So…. after getting changed from the swim, it was time to go outside for the balloon release. These were kindly sponsored by DCLT and were to represent one for every mile I had swum over the past year. I am excited to say that we have one balloon found already…. near Grimsby! This might mean that if the wind direction has taken them east, then a lot of them may have ended up in the sea! However, the tags say that the competition to find them goes on till 31st October so we shall see.
After we had let the balloons go, it was then time to enjoy a Reception in the main room upstairs at the Leisure Centre. It was a lovely opportunity for those invited to chat to the Osmonds, and have photos taken. It was especially nice to recognise those who had offered great support throughout my Challenge, namely Carl Lewis from DCLT who simply could not have done more to support my efforts, for which I am extremely grateful.
A special mention was given to Kayleigh from Tesco Extra and Carolyn from Asda who coordinated the bag packs there. Unfortunately Martine from Morrisons was unable to come at the last minute, but their contribution was also recognised. Then we had Shirl from Thorntons who had donated over 1,000 chocolates for the Hearing Fund Gala, including samples for the Reception. Amazing. My Slimming World Consultant Sue Denton was there, as was the lovely Bobbie Roberts , Head of Trustees from the Deaf School. Special friends who have supported me in a huge way were also included on the guest list. Finally I could not have missed an opportunity to recognise my lovely husband Paul, and my family, who have each been a tower of strength to me. I really could not have done this without them.
A special thank you to everyone who turned up to make it such an unforgettable occasion. I am extremely grateful to Merrill, Justin and Kristi Osmond for coming, and for Justin being such a great sport in wanting to swim with me. What an honour! (Thanks to the lovely Tracey for organising their schedule to allow them to be there too!)
The Osmonds came to Armthorpe…. how incredible is that?! 😀
Dreams really can come true.
So what happens next?? As I finished my swim I had a strong impression that this is not the end, but a beginning of something else. Many people have encouraged me to keep writing this Blog once my Challenge ends. I have loved writing. I really do intend to follow it up with a book, because there are lots of things I would have liked to have shared but were unable to for various reasons. For now, the Blog continues. I still need to share the events following the Final Mile day so there is still more to come ……
Well this is a first! I have found a way to write a little something from my iPad in our hotel room. I just wanted to say what a nice journey we had coming here to Glasgow this afternoon. We picked up the lovely Leigh Cowell on the way so that made the travelling time much more pleasant.😄
One very special moment was just as we went past Gretna Green when I realised how close we were to the turn off to Ecclefechan. It was a very quick and spontaneous decision, but I felt we simply couldn’t drive past this quiet little Scottish village without stopping to pay respects to my Mum’s grave there; she was born there and always wanted to be laid to rest there. (It will be almost midnight when we go past again on the way home, so it was now, or another time when we would take a trip to Scotland.) It was a very quick but very easy decision to make. We only had time to stop for a few minutes but I’m so glad we did. On the bottom if her family gravestone, we had engraved ‘Families are Forever’ and I truly believe I will be with her and my Dad again one day. My parents taught me to believe anything is possible and because of that, among many other important things, my life has been extremely full of great and special things, and I’ll be forever grateful for who they were, and still are to me.
Tonight we enjoyed a lovely Scottish evening with Merrill and friends, with delicious food and great music from the one and only Merrill Osmond. Justin and Kristi joined us towards the end of the evening, which for me personally meant so much. A highlight for me was when Justin signed as his Dad sang Impossible Dream. Very emotional for me personally. It sounds like Justin is looking forward to my final mile on Tuesday …. almost as much as I am haha ! A special thank you to all who put so much work into making tonight such a great success. A very special evening to remember.
Today I’ve had a radio interview confirmed with BBC Radio Sheffield for next week with Rony Robinson. I will be talking to him on his show on Monday 11th April during the ‘My Life so Far’ slot. It starts at 12.10pm and ends at about 12.30pm. It can be found afterwards on IPlayer for 30 days afterwards.
I have also been invited to chat with Andrew Isaacs at Sine FM, a community radio station in Doncaster, next Wednesday 13th April at 10:00am. On their website, his programme is described as:
‘A weekly display of admiration for the town and people of Doncaster with special guests and features aimed to
celebrate all things Donny.’
It’s a show which lasts for an hour and usually has more than one guest appearing. The Podcast for the show can be downloaded afterwards but is only available for 7 days.
I had another lovely note from Justin Osmond this afternoon. They are on their way over here for the ‘Serenity Weekend’ this weekend, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Justin, Merrill and Kristi on Saturday 🙂
Come back tomorrow and I’ll be sharing some exciting information about this year’s Annual Hearing Fund Gala coming up in August!
A special thank you to those who anonymously have donated money on my JustGiving page this week. I don’t know who you are but I really do appreciate your kindness.
The distance continues to increase, the money keeps coming in, the opportunities to raise more money keep coming at me! 🙂 Today I have also had a lovely article written by Debbie Singh-Bhatti for the Ensign, the national magazine for my Church. I’ll share this once it has been published.
Look out tomorrow for an invitation to enjoy a memorable evening at the Hearing Fund Annual Gala in August.
My day ended with a lovely little note from Kristi Osmond (Justin’s wife)… how kind. 🙂