I meet a lot of people in my life. Some fade in and drift out, barely creating a memory. Others, arrive with a resounding BOOM…landing on the scene in a rainbow of colour with a Rolling Stones soundtrack; changing my path and becoming a permanent fixture in my world; amusing and distracting me, in the most wonderful of ways. And then there are those that, however softly they creep in, become important in a quieter, more subtle way. Often, they don’t need much room – they’re not loud or attention grabbing, they just settle in, like a quiet house guest, and you’re simply aware they’re present.
Recently, I met a girl who, within hours of meeting me knew more than many of my every day friends, due to the circumstances we were in and the people we were with. It was one of those days that leaves you open; completely at peace with yourself and who you are to become. When you’re in a situation where you are asked to share your fears, your dreams, your thoughts, and you trust those you’re with enough to do so, there isn’t a lot of room left to hide…and you see people for who they truly are, that beautiful spark of someone you might otherwise never see.
And there she was. The uber-talented Ruth Ridgeway, a fellow Designer whose talent leaves me in awe. A lady who sat calmly (secretly raising an eyebrow, I bet) as I arrived late to a business mastermind; tired, flustered, noisy, full of stories; while she stayed composed, peaceful, still. First impressions here could never have told me enough. I’d never have known that this woman has a story bigger than anyone could ever imagine; that she copes with more every day than most do in a lifetime. (And still sends beautiful notes like this, because really, she’s pretty special)
What I learned in that room, that day, would never usually be shared. This isn’t a site where I offer up too much of my own life, let alone other people’s. But with Ruth’s permission, and for a very good reason, I’m going to tell you a little bit, and hope you appreciate why today, I’m breaking my own rules.
Exactly 2 years ago – in the summer of 2014 – Steve, the love of Ruth’s life, suffered a horrendous accident that left him paralysed. Almost 6 years into their relationship and just a few months before they were due to move in together, their lives were changed beyond comprehension and a new, different, bonding, yet infinitely more difficult journey emerged. My eyes are leaking just writing this because the reality of it is just so HUGE – my words would never be enough to describe it, so I’ll let Ruth’s writing tell you the story:
It’s now 18 months since that was written, and the battle both Steve and Ruth fight daily is still so very real. YET. As with most good people in life, Steve has not let this beat him. He’s taken the situation he’s in, and created something positive; not just to help himself, but to raise money for others living with spinal cord injuries, to fund research and eventually reach the point where there’s a cure.
These gorgeous, limited edition (there are only 50 available) “Can’t Quit, Won’t Quit” tees are designed in conjunction with Richard Lazenby, Tattoo Artist. Each shirt comes with a special print of each dagger too. The proceeds from each sale will go towards Wings for Life, a brilliant not-for-profit organisations whose mission is to find a cure for spinal cord injury. (The design itself is super personal. Just a few months before his accident, Steve had these daggers and hearts tattooed on the back of his calves. As they no longer get to be seen as much as they should, they’ve made it here for others to enjoy)
I’d love you to buy one; for yourself, for the lover in your life; or just because they’re awesome. And please share.
These are good people, doing things for a great cause, despite everything else that’s going on….and that deserves all the support it can get.
Love and Light x