On Saturday 18th February, the Hearts4Hugo charity ball took place at The Hilton Hotel in Lincoln. When we first started fundraising for Hugo back in June, a ball was mentioned a few times but I never thought it would happen! To be perfectly honest, I never imagined anyone would want to come, so I personally didn’t bother organising one. However, my sister-in-law clearly likes a challenge and decided to organise a Valentines ball with her best friend… and what an amazing job they did!
I didn’t have much to do with the planning or organising of the ball at all. Obviously Danny and I sold a few tickets and spread the word, but we can’t take any credit for the fantastic event which took place. Amanda and Rachael went all out and made it the best night for everyone who attended. The venue was beautiful, the food was amazing, the entertainment was brilliant, and the dance floor was packed all night. Danny and I had a table with our closest friends, and we were surrounded by our families and friends on other tables. There were of course people there who we didn’t know, but the atmosphere was just amazing. I really cannot thank Amanda and Rachael enough for what they did.
I am still waiting on a final count but the event looks to have raised just over £2000 for Hugo’s fund. It is overwhelming that 140 people can raise such a staggering amount for our little boy. The generosity of people is just unbelievable, and every penny will make a huge difference to Hugo’s life.
I promised myself I wouldn’t get emotional at the ball. In all honesty, I was having such a good night surrounded by some of the best people I know, that I didn’t really have time to think about things. Just before the speeches, I heard the news of another local boy being diagnosed with Duchenne, which threw me back a little, but I decided to leave that until the next day so I could give it my full attention. Even when Danny and I did a speech, I managed to hold back the tears. The wine was flowing, I was enjoying the company of my best friends, we were dancing, having fun and I felt good for the first time in ages.
My grandad was watching everything unfold from the comfort of his chair tucked away in the corner (he has problems with his knees so unfortunately never made it to the dance floor, despite my best efforts)! Anyone who knows me well, knows just how close I am to my grandparents. I would be absolutely lost without them, I actually can’t imagine life without them. They are the glue that holds our family together. They have been there for me through so many things, and have never once let me down. I love them dearly. They are an inspirational couple, even after almost 60 years, my grandad still opens doors for my nana, pulls out her chair and puts on her coat! They are the strongest couple I know and despite going through the heartbreak of losing their own son, they still adore each other.
Well, it would be my grandad who tips me over the edge! Right at the end of the night, after far too many glasses of wine, he tells me that it’s made his evening seeing me and Danny having a good time. He said it put a smile back on his face seeing me happy after everything I’ve been through over the last few months. He then told me not to feel guilty about it as he knows just how hard it is. And that’s just it, he actually does. My grandparents lost their son when he was only 31, they never thought they’d ever smile again. And when they did start smiling, they had this overwhelming feeling of guilt. Which is exactly what I go through every day. I want to have happy times, I want to enjoy myself from on occasions, but I always find myself saying ‘how can I do that’? How can we ever enjoy life again when we have to deal with this… The truth is, we will. Just like my grandparents did. The difference is we’ve got the opportunity to make the most of the time we have and make Hugo’s life amazing. Would we be doing everything we are doing now if Hugo hadn’t been diagnosed with Duchenne? No, we wouldn’t. I’ve said it before, Duchenne is only good for one thing and that’s the fact that it’s made me appreciate life and it’s made me appreciate the time I have with our precious boys. So if ever you see us smiling and wonder ‘how can they be happy’, just remember that inside our hearts are breaking every single day, but it won’t stop us from enjoying Hugo’s life and making the memories that we will one day rely upon. After all, life is not about time. It is about what we do with that time.