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What do you want to be remembered for? January 11, 2011

NB (post post, pardon the pun) Wow big question – bigger than I expected when I started writing.

I’ve had ME since I was 10, I’m now 27 and that means I’ve been ill longer than I ever was healthy – in fact I can’t even remember what it feels like to be well and full of energy and that’s a scary thought. Living with constant illness and being separated from the world has meant that the question “What do you want to be remembered for?” has often played on my mind. I don’t want to waste my life and I know I could spend years waiting to get better for my life to really begin; but I came to the realisation at around 16 that this just wasn’t going to happen – if anything I was getting  dramatically worse until I was too ill to speak or move let alone do anything. It was completely terrifying; but I didn’t want to give up, I wanted more from life and I was determined to find a way to get it. I decided if I had to go through these horrific things then I would use that experience and share it with others going through it – so they might learn from my situation.

I was bedbound – I’m now fairly housebound; but I’ve found that if you want to do something there are ways and means.

I dictated a book on living with chronic illness which is now free and online at. I put together all the tips and ideas I had on coping with daily life, a struggle which is going on right now in millions of homes around the world.  www.survivingsevereme.com

I also put together a site of recipes for people with swallowing problems because I was so sick of baby food and yoghurt.  Contacting chefs and friends to get their delicious recipes for soups, stews, smoothies and desserts – anything that was easy to swallow – hence the name. www.easytoswallow.co.uk

Now my latest challenge is to set up Holidays From Home to provide virtual experiences for people who can’t travel – be it due to disability/health, advancing years, financial or environmental reasons. www.holidaysfromhome.co.uk

I guess I want to be remembered for the things I’ve done. I want to make a mark on the world and to leave it a slightly better place. I want to know that if I use my experiences of illness and disability that I can maybe save somebody else from a little of that suffering then it makes going through it easier and less a waste of a life.

Then there’s all the other stuff, the things about me as a person. I want to be remembered as a good person, kind, warm and supportive. A good friend and family member – there in a pinch during crisis and drama. Willing to offer an open ear and a shoulder to cry – an agony aunt of sorts. Funny – if at times a bit sarcastic and bitchy. I’d like people to remember that I spent time making Christmas presents and when well enough I could cook a delicious cake (chocolate’s my favourite). I was a good hostess who threw amazing parties and who loved being with people she loved.

These are things I try to be – I may not always hit the mark; but it’s who I want to be remembered for – it’s a life in progress.

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7 Responses to “What do you want to be remembered for?”

  1. What a beautiful post … you are outstanding. Yes, the post is how you want to be remembered, but what really shows through is the fact that you want to help others!

  2. Claire Wade Says:

    Thank you – it’s true I find if I’m helping other people then I’m not dwelling on me and my problems – I do hate to dwell! : )

  3. Kioko Says:

    So beautifully written. It’s crazy the things that so many of us take for granted. I can’t imagine being deprived of something so basic as energy as a child. The great news is you’ve obviously made an impact on many through your creativity, caring heart and perseverance. Looking forward to being shipped a piece of chocolate cake in the future 😉

  4. Claire Says:

    Thanks Kioko – made me smile! 🙂

  5. When younger, I seemed more concerned with how people would remember me. In the spirit of youth, I envisioned a day of national mourning when I passed away. Dreams of grandeur have diminished with age and also my concern for how people will remember me. Now I am more concerned with finding and maximizing any talent I may possess. My fear is I shall meet God and he will say, “I blessed you with this amazing talent XYZ and you did nothing with it.”

    Perhaps I’ll discover some hidden talent or perhaps my blessing is to simply open the door for some future great man (or woman). The search is what keeps me motivated and as long as my children remember me, I’ll be satisfied.

    • Claire Says:

      Wow Tim – I love the sentiment of maximizing your talents and making the most of every gift you have. Also that you have undiscovered talents that you are working to uncover and enjoy/share. Given me more to think about!

      I certainly agree it’s more important what you do while you’re alive and that the people you love remember you well than what the unknown masses think. National day of mourning – that’s definitely a grand idea!

  6. You’re an amazing woman. I admire your strength, courage and determination. You may not be able to leave the house but you can reach people with your writing from anywhere and reach people that other people can’t reach in their day to day lives outside the house. God bless you.


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