Friday, March 27, 2009

Jade's Reality

In the time that my blog was effectively dormant for most of the year to date, one tabloid story spread into the broadsheets, the BBC and no one in Britain could have missed it.

That "story" was the couragious fight by Jade Goody against cancer, a fight she lost last Sunday.

It is a healthy thing to be proved wrong from time to time but I found myself both surprised and in a strange way delighted that I have been proved so wrong about Jade Goody.

In a time that feels almost a lifetime ago but is in fact only just over two years ago, Jade Goody became something of a hate figure in Britain. It is with no particuclar pride that I remind myself that I got caught up in watching the circus that is "Celebrity Big Brother" and wasted more thana few posts on the show that proved so unexpectedly entertaining.

My "excuse" for watching was a sense of nostalgia that Dirk Benedict of the A-Team was appearing. The A-Team was a firm favourite when I was a boy. However Dirk Benedict became a supporting actor in the story that was a battle between Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty.

For flimsy reasons Jade was accused of racism. At the time Jade seemed an easy pantomime villain to the princess -ike Shilpa.

When Jade left the Big Brother House in 2007 her "career" as a celebrity seemed finished. However time, a raprochment between Jade and Shilpa combined with a refusal to be beaten by Jade meant she was back on the road to her brand of stardom before too long.

Then one day last summer she was diagnosed with cancer and her chances of survival gradually fell with each passing day. When her disease became "terminal" Jade got married to her boyfriend, also a contestant on Big Brother. The ceremony was performed by a priest who lives in South East London. Days from death she got her two sons christened along with her.

Throughout her entire battle Jade seemed to show a tremendous courage that many of us can only stand back and admire while at the same time doubting that we would exhibit such behaviour if we faced Jade's circumstances.

Jade Goody who became known through "reality TV" did more than anyone to expose how unreal the Big Brother house is. No one faces reality in the Big Brother House. When reality comes knocking the people have to leave there. Jade however did face a very powerful and dreadful reality and behaved heroicially.

She left behind the trivia and nonsense of celebrity news and in a real way faced the frontier between life and death. In facing this she seemed to have made her own conclusions about eternity and wanted to do what was best for her sons, her husband and herself.

If facing certain death is a test of character, which it must surely be, then Jade passed with flying colours. She died an inspiration.

She died ensuring her sons will never know material poverty and she did her best to ensure that they will have spiritual wisdom too.

You can sometimes be really wrong about someone. In some cases it is refreshing to be reminded about how wrong you really were. Heroes and heroines sometimes spring from the most unlikely places. Jade Goody died aged 27 as a heroine and an inspiration.

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