Tag Archives: cancer

This moment.


This Moment

By David Milligan-Croft.

When I watched my mother dying,

Over a period of months, then weeks, then days,

Her eyes closed, never to reopen.

Her breath laboured,

Her skeletal frame sinking further into the mattress,

The morphine drip, drip, dripping into her veins,

I wondered whether she might be better off dead.

Not out of malice, of course, but out of love.

I wanted to see an end to her suffering.

This was not life – it was living death.

Before she entered this comatose state,

She spoke of sitting in her garden

Amidst the spring narcissus,

Surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

What was the point of thoughts of the future,

When there is only this moment?

This precise moment, where you are a prisoner

In your own decrepit body and locked-in mind.

But the nurse told me that you could hear us.

And I thought that, despite your pain –

Your second-by-second suffering –

It must be of some respite to hear the voices

Of your children close by. Sometimes talking to you,

Sometimes to each other – reminiscing.

Perhaps making an inappropriate joke,

Despite your circumstances.

The dab of a coffee-soaked sponge

To bring succour to your parched lips.

(Or Tia Maria, when the nurse pretended not to look.)

Then your grandchildren,

Pottering about your granny flat,

Wondering why this contraption of a bed was in the living room.

Bringing you gifts from the kitchen – a saucepan, a spatula,

Touching your paper-thin skin, telling you to ‘wake up, grandma!’

But you were awake.

That must have made you smile in your mind.

There is only ever this moment.

No future, no past.

Just a collection of moments to be cherished.

Or not.

So, my mind began to change.

I did not think you’d be better off dead.

I thought you were exactly where you should be –

Surrounded by your family,

Loving you,

In this moment.

For my mother,

Christine Milligan,

14th August 1943 – 2nd March 2021.

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Filed under Art, Children, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, health, Inspiration, Literature, love, Medicine, mental health, nhs, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

And another thing…


My last post was meant to be my last post of 2020.

But I saw something that I wanted to share with you.

I took someone to St. James’ hospital in Leeds the other day. Specifically, the Bexley Wing. Which is actually more like a hospital within a hospital rather than a ‘wing’.

What struck me initially is that they have an art gallery space in the atrium. Obviously, I took the opportunity to peruse the stunning work on display.

What was a little bit awkward was the fact that someone deemed it a good idea to place chairs all along the gallery wall. So, I often found myself standing directly in front of a healthcare worker, (who was taking a well earned break), gawping over their head.

I decided to take a few photos for posterity. And soon realised that the juxtaposition of the art on display and the resting workers/visitors oblivious to it, was art in itself. (Well, it was in my head, anyway.)

I think the fact that the majority of people are on their smart phones adds a certain amount of 21st century irony to the pictures. With the art behind them screaming “Look at me!”

Some people may know how passionate I am about the arts and their ability to help in the healing process. Whether that be mental, physical or general wellbeing.

Anyway, the atrium gallery is amazing. The work is amazing. The staff are amazing. And the NHS is amazing. So, all-in-all, well done, and thank you to everyone at St James’ Hospital, Bexley wing. (You are amazing.)

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Filed under Art, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Education, health, Ideas, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, Medicine, mental health, nhs, Photography, Science, Uncategorized

#yesmakeupselfie for Cancer Research UK


I’ve been full of admiration for all of those women who have been baring all taking #nomakeupselfies to raise funds and awareness for cancer.

One particular shot I saw on Facebook asked the question as to how guys could get involved. I don’t know if anyone answered, but here’s my solution…

If women are brave enough not to wear make up, (not that you need it in the first place), then perhaps us guys can hang our testosterone up in the locker for a bit, get in touch with our feminine sides and put on make up for cancer research?

I’m calling the male version: #yesmakeupselfies

DSCF0911

How’s about it, fellas?

Let’s see if we can match or beat the girls’ rather impressive two million quid they’ve raised so far.

Get yourselves all dolled up, take a selfie and, most importantly, text ‘Beat’ to 70099 to donate £3 to Cancer Research UK.

If you want to donate in Ireland to the Irish Cancer Society, text ‘Pink’ or ‘Daff’ to 50300.

If any readers can let me know what the numbers are in Aus or the US and the ‘text word’, let me know and I’ll add them.

Make up by Scarlett (8) and Lydia (5). To be honest, I’m amazed at their restraint.

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Filed under Children, community, Creativity, Disability, Ideas, Inspiration