Sunday, 15 April 2012
This is the story of a man I never met.
A man who's death touched something deep inside me, transporting me back many, many years to a place where there was a sense of rightness, of natural order.
An unspoken code of respect.
I had what many would consider a privileged childhood.
My father was in the Navy and we travelled the world in my younger years, seeing and doing things that many of my friends couldn't begin to comprehend.
At it's heart was a small village by the sea in South Devon.
A place that we returned to time and time again.
Our base, my Grandparents.
Stalwarts of the community.
Grandad, a bellringer, a quiet man, a man of the land who spent his days turning the soil, nurturing his garden and providing for his family.
Nanny, who for many years ran their low rambling bungalow with views across the valley down to the sea as a bed and breakfast in the Summer. A member of the WI and the Mothers Union. Who wore a blue housecoat over her clothes and a hat to church on Sundays.
We had ponies, dogs, cats, my sister even had a ferret called pepper once.
But most of all we had a sense of belonging.
I stood in the tiny church in the middle of Exmoor and was reminded of those days as the service was relayed across the churchyard to those standing outside who had come to pay their respects.
The sound of voices raised in remembrance echoed across the moorland.
This man, the 5th son of 6 brothers.
A man I'd never met but who's story was told by one of his 4 sons.
A beautiful tribute telling of his struggles, his love for his family, his humour, his quirks and the legacy that his life has left continuing on into future generations.
And it reminded me.
I haven't blogged for a while.
As ever there are many unwritten posts in my head.
A jumble of good, bad, happy and so painful that right now I can't even begin to find the words.
This step back has made me want to reevaluate so many things.
As one of my favourite quotes says:
"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need. A homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you. Enough to eat and to wear and a little more than enough to drink, for thirst is a dangerous thing"
I'm not there right now but who knows, maybe one day ...