This essay is penned by Carol, Campbell’s long-suffering and happy wife.
As Father’s day approaches I sit here thinking about my dad. And how much a part of my life he was, how he helped make me the strong, stubborn, and determined woman I have become.
His “Northern ” attitude both helped and annoyed me at the same time. For example; he used to comment “I have a wife four daughters and even the dogs a bitch”.
During my moments of sadness, there are also fond memories: one I remember is he had a tiny shelf in the bathroom for “his” shaver. I wonder how he would have reacted if he’d known ‘others’ had used it without his knowledge?
Sadly we lost him to emphysema in 2004. The same disease as Campbell endured, although as you will probably know, Campbells’ outcome was so different. My father fought long and hard, in the end, his body capitulated. Although, even during the final days he never lost his spark, his cheek, or his inner strength.
I know my children and grandchildren are so lucky to still have their dad and grandad in their lives. I cannot forget that Campbell is with us because another child’s father lost his precious life. Their father’s selfless gift was to donate his organs. Surely, a gift beyond measure? Of course, we must not forget the incredible surgical team, and the organ donation network, whose work never ends. They may even be working as you read this, their ‘Fathers Day’ would be over if an organ becomes available
Campbell is still here to annoy us all in his lovely way. He is here to help Daniel work on his new car. Pestering Kaye with questions of how to use the fire stick, although we don’t know what to do with it. Cam’s mission is manifold, winding up our grandkids, discovering joy and laughter in every day. And lately to be a lovely but “rubbish nurse ” as he cared for me during a bout of flu. He completed the housework and even ventured into the supermarket… shopping is not his greatest loves.
On ‘Father’s Day’ there will be many thousands of people sending silent prayers of gratitude to the donors. They will be thinking of the donor’s families, whose dad, grandad, hubby or brother is no longer with them. Their tragedies have brought new lives to many thousands of people. There is no way we can fully reconcile the complex issues of donor/recipient. We have to accept the situation and give thanks to every person involved in each transplant.
This Father’s Day I will give thanks, that Campbell is here to enjoy time with his family and friends. I will spend more than the daily prayers of thanks for many unknown friends, with special thanks to “B”.
We have different tastes, ideas, beliefs and life experiences. Travel, music, food, friends, sports, learning, charity, spiritual ideas, so many options, choices and moments. Try everything available, enjoy each moment, laugh at adversity. Celebrate each day and try not to deny yourself too much. Over indulgence is therapeutic on occasions, balance the excess with some beneficial exercise. My preference is sharing time with Carol, family, friends, travel and not forgetting our business. Ask me about life, my answer is live it, love it, enjoy it.
Sometimes, I look at my world through rose tinted glasses. Why not? When we search to see the great opportunities the world has to offer, we see them, we really do. In the same way, those who decide to see the negative, the difficult, the hard way, will discover darkness. Make your choice and watch life change. I know, you’re thinking “I wish it was that easy Campbell.” I reply: You can wager life can be as easy or difficult as you make it. The moment we decide to look for the best options is the moment we find them. In the years since my transplant, I have come to know this is true. Sometimes I wonder if I should thank my illness for the lessons I have learned.
Lessons can be taken from the situations we find ourselves within. Even when going through challenging experiences and issues. It is easy to become weighed down with one problem and miss the aspects which will see us through the situation. It is imperative we seek happiness and success in our lives. For example: when I became ill, family and friends supported me through the darkest moments. On reflection, I would have allowed them to help me more than I did. Most of us believe being independent is a sign of strength. It is worth considering how much stronger we can be by accepting the support of those who care.
Deciding to search for the best answers to certain hurdles. Often means accepting progress can be slow. Impatience results in people looking for the easy ways out of an issue. We can choose to demonstrate how to be strong during adversity. And the determination to assess without bias is a powerful asset. Those burdened with speculation and misinformation, cannot see the whole picture. I am thinking about this because of the event in London this morning. Again we are reminded the world is unpredictable, and terrible disasters occur.
I watched the horror of The Grenfell Tower. And like all of us, my feeling of sadness and sorrow for those involved is beyond words. My journey pales into insignificance when we consider the fire in London. The days to come will be impossible to anticipate. I offer my prayers to those involved in the tragedy. There is no need for speculation bar two further comments. The first suggestion is, don’t look for blame. Enter a place of kindness and fortitude, express a desire that lessons will be learned and fast and positive changes are made. The second is a reminder: It is situations like this which send the message ‘We must live every day.’
My WordPress Blog is subject to my busy life. It would be brilliant to write an article every week and build a massive following. However, it is my intention to live and enjoy every minute of my life, and this blog seems to become neglected. In a way, this is a great statement, because it proves I am living in a way all humans should live. That is to get the very best from every minute, waste not a one because the final sleep is the inevitable outcome.
All effort is rewarded, and anyone who knows Carol and I know we help people in any way we can. Yes, we have had one or two disappointments when people let us down. But this is part of life, and we are strong enough to look ahead not to the past. We have to give without conditions, helping someone to find their feet again is “the right way” never doubt it. The sentiment here is this, if we give, help and support people we understand the meaning of love. Do not think this is a sentimental comment, giving is tough and takes effort. Life takes effort, illness, overcoming difficult situations takes effort, the more we accept this, the better our lives become.
I should comment, we work hard at our shop, the shows and on the internet. Success is not given, it has to be earned. We have to be as unique as possible and have a recognisable identity. My wife Carol is known as “Crystal Carol” and believe me; the title has taken many years of hard work to acquire. Over the years many have attempted to copy Carol and how could they become who she is? It is simply not possible; unless you work to create your own identity, the only way is to copy the successful.
One of my greatest pleasures is watching people working to find success. They work to make their life and the lives of others better by knowing them. Ian Timothy and Liz Clark are two such people. I watch their plans, and unique ideas grow and come to fruition. Yes, they are personal friends, but this essay is not influenced by our friendship. It is written from knowledge and experience of attending various events around the country.
Carol and I have exhibited at events for twenty years. We have attended the good, bad, and indifferent, and there is one which is unique. Before continuing it must be clear: I am NOT criticising other event organisers, they work hard in a challenging environment. We have always enjoyed a decent amount of success at the shows and are thankful people organise them. I am very conscious of writing this essay, and it is written because of the effort, foresight and determination of the two people central to this post.
Ian and Liz began their event business four years ago and its been pretty low profile. I attended their shows as a visitor, and the atmosphere was just superb. The feedback I received from exhibitors was truly excellent. Last month, Carol and I attended their Trowell Event as exhibitors. Without a second thought, I will state the show was excellent. Let’s not run away here; there were a few exhibitors who did not fair well. Maybe inexperience or setting to higher an expectation could have been the reason for the lack of success. However, the fact is, for the type of event and cost of the stands the show worked, and we will certainly return to this event.
It is important to understand my viewpoint; it is from the perspective of an exhibitor. I can without any doubt write, Liz and Ian have a unique attitude toward the shows. There has never been an organiser who has 1) spoken so insistently about community 2) written so extensively about working together 3) worked to produce an incredible “atmosphere” in the shows 4) changed the way visitors perceive the shows. Indeed on this last point, I replied to an essay on their blog nearly two months ago: The article was called “Why Visit a Well-Being Event” I said, “I have never seen our shows described in this way before.” And today I read a slightly adapted version of this essay on another website! On the same site I also read a version of Liz and Ian’s ethos, the words had been slightly changed, there was no mistaking the source.
I am an exhibitor of twenty plus years experience and believe me I watch and read everything which goes on in the exhibition circuit. Liz and Ian have started a unique style of show and those who copy them, demonstrate they have little imagination. I suppose there is an element of fear that Ian and Liz may set to higher standards. What I do know is this: Ian and Liz are the first events company to work a full-time WordPress Blog for Exhibitors: They have an excellent exhibitor interaction with updates and transparency: They have demonstrated their desire to make the visitor entrance fee affordable. They interact closely with visitors and listen to their comments. The certainty is, Liz and Ian have changed the way visitors, and exhibitors see their shows.
As far as I can remember they were the first to talk and write about new reasons to visit a well-being show. (Read the essay “Why Visit a Well-Being Event” which expands upon their thoughts.) They ask exhibitors to work together and desire exhibitors to achieve the goal of covering overheads and going on to make a profit. There are fairness and openness in the financial aspects of their business. There is no doubting they are innovators. It is evident their fourteen years as exhibitors are very much behind the changes they have made.
I write this essay because I read a FaceBook post-Ian put up this morning he said:-
“At this moment I know LizianEvents have created something very special. How do I know? Because people are copying our format and ideas. The rule of the internet is: all is evident. And the first in are always the leaders.”
I have thought about these words a few times today, and this is the reason for this essay. You see Ian’s right, but not only from his point of view. His word’s work for all of us, once someone copy’s your work they evidence their weakness. There are others who have the same opinion as me; you can copy Ian Timothy as much as you like. You will never be Ian Timothy.
I will finish with two thoughts…
“When a man leads other will follow.”
“Some people are guiding lights, and others carry the torch.”
It is my experience, those who carry the torch, lose their way when the flame is extinguished.