A message earlier this month from my Mum breaking the news of my dad’s younger brother’s death was a bolt out of the blue.
A call last Thursday, 10th, saying the funeral was on the 17th meant a few internet logins with return tickets purchased and time off in lieu agreed.
My Dad is the oldest of four children, 3 boys and 1 daughter and now Dad (85) and Mabel (80) remain.
The journey up on Wednesday started off with signal failure and catching the train from Kings Cross with only a few minutes to spare. I arrived just after 4pm after a quiet journey of reflection: not something I’m particularly good at!
Tea and cake with Mum and Dad was enjoyed, followed by lasagne.
We chatted, watched some repeats, footie and then to bed.
I love my husband to bits, but the chance of sleeping in a double bed diagonally is always a treat!
I woke to the sun streaming through the window and we enjoyed scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for breakfast and then got ready for the solemn occasion.
We arrived in plenty of time and met with family and a large group of mourners assembled to pay their respects.
The hearse arrived and we filed in, to the strains of heedrum, hodrum music.
The family and Jim made their entrance.
Jim was married to Ina and they have 5 children.
The ceremony was humanist and the celebrant was wonderful.
The tribute to Jim was heart warming and gave insight to the man who loved his family, his dancing and his bowling.
He worked hard travelling with his work and I have fond memories of the slim man with the shock of dark hair, Ina and our cousins.
Jim was held in high regard and he seemed to have life sorted, doing what he enjoyed with those he loved and cherished.
Highland Cathedral was played, a tune I love and synonymous with Murrayfield for me.
The family were very kind yesterday and their love for their Dad and Grandad shone through. A sad occasion but glimmers of memories and happiness too.
The sun greeted me again this morning and shone on my journey home.
Another quiet journey that made me think that we have lost the art of communicating: so many people on their phones, tablets and laptops, earphones on, shut off from human contact.
I chose to read a book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also reflected on how fortunate I have been to be part of an extended family with so many aunts, uncles and cousins. There are fewer now, all the more reason to keep in touch and enjoy time together.
Very few of us know when our time will end, and I have spent some time thinking about enjoying what I have, as in family and friends and the things I can do, and stress less over things I can’t change and take a moment to say ‘will I remember this in 3-5 years time?’ and if the answer is no then just let it be.
I think that’s what Uncle Jim did and I will take inspiration from that.