I have never viewed what I do as work! It is just such a pleasure to talk to incredible people every day. Running this ‘open house’ session has maintained my focus on other people’s lives. Many doing incredible things for others during these challenging times. Amanda sent me an ‘out of the blue’ tweet, asking if I would like to send a personal message to anyone who had been an ‘angel’ to me. I couldn’t wait to find out more! Within 10 minutes we were speaking about this wonderful project.
Sharing is something I absolutely love doing, and in such awful times, work like this will bring a lot of joy to many people. Amanda is a children’s author and trying this idea because all the shops that were selling her books were closed. She found herself with some time during lock down, and wanted to help people. If you look hard enough you will always be able to find a chink of light in the darkness.
(Amanda Walsh – Author’s Diary)
Diary entry: 23rd January 2020
The central government of China imposed a lockdown in Wuhan.
Diary entry: 1st February 2020
Princess Cruises confirms that a guest from Hong Kong tested positive for Corona Virus.
There’s something in the air. I can feel it.
Diary entry: 23rd February 2020
Dragged Barry (wonderful husband) out on a ‘6 supermarkets in one morning dash’.
It had already taken up residence in my head – the panic!
I had to stock up on the essentials i.e. Chocolate, wine, toilet roll and tinned tuna for Matisse the cat.
Diary entry: 19th March 2020
“I’m just calling to tell you, Vikki’s in the Intensive Care Unit.”
I felt numb. (My sister-in-law is a staff nurse in the Royal Hampshire County Hospital).
“How bad is she?” I asked, dreading the response.
“No!” says my Mum. “She’s been transferred there.”
Lying in bed, all I could think about was Vikki getting up early and going to work to provide care (along with her colleagues) to people of all ages, suffering with this terrible new disease.
I tried to imagine what her day would be like and I wrote ‘My Angel’ especially for my Vikki.
Diary entry: 23rd March 2020
I contacted Anne (My wonderful illustrator), sent her the poem and asked if she could do a watercolour to bring ‘My Angel’ to life.
I started to think about dedicating the poem to other nurses.
I could do it on Twitter. Or could I? Dinos like me don’t do social media.
I’m not exactly doing anything else (my little publishing business for ‘The Curious Adventures of Matisse the Cat’ and ‘The Grolings’ is in lockdown hibernation).
Gorging on ‘Next Slide Please’ T.V. and playing the new supermarket game, ‘Book a Slot Hide n Seek’ was the only entertainment I could focus on.
Which is probably the reason I am now an insomniac. If you’ve ever sat up in bed at 4am looking for a supermarket slot, you’ll know what I mean.
So, I set up a Twitter account and posted my first tweet.
We’re surrounded by Angels and Heroes. Who are yours?
Diary entry: 26th March 2020
I sent the final ‘My Angel’ to my angel Vikki.
She was delighted (and a little emotional).
Did my first ‘My Angel’ dedication tweet:
Dedicated to @rebeccacangel1 and all the district nurses at Lytham.
I am delighted to say the first of many.
Diary entry: 8th April 2020
Getting lots of dedication requests.
But the boys are feeling left out!
Contacted Anne and asked for a wonderful male version of ‘My Angel’.
Diary entry: 9th April 2020
The first ‘My Angel’ male version tweet for an Emergency Department male nurse in New York.
So our female nurses have ‘My Angel’ and the male nurses have ‘My Angel’.
Diary entry: 15th April 2020
Lying in bed thinking again, waiting to attempt a 5.30am ready, steady, book!
There’s a very important group of people who don’t have an angel, our wonderful carers.
These are ‘Our Angels’ in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and in our own homes.
Out comes the pen and paper.
This poem is more difficult than ‘My Angel’ as I don’t have a reference point.
Tried to imagine what it would be like to walk over the threshold of a hospice or nursing home as a carer:
-Looking for the lovely residents in their bedrooms or favourite chairs.
-Trying to find PPE and get kitted up.
-Considering how important and loved that carer is to everyone.
-Comforting a person wearing plastic gloves.
-Being there for them, when their families can’t.
-Holding their hands as the big sleep approaches.
I was emotional writing ‘My Angel’ for Vikki.
Words can’t describe how I felt writing ‘Our Angel’ for carers.
Diary entry: 24th May 2020
I’m still dedicating ‘My Angel’ and ‘Our Angel’ for those who want to say “thank you,” to their special nurse, carer, hospital, hospice, nursing home or friend.
I now have wonderful and inspirational new friends, such as the amazing Chris Lewis.
One day (in the not too distant future), I’ll return to being Amanda Walsh, children’s author and publisher of ‘The Curious Adventures of Matisse the Cat’ and ‘The Grolings’.
But for now, I’m here to dedicate ‘My Angel’ and ‘Our Angel’ from you to your special Angels.
Stay safe and very best wishes, Amanda.
I feel very honoured that Amanda has chosen to share her story through this platform. Please get in contact directly, through her website or Twitter, if you would like to nominate an angel that has touched you!
If there is anything you would like to share with the community, please feel free to drop me a note below.