Donna was such a bright spirit. From that afternoon when the two of you

came over to our place and we met her for the first time, Donna was so

quick and funny and scathing, she loved to puncture pomposity, relishing

the argument, unable to resist the easy target - I was thrilled for the

two of you because I could see how her energy and warmth complemented

yours and how good you were for each other.  And it was such a joy that

the two of you were (almost) within reach just down the road and that your

lives became entwined with our family life - even more so when Cara came.

And though the last two years have been a helter-skelter of frustration

and disappointment coming out of nowhere; at every twist and turn she

fought back as you have done. I never saw her turn from it and take refuge

in despair or cynicism and that inspired me.

 

But the main thing I will always remember about her I hesitate to mention

because it might seem so over the top.  As we got to know her it was

evident that she had set herself a mission - that she cast herself in the

role of a redeemer. Even before Cara was born, she talked to us about her

fears about herself as a mother and whether she would have the strength to

rewrite a script that she had been handed. She set out to do this long

before she became ill. The cancer was the outrageous threat that had to be

outgunned and outwitted.  And underneath it was the constant fear that if

it killed her that it would have denied her the ability to prove that the

past does not have the last word on who we are, and that the future can be

different.  When I got on the plane yesterday I turned to Isaiah 53 to

read the poem of the suffering servant with different eyes. A redeemer has

to pay. They don't usually get to see payback. But without the payback

there is no redemption. I found Donna extraordinary simply because I never

met a redeemer before (in the flesh). I don't believe she failed. Cara may

not remember her - but we are all witnesses of how much Donna loved her,

what she resisted and what she overcame.

John Griffiths  22nd Sept 2003