INFLUENCE - the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something.

These two lovely ladies had a tremendous influence on my life and this tribute to them in this BCAM pink challenge is especially poignant as Joan died 18 years ago today.

On the left is my mother-in-law, Joan, who was more like a mother to me and who taught me so much. She accepted me into her family and her heart when I started going out with her younger son, Mr HCB, and even came with me to choose my wedding dress. She was gentle, kind and loving and faced all that life threw at her with amazing fortitude and strength.

After she had breast cancer when she was in her 80s, our bond grew even stronger as I helped her and sat with her for many hours, chatting or reading to her. A true saint and a wonderful Christian lady who went to be with her Lord on 30th October 1996 - just after her great granddaughter, Charlotte, was born.

We used to have some fantastic games evenings with Karen, the lady on the right, her husband, Keith, their two children and our grandson. We laughed sometimes until we cried and we have so many happy memories, not only of Karen, but the whole family. Sadly Karen died in March this year after a valiant fight against cancer. Another gentle and very kind lady, who went out of her way to help others, faced her last illness with amazing courage and who inspired so many.

Again, I spent quite a few hours with Karen chatting and reading to her, particularly when she was in hospital. When she came home we made cakes together - I did the mixing and Karen supervised - what a great time we had, chatting and reminiscing about our early married life and when our children were small! Another wonderful Christian - and it was a privilege to be her friend.

Thank you, Joan and Karen for your love and friendship - I miss you both very much but I know we will meet again eventually in the presence of our Lord and Saviour.

Please click on this LINK to enable those who cannot afford it to have a free mammogram. Thank you.

Don’t hide your light!
Let it shine for all;
let your good deeds glow
for all to see,
so that they will praise
your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5 : 15-16
Living Bible

Thank you for putting my "tulip" rose in the Spotlight yesterday - a real tribute to my friends!

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