Standing Still

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I’ve been meaning to post something on my personal blog for a while, though I’ve never gotten around to it. Life just sort of, throws you in at the deep end sometimes, while you tread water, hoping that you’re still kicking. In a way, there’s a morbid fascination to it. In one moment, you’re fantasizing about what it’s like to drown, the next you can’t breathe. Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically… But that’s what life is, right?

Two people that I deeply respected, admired and followed for many years died quite recently. They weren’t family members or even friends, but iconic characters of their time. Both of their deaths affected me in different ways; they died in the same month just two weeks apart.

One was Margot Kidder. She was, and always will be, my Lois Lane. I knew her as a character intimately when I was a kid. She was everything I had ever dreamed of being. A ballsy, sharp, level-headed reporter with a way of talking herself out of (and into) danger. When I read of Margot’s passing from the Christopher Reeve Foundation as I was scrolling through Facebook, I sat there in stunned silence. And that sentence right there was probably the kicker. It brought back all the moments I loved between Chris and Margot on screen.

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Margot and Chris were good friends while they were on the set of Superman and Superman II. They were also fiercely loyal to Superman’s Director, Richard Donner; it was one of the reasons why Margot only came back for smaller parts in 3 and 4. I recently stumbled across a photo of the two of them together at Niagara Falls, on the set of Superman II. And I remembered that just last year, I was stood in the exact same place as two of my heroes. To many people, the death of these two actors and the characters they played on screen would just be a passing sadness. But to me, they were my childhood. A little bit of my childhood died; I’ll never get it back. Yet there’s a bitter sweetness to it, knowing that Superman caught Lois as she fell away.

The second, was a man who was diagnosed with bowel cancer several years ago. John ‘TotalBiscuit’ Bain was a very talented, vocal gaming critic who found fame through YouTube. I was lucky enough to meet him at a UK convention run by his long-time friend, Jesse Cox. Back then, he was suffering through Chemotherapy and, while undoubtedly in a lot of pain, sat for 8 hours at a table signing, meeting and greeting fans.

It was that year that I got on the train back from Telford, when I bumped into him at the train station. He was heading north to see family, listening to music, waiting for the train while people stood around him shivering in excitement. It was odd, I guess, seeing him in a normal setting around normal people, doing normal everyday things. But that’s just it, he wasn’t a celebrity, he didn’t let his status define him, instead he stood up for the little people; the indie game developers who were short on money, the gamers who had no voice. And he sure as hell helped people through rough times just by doing his own thing, and doing it damn well.

In late May, John Bain passed away peacefully. My heart broke for his wife Genna and their son. He was 33, just five years older than me. That puts things into perspective.

It wasn’t too long ago that I found myself in hospital undergoing an investigation. I sat and spoke to two women; one with pneumonia and the other who had cancer. And there I was sitting, panicking that I had just fainted and knowing that I was sat with two women that had much bigger problems than me. I felt terrible.

Something triggered in me then. And it’s still working it’s way through my brain now. It happened the other day when I was sat basking in the beautiful sunshine in our garden. I watched the birds have a dirt bath. And then, much later, watched another bird bathe in my neighbour’s stone water basin, flicking its feathers while the water jumped off its back. I realised that sometimes you don’t need to be moving forward in life, sometimes you need to stand (or sit) still and watch everything else happen around you.

Perhaps it’s the best advice I can give anyone who reads this. Letting things happen around you doesn’t mean that things are out of control. It doesn’t mean that you can’t help influence change. But it does give you time to assess what the right course of action may be. Sometimes doing nothing but watching and listening means everything to one person, allowing them to heal. Be content with who you are, allow yourself the time to – quite literally – stop and smell the roses because time is something we never get back. Know that it’s okay to stand still.

If you enjoyed John Bain’s content and would like to help support his family during this difficult time, please visit their Go Fund Me page, set up by his fans with all monies raised going to Genna Bain. 

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Posted on June 1, 2018, in Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Sometimes life punches you right in the face. Sometimes it just hurts a little, and sometimes you fall. It’s good to see that you keep standing straight even though life’s beating you up.

    I know you’ve been through a lot. Things like these just adds up to an already though everyday; but you just keep moving forward, and I’m proud of you, C. You’re strong. Don’t feel terrible just because people around you have it tougher. It doesn’t mean you don’t deserve help, support, treatment or anything else — because you really do deserve it. Fainting is serious. It might build up to something else, so don’t feel bad about it.

    Thank you for this post and your advise. My dad is ill nowadays. He hasn’t long, but I’m trying to do as much as possible for him, and adding that up to my back-issues, it can be quite stressfull. I’ll try not think everything is out of control. Thanks 🙂

    It’s good to see you’re writing here again; even though the subject is somewhat heavy. I know it’s hard sometimes to find motivation, and things like these make you realise life is short and times fly by. Just know I’m here for you if you need anything.

    • Awww, K. :3 Thank you for your lovely, heart-warming comment. I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. That’s so tough. 😦 I hope you can treasure the time you spend with him and just live in the moment. It’s hard when all you can think of is the bitter taste of what life will be like after. But for now, it’s just you and him. And I’m sure he appreciates everything that you do and are still doing now, no matter how small the gesture.

      Just like you say I’m strong, so are you. It takes a lot of strength to keep a brave face when the pain of your body is screaming at you. It’s difficult to ignore it sometimes and you will give in to the pain a lot, letting it wear you down. But we’ve got to take our highs with the lows, I suppose. It just sucks that we can’t have healthy bodies, huh?

      I penned this on my phone last night. I knew I wanted to write something that was poignant and invoked strength into whomever read it. I just let the words flow, writing everything down as it surfaced in my head. I think when things happen that affect you in a personal way, you start thinking with your emotions rather than through a steady, logical approach. Emotionally I’m not quite ready to face the world, but on goes that brave face and I’m ready again. I’m glad my rambling thoughts could impart a small nugget of wisdom. 🙂

  2. Yeah, you’re right. You kind of have to force yourself to put on a brave face when all you want to do is to cry and have a hug. I really do hope you don’t need to push yourself too hard all the time, but I know you will pull through 🙂

    Sometimes emotions tend to throw out logic when things don’t go your way – I know from experience. You kind of know you should think something a little bit more through, but when you feel like your chest is going to explode, you kind of have to get something out right away. In some ways, it helps the to write things down. Either as it’s someone listning to you, or as a way to sort your thoughts.

    Btw! Hah, so that’s how old you are! We’re the same age xP

    • Emotions definitely throw out logic. The only way I can describe it is when you get a can of pop (coke / fanta etc) and it’s been shaken, So that when you pop the lid, it all fizzes and bubbles out. That’s emotion for me. I tend to bottle and pop. It’s not the best way and I’m actively trying to work through it, but it’s something.

      Oh, I never knew we were the same age! Explains why you know so many of my pop culture references. XD That’s awesome. I love being a 90s kid. I mean we were the trendsetters for tech. Haha!

      • That’s so horrible :/ It’s hard, but you’re strong enough to get through it 🙂 I really don’t know what to say, it really sucks to be sick and struggle with “humøret”(the way you feel) as we say in Norwegian. I’m rooting for you 🙂

        I see that you’ve been active with articles on MNN. You’ve been working hard as usual! Are you pleased with E3 this year, fellow 90’s kid?

      • Thank you. 🙂 Yeah, E3 has been good but not great. I think we all had very high expectations from Nintendo. In some ways, they delivered, but they didn’t show 3 core games that are coming. Plus the Nintendo Treehouse streams have been filled with Smash. I mean, I love Smash, but stop showing it now… there’s no new info.

        I loved Microsoft’s conference. It was just so stylish and slick. I didn’t see the Sony conference but heard they were some interesting hiccups. Nintendo could have done better, but I understand their emphasis on Smash. What do you reckon?

        I’m excited for a fair few Xbox and cross-platform games! Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Transference, Unravel Two and that Zelda Fox game Tunic? That looked adorable. :3

      • Yeah, I didn’t expect much from EA, but they really, really did disappoint, except from Unravel 2 and its immediate release. I love co-op games so it was a great announcement :3

        Yeah, Microsoft had by far the best presentation. I was thinking that Ori was good news for you; hope that you’ll get time around to play it! I just called him Fox Link x3 Cute indeed!

        MS gave me hope for rest of the E3-shows, but it got crushed real fast. Sony was… hmmm… not exactly at their best, and Nintendo delayed Fire Emblem and Yoshi… that was the news I got out of them from this E3.

        I hope you didn’t exhaust yourself; because you produced a lot of high quality articles the last couple of days. You have so much to think about from before. Are you getting yourself a summer vacation?

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