Two years ago today, my darling friend Vicky Baker, age 31, lost her battle with lung cancer.
This is the letter she wrote to be read at her funeral. It made us smile through our sobs then and sums her up in so many ways. Her unfailing cheerfulness. Her love for her friends and family. The way she refused to be beaten by that awful disease, even when she knew it was killing her far too quickly.
We miss her every day and the Vicky-shaped hole she has left in our lives will never be filled. But as I remember the laughter we shared and the fun we had, this letter is a love-filled note from beyond, and a reminder of just what an amazing woman we were blessed to know…
To all my lovely family and friends,
Thank you so much for being here today to see me on my way.
As you all know, I’ve been fighting cancer since my first symptom in December 2007. I can’t hep thinking, whilst writing that date, how amazing it is that in 2013 I’m still here! Of course that must have changed for you to be hearing this, but I still find it truly amazing that I’ve been lucky enough to have these extra years, against all the odds. I would like you all to focus on that if you’re feeling sad and the fact that whilst 31 isn’t a grand old age, it’s far better than so many people in the world that are struck down by this disease and more than I hoped for a few years ago. It will hopefully make you smile to know that we’ve had that time to make more memories together.
I like to think that I have been ever so lucky through my life and feel rather smug about it actually! I was blessed with a huge family – whom I actually like the members of! Not everyone gets that lucky! I’ve always loved and been really proud of them all.
My aunts, uncles and cousins The Jacks, the Roberts and the Hunters – all so lovely. And the Sukkys, who whilst not blood family are better than that – we’ve chosen each other!!
My in-laws the Bakers – Steve, Ann, Clayton and Natalie, who made me as welcome as anyone could into a new family and whom I love as much as my own. For all the support they have given me and Glen over the years I am truly grateful.
My step family who have been wonderful, James, Paul and Jenny. And especially ‘Mumgela’ my dad’s wife Angela who is the most magnificent woman and a very excellent cocktail maker! I’ll miss sharing them!
My wonderful, special Nana, such a massive part of my life from the moment I was born. I like to think I’m with Grandpa now so we’ll be happy together.
My brother and sisters who I adore! How much I love Emma, Neil and Louise. I would do anything for you – Lee and Ben are obviously a part of that too! (Look after my sisters or I’ll be haunting you!!) I’ve always known that you were a phone call away from helping me with anything. That’s so special; make sure you look after each other.
The most amazingly precious little people – my nephew Jack and nieces Ella, Ava and Erin. Also, my godson Alfie. I utterly adore the bones of them and am saddest of all not to be with them as they grow up. And of course my little nephew Daniel who wasn’t meant to be part of this world and who I now have the privilege of being with in a better place.
My dad John, always supportive, always there whenever I’ve needed anything! My mum Elaine who’s also my best friend who I can say anything to! I will miss our conversations so much. Words can’t describe how proud I’ve been to have you as my mum and dad and how much I’ll miss you both.
And finally my husband Glen who is the most caring, most beautifully wonderful man I know who I will miss more than I can say. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, caring for me, making me laugh and most of all just being you! Make sure you all look after him, he’s the most special person who I love completely. I’m so proud and lucky to have been your wife.
I’ve also had some amazing friends through my life. My oldest friend Helen who I also consider my family. My best friend at high school Alex who I’m still lucky enough to have as a best friend 15 years later! My other best friends, Alyson and Christine who complete our foursome and are such wonderful people. I love you all so much. My ‘southern best friends’ as I like to label them, Vicky and Katy who I can say anything to and are always there for me. And Ian and Sophie, who are simply lovely people.
These are only a handful and go alongside such a lot of other special people – you each know who you are and how much I value you.
I love you all – friends and family – and will miss you all so much. Such a quick summary of such important people seems ridiculous but I’m confident you’ll all know how important you are to me. And as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been really lucky and you don’t want to be here all day while I list things do you?!!
I’ve actually reached a good age compared to what I used to think!! As a child I was always convinced I’d die young. My mum will remember that from a young age I used to write my ‘last will and testament’ on the back page of my calendar every year! It had very important notes about who was to have Pink my ragdoll, Henry my bear and the vast amounts of pocket money I had hidden away of a few pounds!! Rather ridiculous now I look back on it!
My favourite song since being very small has been ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police. It reminds me of speeding down the motorway in the back of my dad’s car. I’ve always loved the feeling of freedom going fast can give you, in a car or on a snowboard – and that song gives me the feeling every time! I always insisted this song should be played at my funeral. However, it was recently pointed out that it might be a bit creepy for people in the congregation. Think of the words – “Every breath you take, every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you”!!
It does suggest a certain amount of haunting by me! I hope you’re not all imagining me sat in a chair at the back spying on you!! Did any of you look around then to check I wasn’t sat next to you?!! That makes me smile thinking about it!
So instead of haunting you, I’d like “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley to be played. The words ‘Don’t worry, about a thing, cos’ every little thing is gonna be alright’! have always cheered me up when I’ve felt my worst! I like to think that this song is like my attitude in life; things are always good as long as you look for and find the good side in things! Remember to always do that and smile!
I’d also like you all to listen to another favourite song of mine, ‘Electric Dreams’!! A proper cheesy, feel good song that hopefully will make some of you smile!!
I’ll see you all there in your dreams. As long as that’s happening, I’ll always be with you.
Much love to you all my friends and family