If you would have asked me just over 3 years ago what the colour purple meant to me, I would have eventually answered "flowers, yes lavender". I grow lavender in my garden and have a dream of owning a lavender farm somewhere warm and sunny". After a while of dreaming, I would probably list the things I see around me from other flowers to fruit and vegetables. All the normal things, nothing special or exciting, but those you expect to be there without question.
Something changed on 26th January 019. The colour purple changed for ever, not just for me but for everyone close. That particular day ended as no aunt ever wishes it to. The call telling you that your beautiful, clever and cheeky niece had suddenly died. That day will be with me forever. SUDEP took her, no warning, no time to say goodbye; epilepsy just took her.
Purple is now a colour I see around me all the time. From the tiniest flower growing from a crack in the pavement to the the colour of the Autumn leaves as trees fall asleep for the Winter. Purple is now the colur for Maisie, when I see it, I think of her. It's the Maisie heart design we use to spread the word that epilepsy needs to be spoken about and the research into these young SUDEP deaths need to be counted allowing others to understand.
Purple Day was created in 2008 by Cassidy Megan, a young girl from Canada, who has epilepsy and wanted to get people talking about the condition. Cassidy decided to use the colour purple because lavender (I never knew) is recognised as the international flower of epilepsy. Cassidy not only wanted to raise awareness but also to assure people with epilepsy that they are not alone.
A thought, not just from me but from the whole family:
"Maisie enriched our lives in so many ways and we are determined to ensure that through her loss, positive change will happen"
Thank you for reading and please, every time you see lavender growing in the sunshine, say 'Hi' to Maisie for us all, especially her Auntie Mel xxx