Anyone who follows my ramblings on Twitter or reads my updates on Facebook will know I've just said goodbye to one of my closest friends who also happened to be a close relative. She had very bravely fought breast cancer, but unfortunately, not before it had spread to her bones and major organs.
Apart from being like my big sister, she was always the first on the phone or email asking me to expand on info I had written on my blog or website, one of the first to tell me if she thought my work was good, passable or just downright crap, and was one of the very, very few people in this world who really knew 'me', whose opinions truly challenged and made me question so much.
When she read the title of my blog for the first time she smiled and nodded her head agreeing it was the perfect name: tenacity is something we both knew a lot about. We lived together for a few years, wrote scripts together, laughed together, danced together, cried together, sorted the world out together, got drunk together - and then held the sick bowl for each other. We'd say, 'never again', and then we'd do it all another day.
I will miss her so much I cannot possibly explain.
I understand a lot of people feel the public domain is not the place to discuss or even announce such things in one's life, but by writing these words, I celebrate my darling friend's life, her being and her vision. I have also received so many kind messages from old friends, new friends, colleagues and even people I have never even met before, that I cannot possibly reply to them all individually: thank you all so much - you will never know how much your messages have meant to me over these last few dark weeks.
I am so very proud to have known her, been related to her and shared my life with her but she wouldn't thank me for dwelling too long - in fact she'd kick my ass - so I must now crack on with everything.
As we would both say: onwards!