Eve & Daniela’s Story
Eve died in July 2014 a few weeks before her 99th birthday. This is the story of her very special friendship with Daniela, “her volunteer, her friend” who visited her for 13 years.
On returning from a family visit to Australia, Eve (then aged 86) found herself almost housebound following a hip replacement and the loss of vision in one eye.
She came across the Neighbourhood Care Scheme in 2001 and was matched with Daniela, a young French woman who spoke perfect English and with whom Eve had many common interests including travel, languages, music and learning. With Daniela’s help, Eve learnt to master the basics of computer and was able to type her autobiography. The relationship started as one between volunteer and scheme member but developed into a friendship based on mutual support, which gave Eve the confidence to embrace many new technologies and embark on writing a book for children, and encouraged Daniela to develop her artistic work.
“There are still so many words to be written. Thank you to Sean (Co-ordinator) for introducing me to such a good friend. She has helped me bring my past into the present.”
- Eve, Scheme Member
Unfortunately, throughout the years, Eve’s eye sight deteriorated and she became practically blind. In 2011, after being seriously ill, she had to sell her house and move into a care home. She was very much loved by the staff at the care home. They confided in her when they had problems, and in a way she became their “counsellor”! Although at the end Eve’s body was ridden with cancer, her feisty spirit never failed, and right to the end she still ‘wrote’ stories and poems with the help of friends.
Phillada, Eve’s daughter who lives in Greece, wrote this note to Daniela:
“You knew so much about her colourful life. You were a great joy for her. I am so glad that she had your love when I was often away.”
Phillada asked friends who knew Eve to write something about Eve. This is Daniela’s reply to Phillada:
“As for Eve, there is not one day I don’t think of her. The sadness has gone and now it’s all the lovely memories which make me smile and happy. She is still very much present in my life.
“I had tried to write a text about her to send you for the book you started at her funeral but I haven’t managed to, simply because there are no words to express how much I loved her, and because her spirit is with me and will always be. So I feel no words would do justice to her.
“When I think of our meetings I think of sharing and joy, and how lucky I was to have met such a wonderful woman, and to have kept her friendship for so many years. Our relationship was beautiful and so special, just like she was, beautiful and special.”
Here is an example of Eve’s writing – a thank you poem she wrote a few years ago:
“I burn my candle at both ends,
It gives a lovely light;
And thanks to all my lovely friends,
You keep it burning bright.
You’ve made my life worth living. May your candle shine bright.
With love and gratitude,
(Click here to read a few words from Sean, NCS manager, after the funeral – followed by the obituary written by her son – in the blog post: “Meeting the Inner Swordswoman”.)
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