These images were taken in 2016, the year my father was diagnosed with cancer.
The story behind them is that a group of martial artists who had their lives touched by cancer had decided to make a charity calendar in the style of the famous Calendar Girls charity calendar. He'd moved into my house so that we could care for him more effectively. These images were taken one afternoon in my living room.
On February 25th 2021 Graham Wendes would have turned 60 years old.
I had planned to go down to where his ashes are scattered and visit some of the places he loved from his childhood on the Isle of Wight.
Sadly that will have to wait until it’s more appropriate to travel again.
I hadn’t anticipated quite how hard today would be while unable to do anything but sit at home.
So all I can really do today, in true Graham style, is write an enormously long post on the internet in his honour.
He really did love a good Facebook rant.
Looking back on Grahams life and growing up listening to all his stories, the running themes
throughout were of helping others and doing what’s right.
I think this sums up Grahams life. I don’t know where it came from or how he managed to maintain it for his entire life, Graham just wanted to help everyone he met and always wanted to do the right thing.
Graham would drag people to seminars that might help their business, he introduced people who could
potentially help each other in life or in business and he was always thinking of others.
It’s often worth asking if what’s “right” is also what’s “best”?
Was it for the best that he’d spend huge sums of money helping other people achieve their dreams while he worked a job he hated and lived a very simple life?
What was best for him never mattered, just what he felt was the right thing to do.
That’s part of what makes Graham Wendes such an incredible human being, he’s the only person I ever met who demonstrated true Altruism.
He helped other people for absolutely no personal gain, often to his own detriment.
Most of the people he helped never had any idea how much he did.
Graham loved the movie “Pay It Forward” and the ethos of doing a good deed for others in the knowledge that they would then do a good deed for others and little by little the world becomes a better place.
I do think the world would be a better place if everyone could ‘be more Graham’.
If we all could just step outside our own bubble occasionally and think of others a little more,
we could help those who need it, even if it doesn’t directly benefit us.
That would be an appropriate tribute to an incredible person.
Happy birthday Graham, tonight I’ll be having fish & chips while raising a glass of cider for you.