Remembrance of Edward
Reading from an unknown
Feel no guilt in laughter; he'd know how much you care.
Feel no sorrow in a smile that he's not here to share.
You cannot grieve forever; he would not want you to.
He'd hope that you could carry on the way you always do.
So, talk about the good times and the way you showed you cared,
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.
Let memories surround you; a word someone may say.
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day,
That brings him back as clearly as though he were still here
And fills you with the feeling that he is always near.
For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart
And he will live forever locked safely in your heart.
I wanted to go back and say something about the words in the
poem that I read earlier and the memories it invokes in me,
and in others that know him well.
The part that stood out the most for me was the part that said
"a word someone may say, will suddenly recapture, a time,
an hour, a day".
It not only invoked a word for me but also a sound. I wonder
if anyone can guess what the word was?
For me the word was TEA.
This was often followed by the clink of his teacup on the saucer.
[CLINK CLINK his Tea Cup and Saucer together]
It often got the reply from me that "you will get one when
you get some manners". He would then pull a funny face
at Andrew, mocking me, and say "Cuppa Tea please!"
followed by calling me some random name from Kev to Andrew or
even George, one of his carers, but not usually my actual name,
but the glint in his eye told us he knew EXACTLY what he was
Right, now I want to take you back to our Oliver Twist like
days as children.
During visits and the school holidays when we were children
we, the grandchildren, would go to grandad's to see him, but
no sooner did we arrive, he would set us to work, out in the
garden, BUT instead of picking pockets, like Oliver Twist, we'd
be picking weird Christmas tree type weeds, tomatoes, strawberries,
broad beans and shelling them, I hate beans.
He would show us how to plant vegetables, we'd water them, and
we'd harvest them.
My Dad, Billy, Brother Kevin and myself would be taken back
to school in the holidays, to help him when he was working on
maintenance jobs. We'd be fetching screwdrivers, screws, nuts
and bolts, usually the wrong ones because we didn't have a clue,
but we helped. We'd also get the brushing up to do at the end
of the job too and yes, we'd have to get him lots of cups of
As our reward, we would get homemade soup which was amazing
or something from the chippy to share which, as teenagers, didn't
last long but we would also finish his food too.
At the time all this work felt like punishment but now I see
that it showed us the meaning of hard work and skills, helping
each other, working for the greater good of the family.
There are so many bad things going on in the world right now
and the world could learn a lesson from him, about working together
to achieve common goals and the support and love of family.
Moving forward into his 90's, it became time for him to surrender
his driving licence. Mum, Ann, started driving him to see Vera,
his loving partner for many years, part of his daily routine
to get fed. After some time, mum's health got bad so, Andrew
and I, would make sure he would get to see Vera, dropping him
off there each evening. After about a year, he had an accident,
lost his confidence and spent most of his time at home. At this
point Vera would come to see him most nights and they would
spend many evenings sat in front of the TV chatting and enjoying
each other's company.
The family each took their turn at checking on him at lunch
times. Sue did Sunday, Mum, Kevin, Joanne, Michelle went to
check on him at lunch during the week and Andrew and I went
to visit on a Saturday. We sat talking, watching his favourite
TV shows and getting bossed around. He used to love to read
whatever was printed on Andrew's top that day, even if it only
said Abercrombie and Fitch.
In the last few years, at Christmas we would pick him up and
take him to mums for Christmas Dinner. I think these are our
favourite memories. Mum, Dad and Kevin would sort out the food,
Andrew, Grace, Harry and myself would keep Grandad entertained.
He loved the blockbuster movies with a glass of sherry. We got
told off for talking whilst he watched Harry Potter and he exclaimed
how exciting this new movie Jurassic Park was, already over
20 years old at the time. I was surprised he didn't claim he
remembered the Jurassic era to be honest.
Finally, one of the
last times I took him out was November 2018. We were invited
to take him to the 100th Remembrance Day celebrations in Liverpool
He was dressed up smartly in his Lancashire Fusilier Uniform
and medals displayed proudly. Major Elaine had made sure we
had a place close by to park.
She fixed his bury with the long 'primrose yellow' feather,
known as a hackle. She had arranged for him to have pride of
place to view the celebrations. She wrapped him in blankets
so he wouldn't get cold and plied him with alcohol, which he
clung onto for dear life.
When the parade started, she arranged for two soldiers to accompany
us, one of which pushed his wheelchair as I walked alongside.
He loved all the attention. People would shout out lovely comments
like "Thank you for your service" and I could hear
one woman very excitedly shouting, "Look, look, he's a
Lancashire Fusilier". She obviously knew her stuff. Occasionally
he would give out a Royal wave to the crowds to thank them for
coming to see him, as if the parade was all for him.
The parade ended in
an awkward area for a wheelchair. No problem! About 6 guys in
uniform excitedly picked up his chair and carried him to the
top of about 20 steps so we could get him back safely. Again,
he loved all the fuss.
Right I've gone on
quite long enough, so my final words are "Cuppa Tea Grandad?"
[CLINK CLINK of Cup and Saucer again]