Monday, 21 July 2014

Remember Ella’s laugh, remember her smile, remember your relationship with her and remember everything she did. Remember Ella.

Dear Ella,

We had a lovely picnic - if only you had been there.

This is what Annie said - such beautiful words.

Lots of love


It may seem strange to many of you that we’re coming back to Ashton and doing this here. But apart from her brief but happy time at art school, this was the last community that Ella was a big part of, and somewhere she was happy, healthy and in her element. Over there by the gate we used to sit and eat and laugh, and here on the mound in the summer. We used to sit up there in the library and wind up Penny, and study of course! And over in those classrooms Ella thrived in physics and maths, and over in there at art and design.

While we’re on the subject of Ashton Park it’s only right to say thank you for everyone involved in this, especially Mr John, and to everyone that took care of Ella while we were here. I definitely can’t mention everyone, but you all made school a special time and I hope you know that you did and just how important that is.  Thank you Miss Benjamin who gave us somewhere to go in the early days when school felt a bit like a battlefield, Miss Mulroy who was always there for us (and definitely didn’t cheat in the tutor house point competitions), Miss McGirr who provided us with all the teacher gossip, Mr Shoker who really fuelled Ella’s passion for Physics and Miss Debenham who became even more of a friend to Ella than a teacher. The same goes to basically all of Ella’s teachers and other staff throughout school and sixth form, who nurtured her talents, supported her and made her feel special.

It was Ella’s birthday yesterday and we’re still living in a world where she isn’t here or getting older with us. It’s unfair and just so sad, and we miss her every day. But there has also been cause for celebration over the past year or so - Ella’s family and friends led by Jo have raised a colossal amount of money which has already been put to use, with the Bristol Teenage Cancer Unit now open and helping others like Ella, and it really is a fantastic place. Meanwhile, Ella’s sister Sophie has gone to Cardiff University and is once again proving just how exceptionally talented she is. Ella’s little cousins Tommy and Keziah are growing up into lovely children. Many of Ella’s friends have graduated from uni, and some have found jobs they love, including Georgina who’s thriving on working in operating theatres and helping patients just like Ella once was. Bob has been so strong throughout, and a lovely thing he did is build a beautiful wooden chest to treasure keepsakes and memories of Ella in, a vital part of remembering Ella, which is after all what we’re here doing now and will continue to do.

Remember Ella’s laugh, remember her smile, remember your relationship with her and remember everything she did. Remember Ella.

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