So sorry for your loss. Your sister sounds absolutely incredible. I salute you bothMy sister had her first child aged 17. Once she escaped the abusive house we all grew up in, she got married and they bought a tiny house when she got a part time job at the job centre. She helped tens of thousands of people to claim benefits and access training there. After she had been promoted a few times, she began training staff specifically in ways to help people. She then went on to help build a network of (not private sector) training networks to increase levels of literacy and numeracy - the reason why people can get free qualifications in Literacy and Numeracy, as well as GCSEs as adults is due to her hard work campaigning out of the public eye with others who felt the same, that people needed more than just money, they needed actual skills and qualifications to be able to have better lives.
Her house was lovely and very slowly went from bare essentials to beautiful items all carefully chosen and saved for. In her spare time, she'd raise money for assorted charities. Interestingly, she had no time at all for the people who earned money from wailing on TV as they weren't doing the actual work but were picking up thousands of pounds
to stick up their nosesspend on pretty much the shit that politicians would claim the benefits claimants were going to spend their money on. A suggestion of raising funds for TT was met with a 'rather not, it won't get to the people who need it and it's in their interests that nothing changes, as that's how they make a living'. For somebody who didn't have a bad bone in her body, she had nothing good to say for yet another permanently sniffing media type.
She started her latest fundraising recently. It's what she does, tries to actually help people. She died this morning of cancer, having not said a word to anybody outside her closest family, as she didn't want people to feel guilted into giving money they couldn't afford. It's her birthday next week, just under a fortnight after mine.
She achieved more over her lifetime than JM has done with half a million people paying her attention. She hadn't made a living of hundreds of thousands of pounds out of centring things around how she was pregnant, vulnerable and escaped neglect and abuse as a genuinely tiny and malnourished teenage girl. She got a job, she did it well, she improved her qualifications and she worked bloody hard to make it possible to not just improve the world for a few people, but for thousands. Without ever begging for money and attention, never being a bleep to others, never wanging on about how she'd managed to get from a shithole to a lovely house, just being herself.
I'm sad, obviously. It hurts that she's not around making the world that little bit nicer tonight. But her impact on other people's lives was huge.
My most recent memory of her was when somebody gave her a JM book. She was her usual lovely self, very appreciative and grateful for the kind gift. When I went into the kitchen after her friend had left, I found that my lovely, sweet, caring sister who genuinely had done so much for others and would never say a harsh word to anybody had taken that book, still half wrapped - and planted it squarely in the kitchen bin.