In August I will be walking 96 miles over 4 days to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of my sister Annie Caulfield.

As a kid I was a devoted and loyal follower of my big sister. She liked someone called David Bowie so I liked David Bowie. She was very excited by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel on Top of the Pops, I was less excited but studied the Rebels and tried to work out what it was I should find exciting.

I tried to copy Annie or repeat things that she had said, she seemed so grown up and impressive, so full of swagger and attitude. But somehow things didn’t work the same way when they came out of my mouth. I would get out of my depth with misinformation and grind to a confusing halt.

Once in Religious Education I was asked to read my essay to the class.

“Josephine, you have written a very peculiar answer to the question ‘What does Jesus mean to me?’ Would you read it to the class please?” said Sister Una.

Annie had been reading Erich Von Daniken’s Chariots of the God’s – in it the author argues that all religions are based on aliens being mistaken for Gods; basically Jesus was an astronaut and it can be proved by drawings of spaceships in ancient caves. Yeah, it’s just as nuts as most religions. Whether Annie believed this or not I can’t remember, but she had told me about it and I then put it through my own eleven-year-old Catholic filter.

 Of course as soon as I began reading my essay out loud it all started to fall apart; it somehow didn’t sound as cool and grown up as it had when Annie had said it.

I stumbled on, “some people say that Jesus was an astronaut and came down from another planet in a spaceship, but I don’t think that matters as he still died on the cross and was crucified for our sins.”

The class sat in stunned silence. They looked at me the same way we’d looked at Fatima Miraandez when she told us she wasn’t a virgin anymore because she’d fallen off a bunk bed during half term.

She enhanced and influenced my life to the point where I wonder how much of me is me and how much is Annie.

She was worth knowing.

You can donate to my JustGiving page by clicking here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jo-caulfield?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=Jo-caulfield&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_term=5e9a4db5f3864627abcc45b3da3ecf97.

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