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Sunshine and Clouds

When I was a little girl, I always knew what I wanted to do with my life. Creativity was in my blood, and my passion for art, design, and media thrived thanks to some amazing teachers who nurtured my love for the design world. Those formative years were filled with dreams and the simple joys of creating. My best friend Lizzie and I spent countless hours designing stickers, making perfumes from the roses in my parents' garden, and crafting beaded jewellery. Pretty much our only customer was our neighbours daughter Julie and our family who generously supported our budding entrepreneurial spirit!

Lizzie, a year younger than me, and I ended up on parallel paths after I had completed a foundation course in design, we both found ourselves at university at the same time – me in graphic design and Lizzie in marketing. We shared a cosy cottage and continued to holiday together, just like we had in our childhood. Our professional lives intertwined beautifully when I landed a job at a direct response agency in Leeds, and Lizzie took a marketing role at a communication supply company. We even managed to bring our companies together so that we were working side by side as we had done in younger years at our local pub.

Our bond, however, was tested in the most heartbreaking way. In November 2008, at the age of 27, Lizzie suddenly collapsed and died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS). That day will haunt me forever. We had dreamed of starting our own business one day, a dream we had nurtured since childhood, but life had other plans.

Today, as I write this blog on what would have been Lizzie's birthday, the sun is shining – a fitting tribute to her radiant spirit. This is a day to remember her, to honour the dreams we shared, and to remind myself and others of the importance of making every day count.

Life is unpredictable and often brutally short. Lizzie's untimely passing was a stark reminder that we must seize every moment, cherish every day, and pursue our dreams with relentless passion. Lizzie may not be here physically, but her spirit lives on in every design I create and every challenge I tackle. I know she's right beside me, guiding and inspiring me.

Lizzie an inspiration

As I sit at my desk, her smiling face beaming from a photo, I am filled with determination. I press on with my work, driven by the knowledge that I'm living the dream we both cherished. And today, I will raise a glass to my best friend, my inspiration, and my partner in crime.

Lizzie's life and sudden death have taught me that every day is a gift. We are the lucky ones who get to wake up each morning and face the world. We have the opportunity to make our dreams a reality, to make a difference, and to live our lives to the fullest.

So, to anyone out there feeling stuck or struggling, remember this: make every day count. Don’t give up on your dreams. Embrace each day with gratitude and purpose, knowing that some never get the chance to live out their aspirations. We owe it to ourselves and to those who can't, to live boldly, dream big, and make every moment matter.

Here’s to Lizzie, and to making every day count.

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