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A Virtual “Thumbs Up” for Stephen Sutton

Posted in society

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Today is Stephen’s funeral and all over Lichfield yellow ribbons  and balloons are flying in the breeze for an inspirational young man who, when touched by an irreversible tragedy, decided that making a difference was actually the single most important thing in a human beings life rather than the time you have left, and how you live your life is more important than what you have in it.

He was 19 years of age and yet managed to find a wisdom that most of us never ever achieve in our three score years and ten. What a young man, what an inspiration and what a role model for us all, he has created a real legacy, a legacy that will make a difference to others who suffer from the same illness but also a legacy that should be a lesson for us all.

In life you can decide whether to be disappointed with what life has dealt you, moan and whinge about how unfair everything is, how you are entitled, how others have it easy, be avaricious and jealous or you can be Stephen Sutton and say “right this is rubbish but how can I do something positive to turn rubbish into something worthwhile?”

Now we can’t all suddenly raise £4m for our chosen charity but we can learn to be kinder, we can learn to give rather than take, we can learn to accept the blessings we do have and we can learn that actually it is the simple but amazing joy of being alive that we are able to and should appreciate.

When my mum died, over twenty years ago, I remember she only wanted to see one more Spring, something that I had taken for granted for 26 years, Spring came round every single year and I had never thought about it once. Since that November in 1992 when she passed away and so missed the next Spring, I take time to walk around my garden to see the flowers budding, I watch with true happiness as the bushes that separate my garden from my neighbours, literally overnight, turn from scrawny twigs to a thick blanket of beautiful green leaves.. It was the last life lesson my mum taught me, to wake up and really smell the roses.. my kids laugh at me when I point out the newly born lambs, or stop and take stock of the bluebells in a wood, but that is the joy of being their mother, I am their comic inspiration for their Twitter feed.. yet another blessing!

And talking of motherhood, what an amazing mum, Jane Sutton, must be, to have instilled in her son such intelligence and wisdom, what a fabulous job she did, I hope in the days that follow she takes immense comfort in the fact that she was responsible for creating and bringing up a young man as truly terrific as he undoubtedly was.

My hope is, along with the £4m Stephen raised, that we all remember his real legacy which I think is, live life, love life and make a real difference, large or small, to the people you touch around you.

Thumbs Up Stephen x