Stories

My darling Husband

Shared by M S on December 8, 2019
It would have been your 80th birthday this week, so this is my birthday gift to you. I feel your presence with me and your hand in mine when I walk. I remember how straight your back used to be and it gives me the strength to straighten mine.
    I’ll play your favourite pieces this week and leave out the ones I’m still struggling to master. Thankyou for your encouragement to keep practicing. 
   Tomorrow I’ll join your mates at the men’s shed for their Christmas celebration and sit in the spot where you frequently sat and now has a plaque with your name on it. I’m sure you will be remembered as they officially open the extension that you were a part of in it’s beginning.
   Thankyou for loving me and being the best part of my life, and sharing our kids and grandkids Thankyou for leaving me in this wonderful, caring village. Thankyou for your daughter who is taking such good care of me, and our house and garden. 
  I think of you enjoying your freedom from earthly limitations, learning so much that is beyond our comprehension, and I long to be with you. 
Love you forever.
Marg


The memorial poem and the marriage he wished for

Shared by Enessa Phillips on July 9, 2019

It was my very great honour to MC the memorial for my grandfather, a man I have loved, respected and looked up to to my whole life. He was always a beautiful presence in my life. Sometimes the joker who would make me see the lighter side of life, sometimes the friend who I could confide in and seek guidance from but mostly the grandfather who I cherished for the steady and comforting energy I could always rely on. 

In the week before his passing I visited him for the last time. In spending time with him there were two things I remember clearly. The first - he asked me if I liked poetry. Not unusual with my English teaching background I suppose. He confided that he used to love to write poetry in his younger days. Not for anyone in particular but just because he enjoyed it. This was the side of him that I knew of but was not always obvious. The enjoyment for creative passions and pursuits. Often opera and music but also poetry. To honour him at the memorial I read this poem which I think is so apt for his love of sailing. It's called Crossing the Bar.

Sunset and evening star,

      And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

      When I put out to sea,

   But such a tide as moving /seems asleep,

      Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew/ from out the boundless deep

      Turns again home.

   Twilight/ and evening bell,

      And after that /the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

      When I embark;

   For tho' /from out our bourne of Time and Place

      The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot /face to face

      When I have crost the bar.


The second thing I clearly remember is his mention of my impending marriage to my partner of sixteen years. You see, with him so unwell we decided to postpone the wedding but I couldn't bring myself to tell him. I knew he would be displeased that his failing health would bring about such a delay. However, he had always put everyone else first and now I wanted to respect him and the families need to be with him. 

He wanted to know if I thought anything would be different once we were married. 

I scoffed.After sixteen years, I don't think so! 

He laughed. Of course he thought it would change me, change us. That's one of the things I loved about him. His ability to challenge my thinking, make me think. 

On the 6th of July I married my best friend and soul mate. Granddad told me on that final visit he was so pleased that we were getting married. That Jeffrey was such a good man. It broke my heart when he passed the following week and I didn't get to share the joy of our wedding. To honour his memory on our wedding day my husband carried the handkerchief he had when he married my grandmother. We remembered him when we were using it during the ceremony and it came in very handy when we both cried during our vows. Jeffrey paid tribute to his memory in his speech, an amazing man that we all felt so grateful to have had in our lives and how much we missed him. 

Well my darling Grandfather, I hate to admit it but I think you were right. I was not prepared for the new depths of love and commitment I feel for this man that you gave your approval of. So wherever you are and when we meet again in this life or the next I wanted you to know, you were right! 

Sentiments

Shared by Judith Amourin on April 18, 2019

Our mother was very much into poetry, and anything meaningful she would write it down. Found this years ago (probably written in her cookbook or a piece of paper from an exercise book)  I wrote it down & have carried it in my purse for years & years. Came across it today & thought it very apt. Sums up our Mum & my brother.

I shall pass through this world but once,

any good thing I may do, or kindness show, to any human being, let me do it now,

for I shall not pass this way again.


Tiny poem

Shared by Kathy Patterson on April 16, 2019

Sweet Margaret,

Death is a heartache that no one can heal, But love is a memory no one can steal.

Love and light,

Kathy

Great memories!

Shared by Leigh Fullerton on April 15, 2019

I have so many wonderful child hood memories with Uncle Alan & Aunty Marg and our families!

When I was young and about to start my apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker he gave me my first ever chisel set, I've been a tradesman for 27 years!

R.I.P Uncle Alan

“My door is always open”

Shared by Mike Russell on April 13, 2019

The first time that I met Alan and Margaret as our new neighbours in Mapleton, his parting declaration was, “My door is always open.” And so it proved thus. Indeed, the path between our two properties has been well trodden over the years.

Alan’s expertise and knowledge of all things mechanical, nautical - of fabrication in wood or metal seemed boundless and freely available on request and whether it was hoisting my kayak to the ceiling of the garage with a maze of fascinating knots, or marrying reluctant bedroom doors to a new carpet - it was accomplished swiftly, competently and with ease and grace.

On a singular occasion when our wives were absent, I invited Alan to my deck on a warm summer’s evening to share some beers and listen to the frog symphony. He liked my deck. Quite a lot. On this occasion I met a different Alan – a deeper, introspective personality full of knowledge of, and towards the world at large – yet boundlessly curious, and most of all - a wonderful listener. We talked at length into the dark but were never to repeat this scenario. Thus, the memory has remained significant and all the more poignant.

I did mention to him at one time that he was the second Alan Smith to be our immediate neighbour since we had resided here. He called it “synchronicity.” I call it providential.

Dear friend.

R.I.P.

Always thinking of others.

Shared by Maria Hunter on April 11, 2019

I am the mother of one of Alan's cherished grandchildren.  I was always made to feel part of the family by Alan and Margaret.  When I think of him I remember over the years he would go out of his way to offer help.  I would always protest.  And without fail Alan would say...."no no...I won't hear of it love" End of story.  :).   

What impressed me was when I visited him a week before he passed, he thought hard about what he wanted to say to myself and Hunter, .his 11 year old grandson.  As sick as he was, he chose his words so carefully, knowing these may be his last words to us. He died so consciously in this way.  

A family member told me that even on his final night he was thinking about his grandchildren and how their lives turned out.   In the time I knew him he always considered others and remained true to this right until the end.  

He makes me want to be a better person and gives me faith in the kindness of human beings.  I wish him and his family much peace.

AVE ATQUE VALE ALAN CHARLES SMITH

Shared by Judith Amourin on April 8, 2019

Eldest of seven siblings, you couldn't have wanted a better brother. I am so lucky to have had Al as my brother for my 66 years. Through thick & thin, good times & bad, he was always there for me & mine. His advice, his pep talks, funny stories, reminiscing, his whistling. I'll miss it all. I will always love him & miss him.

Shared by Sharyn Redman on April 8, 2019

A huge generous laugh; a huge generous heart.  xox

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