This is a tribute to my brave daughter Carol - she is the bravest person I know. And I want you to know this is NOT a 'misery' blogpost, it's a happy one because she is so lovely and courageous.
She came to visit us yesterday, bringing me a silk scarf she had dyed on her second visit to the Hospice craft afternoon this week. Beautiful colours, which she knows are my favourites.
And not just that, she gave me a second gift - a canvas that she had painted at home in her well-stocked craft room.
The scarf and canvas mean so much more than just a scarf and picture. I see love and persistence, determination and bravery in every square millimetre - because Carol has had a rare brain tumour for a long, long time, and has recently been given only a few months to live. Medical estimates like this are often wrong, and we hope that is the case for Carol.
She also brought along the craft work she has been doing at home in the past few weeks ..... in the short periods when she is not sleeping.
From being a young child Carol has been both practical and creative, secretly making a marquetry chess board for us when she was only 11, her own canoe when she was 15 and lovely pottery sculptures at school with an inspirational pottery teacher.
And at 14 she and Dev worked together to build a dormer roof and window on our house to create an extra bedroom.
Since then she created beautiful works in embroidery, quilting, machine knitting, painting, doll-making .... you name it she did it, and did it so well.
Since the tumour was diagnosed her life has been one of having to give up the things she loves to do, starting with her career as a dentist, and then driving and her beloved car which had given her freedom.
As the tumour progressed she found it impossible to take part in one after another of her beloved crafts.
But instead of giving up, as each craft was taken away she set to with a determined spirit to find something she was able to do. And all the time she laughs, and smiles her beautiful smile.
Her blog http://carolscraftingadventures.blogspot.co.uk/ shows the type of art she was able to do just over a year ago, and the sketchbook page above, and those I show below, show the way she has re-invented her approach to art.
Now you may think 'Well lots of people use stamps and paint to produce lovely images like these'.
But perhaps you may admire her more when I tell you that she can no longer walk unaided, cannot use her right (dominant) hand, is pushed in a wheelchair, can only sit in a chair with arms, and has a hospital bed in the room her wonderful husband and children have decorated and furnished like a calm oasis. In addition she gets tired very quickly.
Carol gave me her permission to tell you all this, and to show you some of the paintings she brought down. Both Dev and I admire and love her so much, and I see in her my dear mother's determination not to be beaten by whatever happened in life.
I've written this tribute now so that she can read it while she is here with us, and know how much she is loved and admired - and I'd like you to celebrate with us her wonderful spirit and loving heart.