Why I’m trying to raise £3000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Even thinking hard about it, there is not much that the Mission’s 1988 album ‘Children’ and Sun Kil Moon’s 2010 album ‘Admiral Fell Promises’ have in common. For me, however, they have great resonance. The former was the album I listened to obsessively and intently when my Mother died in the year it was released; while the latter was constantly and exclusively on my car stereo around the time of my Father’s death in 2011, and for some time after.

As such these two albums are inherently linked to these two significant moments in my life. Yet there were also differences. I can remember being in my bedroom belting ‘Tower Of Strength’ out as if nothing else mattered..while I listened to the Sun Kil Moon much more meditatively. Of course a lots of this could be down to my time of life. I was only 24 when Mum died, not really an age when you want to lose someone that special (when is? But 24 was definitely too early). That said even at 47 it’s not easy to lose a parent especially when, as an only child, you lose all the knowledge of what you were like as a child when they go.

So what’s the point I’m making here. Well this is a music blog, and one of the reasons I write it (well probably the main reason) is because music means so much to me, and has been an inherent and constant part of my life since I bought my proper first single at the age of nine. Big thanks also go to my parents here who bought me a record player for my ninth birthday, and a radio the following Christmas (which I listened to under the bedclothes at night for years afterwards).

My parents weren’t massive music fans themselves. Dad was partial to a bit of Sinatra (and I’ve really come to appreciate that man’s voice over the years), but Mum had the radio on all day everyday…Motown, Dusty, Elvis, Kinks, Beatles and Stones were all heavy on rotation…as well as loads of stuff I’ve probably edited out. The point is that I got to listen to a lot of music growing up, and that had a real effect as I transitioned into my own taste…and having someone who became a teenager in 1977 was also pretty good timing on my parents behalf.

The other thing my parents deaths had in common was cancer. My Mum had had breast cancer when she was in he mid-50s and had beaten it well, and helped a number of other women who went through the same experience. But it came back a few years later in her bones, and this time there was no remission, and I can vividly remember the night that she died…of being in the hospital in the middle of the night…the stillness amidst a torrent of emotions. Dad, after a couple of strokes which he lived through with great humour and fortitude, contracted a rather virulent form of lymphoma during the summer of 2011, shortly after his eightieth birthday, and passed away in the November. A different hospital, but still the same vivid memories of that final day…and vivid memories of the music I was listening to at the time.

This is why, every so often, I try to do a challenge in aid of a cancer charity. A couple of years ago I lost a much needed 40 kg in weight (that’s around 100lbs) and managed to raise around £2k. This time I’m going for £3k by trying to walk 3000 miles in 2017, including an organised hiking marathon in September with some friends. I’m raising it for Macmillan Cancer Support (click here to donate):

Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer.

As well as helping with the medical needs of people affected by cancer, Macmillan also looks at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have, and campaigns for better cancer care. Macmillan Cancer Support’s goal is to reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer in the UK. (Wikipedia)

So far I’ve managed to walk over 1,100 miles (1770 km), and of course during those walks I listen to a lot of music…my constant in life.

I’d appreciate any small donation you could make towards this very worthy cause. Again, the link is here. Thank you for reading this.