Philip and Jacquie scheduled to travel back to Northampton around 2 pm.
Make plans for their visit in May. Garage front needs repair, materials itemised – weather permitting – as well as a couple other jobs planned.
Early lunch before they set off and bus packed.
This was the moment that I had not talked about WHEN I am left on my own. This was it and to be honest it was very traumatic as this was like the final moment in the last three weeks of a roller coaster road that I have been on. A moment was taken – well a long moment with them both talking through with me our feelings over the last three weeks and what plans we might make when the time was right in the coming months.
See them off wish them safe journey
I hope that you have followed the blog and I have tried to be as accurate as possible with the daily updates. I have found it a useful release to document Margaret’s death and the emotions that I felt at the time. Whilst 31 January will always be a day that I will always remember, I place it along side a few others:- 28 December 1968 – the day we saw each other in Glasgow for the first time – falling in love in Aviemore and exchanging of letters thereafter till 16 September 1970 – Married July 1973 Steven born, October 1975 Philip Born, July 1982 Matthew born.
Margaret and I had a great life together but sadly cut short at 64 years.
Decide as Valentines day was coming up to get a card “Thinking of you” this I will do on significant dates going forward.
A new life for me without Margaret but her memory will always be in my heart.
One more day to go before Philip and Jacquie have to travel back to Northampton.
Only one more draw to go as we set to again in the room upstairs another bag to be filled and emptied.
We have been at this for a couple of days now and still no documents very frustrating, still fielding phone calls the one stop of tell all does not seem to be working as it should.
A CHEER goes up we have found the documents you have guessed it last draw right at the back and had fallen off the rails and guess what they were in the draw marked certificates/wills. It is not surprising the brain has nor been in a coordinated phase this last three weeks. Philip comes up to see what all the fuss was about.
We cannot stop now must finish.
Perhaps we will take a refreshment to celebrate.
I am so relieved to find these papers.
Call from Motabilty we agree a month extra to keep the car before I have to hand it back.
After yesterday and doing our heads in file after file relocated in folders still no important documents. Jacquie and I seem to be knee deep in paper.
Philip located in the lounge hooked up to his work remotely.
The usual stop for refreshments and some shopping to be done.
Jacquie and Philip keep the humour going as well as singing to the odd tune on the radio.
You have guessed it still no documents think of alternative locations for where they might be still not thinking straight.
Still reflecting on the last fortnight make call to Leuchie to set upJustGivingpage for Margaret. The family have decided to help raise money to refurbish the upper room in Margaret’s memory. It is room with a lovely view into the parkland where deer can be seen early in the morning as well as other wildlife.
Philip and Jacquie decide that they could stay till Saturday coming before going back to Northampton. Philip set up in lounge so he could work from Carrick Drive.
If you recall from earlier in the week that i could not find documents so now was the time that needed to set to and find them. Jacquie in charge we set about stating at the top of filing cabinet and go on a find and shredding spree. This is going to take some time.
Continue to field phone calls from various agencies as well as make some to banking etc as well.
Stop for lunch and dinner (still no documents but have filled a bag with shreddings)
Today Matthew, Fiona Logan and Ellis fly to their summer house as Logan calls it in Muscat, Oman.
Flight scheduled fro midday check in get to airport in good time.
This was quite an emotional departure for Matthew and I firstly – the death of his mother just a week ago and that I will not see them till they return later in the year. Matthew is only just starting his second year of his contract with Aecom. Philip, Jacquie and Fiona’s family wished them safe journey and through the gates they went.
We went off to IKEA for some things that Philip and Jacquie were looking for I spent some cash as well for a couple of not very exciting things.
How was I going to cope now that Margaret has passed away. So much goes through the mind and I read again her letter to us all.
Determined to go to church which I felt I needed to and thankfully Maureen sat next to me a great comfort because I knew this was going to be difficult but everybody so supportive in everything they said to me.
Like yesterday very much a day of peddling forward as much as you can.
Steven and family come over to-day it was Yvonne’s birthday.
We agree a family get together for the weekend in May when Matthew returns from Oman. (diary 1st May). This was actually planned before Margaret passed away and I wanted to keep this as our initial focus for the coming months.
It is one year ago today that we laid Margaret to rest.
The church was packed and the service and hymns were exactly as she would have wanted full of joy for her life. The poem Anne sent over from South Africa really captured Margaret’s infectious personality that shone despite her illness.
I am writing this just before I retire for the night as I have just taken the opportunity to re read Margaret’s letter to me and the boys. It conjured up so many things in ones mind as I read it that her voice is ringing in my ears “now listen what I have to say”. Margaret I would not have changed a thing despite the path God had chosen for us a young couple and later as a family.
To have sat and wrote the letter in 2011 so articulately and with so much love for me and the boys it is very difficult to read it and ask our own questions of what IF. You said in the letter about me putting my life on hold I never once felt that – yes I worked hard at times but there is one certainty you never held me back despite everything that you had to deal with.
Yes you were right I did have a choice but I made the right choice all those years ago in 1968.
Last Sunday we sang your favourite hymn “Make me a channel of your peace” I will always think about you as we will no doubt sing it again the future.
What does one do but wait we know where we are supposed to be and at what time – just wait it feels like it is going to be a long day.
I decide that the time for me to read Margaret’s letter is now just before we go up to the chapel of rest. I read it in the conservatory it is very moving especially as I am reading it now four years after she wrote it on the day of her funeral. She was a real words smith in getting things so right and very particular in how she wanted to convey her last thoughts with us all.
Steven and family arrive we all go up to chapel of rest along with a few mementos to place in the coffin – drawings from the older grandchildren, a photo of Anne and Margaret along with her poem a picture of me and so on.
To say she looked so beautiful and calm would not be doing her justice her smile was there and I remarked to Anne later that I thought it was more a laugh – “any more stuff in the coffin and you are going drop me” – just the sort of thing Anne and Margaret’s sense of humour would have been like during their friendship.
A quick lunch before the hearse etc arrives.
I decided if we were able for me and the boys to carry Margaret into the church.
Cars arrive and we get ourselves sorted over the three cars and make our way to the church. There were many there already – speak with my family from down south – and prepare for any final things to do – words in my pocket decide to do it on my own and get mic fitted and where it will come in the service.
The church and flowers were perfect.
Final instructions of how we will lift coffin up and walk to the front – a moment that the four of us will cherish for ever to hoist Margaret on our shoulders and carry her forward with such grace befitting of someone so precious to us.
Hymns from Mission Praise
MP 50 Be Still in the presence of the Lord
MP 825 Faithful one
MP 445 Lord the light of your love
MP 456 Make me a channel of your peace
Sung at the crematorium
MP 921 Purify my heart
MP 880 Lord I come to you
Audio of service
It is pouring with rain as we leave the church for the crematorium. No time to linger which was a shame as there were many of my friends from my time at the BBC came to support me. (Decide to get in touch later)
Arrive at crematorium to be created by Graham to tell me that there is no organist /no music for two well known hymns. Quick thinking speak with the Sandyhills Choristers (Our Church choir members) to see how best to do this agree them to kick us of – on we go as planned. It turned out perfect well done to them.
So it finally came much feeling that is hard to put into words that my love for the past forty-eight years was in the hands of our Lord for safe keeping forever.
Display in Redstones Hotel
We left the service with Barbara Streisand singing “Memories”
I am not one for a post crematorium reception but you do manage to get through it as best you can.
Off to the Redstones for a reception with many of our friends and family. It was great to see so many you always feel it is a shame that we do not meet more often but busy we are all with our own families does not make this possible. Photographs exchanged showing Margaret in her early years added to the occasion.
Thanks to everyone.
This was a day when memories were to the fore but Margaret lives on through our (always will call them our boys) boys.
I cannot thank Steven, Philip and Matthew for getting me through this last week, our moment in church as we lifted your MUM just felt so right.