and Evie so resemble Katie and you.
Katie has inspired everyone and will always be around in spirit.
love annie x x

Anonymous said...

Hi Giles, Thank you for, yet again, providing us all with an update during this week which must be extremely difficult for you trying to get "back to normal" and especially difficult with Mothering Sunday coming up. The Thanksgiving Service was lovely as was the party - just like Katie. She must've been very proud of you all on Sunday with the dignity and strength which you all showed and have done so all along. I will call you one evening soon as promised to see how things are going but rest assured we contine to think about you all daily. Lots of love Neil, Amanda, Cameron and bumps xxxxx.

Anonymous said...

Sunday was very beautiful and a fitting tribute to a very special person. I know that Katie would have felt a sense of triumph at the way in which all the children had a wonderful time - not least yours and katie's own exquisite and very precious three. How very lovely they are. we felt it such a privilege to be there -to share your celebrations, revelations and loss. What a brave and wonderful family you all are. You have a tremendous journey ahead of you but remember that the love that Katie generated still surrounds you and supports you all. Thank you for continuing the blog. Love Pam and Gary

Sara said...

Dear Giles, Thank you so much for keeping us up to date... we really appreciate it.
The pink coffin looks totally cool... she would have gotten a kick out of that for sure :)
We miss her... many people here in Baku have been asking for news and I have been filling them in on the details slowly... that has been tough but nothing to what you are coping with. Folks here were really routing for her and their thoughts and love is with you and Katie's family right now.
We had a party on Friday and raised a glass in your direction... she was remembered fondly by all of us.
Please give the children big hugs from me and lots and lots of love to all of you, Sx

Marianne said...

Dear Giles
Thank you so much for all the arrangements on Sunday. It felt good, through the tears, to have chance to say goodbye to Katie in that way, and then to be able to enjoy the party, knowing it was all her own work, and especially to see the children having such fun and being infectious with their enjoyment. I know the rest of the family must have worked hard as well to get everything ready, so thanks to all of you. You were all so strong and composed. What moved me the most, in a way, was how colourful everyone looked and how many beautiful dresses there were on show. People really took Katie's wishes to heart and it helped transform the day into a celebration.

Hoping you all keep well and take care of yourselves in the coming days and weeks.

lots of love
Marianne xxx

Christel Ainge said...

Dear Giles,

Thank you.

Sunday was a very emotional but beautiful day and you could not have done any more or any better. The service was so moving and yet listening to Katie's mum, dad, brothers and sister read with such dignity and composure really inspired me to try and be stronger too.
Everything about the party reminded me of Katie and it was a real privilege to be able to look at pictures of her when she was younger.I'm sure Evie will look a bit like you one day Giles but at the minute she is the spitting image of Katie! So much so that when I first saw the picture of Katie as a toddler in her paddling pool, I really was not sure who I was looking at!
Finally, the children absolutely love the Abba tribute band and once again I thought you were all an amazing family to give others so much pleasure whilst coming to terms with your personal grief.
I also believe that your campaign to fight this terrible disease is brlliant and you have our full support. Please ask for help when you need it.


Jenny Crewe said...

Dear Giles
So sorry to have missed the service and the party on Sunday. My thoughts were with you all and I am pleased to hear it was such a wonderful tribute to beautiful Katie.
Thankyou for sharing photos of your private goodbyes. I am amazed at the "sexy pink". You really did think of Katie - I am sure she would be smiling at that!
Now all the arrangements are out of the way I am sure its not going to get any easier. There are so many people who have shared this journey with you all and I am sure I can speak for all of us that we are still here for you and would be happy to help in any way we can. Please just ask.
To you and all of Katies family our thoughts are with you and we wish you peace.
With love Jenny and family