I have failed twice to save my post and then I hit a wrong note and bummer it all went pear shaped and I lost all the words....so I am going to have another go, and on a different subject..
At first, I thought it was a hoax and not a nice one either when a notification from my cousin in New Zealand said that we had lost her brother, my cousin, a few days previously . He had been on Facebook for ages and it was comforting to know that he was happy in his marriage and step children and step grandchildren all loved him
My oldest Uncle in my father's family had married his mother when she was a young girl of 19 and pregnant and in those days, a terrible thing to face in public- my uncle feeling sorry for her offered to marry her before the baby arrived and so we all attended the wedding. A few months later he was born, a little blonde blue eyed boy .
Later, his five siblings joined him and he was the only blonde in the family Being young, I never knew the circumstances of his birth nor worried why he looked so different from his brothers and sisters. That was how it was in those days, things were never discussed and besides we were all children and it was not our place to know anything.
Over the years after our Nana died, the family stopped gathering at the house on a sunday afternoon as we had during her life there, so we drifted off to cope with our own lives and somehow all the years in between meant that I had not met up with him since he was a child.
Now in his sixties we were all back in touch and it was fascinatingly good to know how well everyone had done and that he had recovered from his time of self harming and self medicating and was at last in a truly happy relationship.
I was intending to go to meet up with him and his family, the wife that he had been married for over 20 years and to meet his family., but the week after Christmas we had the news that he had left us.
He died in his sleep just before the New Year began and so hopefully he was not aware of pain or suffering at the end. I am sure it was a terrible shock for his wife to discover him like that, but maybe its the best way to go after all....
We all know in our hearts that one day we shall suffer the same fate, but as humans we do not discuss it too much do we - Now I am into my seventh decade, I really do feel the touch of mortality more and more, and when events like this happen, it feels a lot closer and more worryingly near**
I had hoped to attend his funeral, but it is being held on a Wednesday, the one day in the week that I cannot attend as I have to babysit the grandsons of John on a Wednesday afternoon each week, and as we only have one car, cannot go, as John could not look after the boys and I certainly would never be back in time for him to go to them.
So I have missed out again in meeting up with members of my scattered family and to speak to my aunt who is still alive in her nineties and managing to cope as well as she can at this time.....
. I like to send a living plant or bush to plant in the garden as a living reminder of that person, rather than sending a wreath or money , so I feel like I failed twice in not keeping in touch, not that anyone would feel like blaming me, as we have all been busy in our lives, and they too did not make the effort to keep in touch with me, but as the eldest girl in the family, maybe I should have done a little bit more to hold it all together.
When Nana was alive, we went without fail to the house every Sunday afternoon for the adults to chat and the cousins to keep in touch and grow up knowing each other, but when she died it all seemed to stop.
Our lives now are so different. I have 1`2 grandchildren and they are scattered around. the world and those that are living in the UK are not just around the corner but a good two hours drive away so we have never had that tradition of them coming to me each week to keep the cousins all in touch and that is a shame too. but society and our lives are all so different now, with mothers in full time careers and dads too, that weekends is just a time for them to catch up with their own children, let alone anyone else's
.I shall remember my cousin as he was when I last met him, a tall blonde boy with lovely golden hair and bright bright blue eyes.... no matter in mature years, he didn't look like that any more, in my mind he will always be that young man with a whole life in front of him.
At least I can relax knowing that nothing bad will ever happen to him in his future, as he is at rest already.