Today is the Anniversary of my journey down to Devon. It's this time last year I found out my best friend was poorly, so I drove to Devon to see her. The journey was long, hot and tiring but well worth it, as I wasn't sure how long it would be before I saw her again, if at all. She had been taken ill and was coping the best way she new how. Secondary lung cancer is difficult in any one's eyes to cope with. The thought of dying is scary enough. But to be told that you have only a short time left to live must be earth shattering.. and maybe she didn't take it all in, maybe she knew but wasn't showing so. It's usually the people left behind that have to come to terms with it. Today I went to her house in the local village, where she once lived and thrived. The house is locked and a for sale sign is bolted to the wall. Quit a sad day for me. I went on my motorbike, parked it up and sat for some considerable time on the porch, just thinking of what she might have said about my new bike. I tried to hold it together and was doing really well until her neighbour appeared and asked why I was sitting where I was. I told him I was remembering the good times as my best friend used to live here but died last year. Up until that moment I was OK. He was a friendly kind of a man in his mature years. 'Oh yes' he said, with a broad smile on his face. 'She was a lovely lady...' that was it for me, my eyes started to fill up and I started to cry! He started to move away, 'Oh I'm sorry for upsetting you,' he said. 'That's alright, ' smiling back, it was due to happen, and it's good that I've come round to see her again. I still talk to her, she's with me most of the time, it does get easier, but I wish she was still here, I have so much to tell her, we have so much too laugh about, jokes to tell, hugs to share!
I spoke to her daughter a while back; they still have her ashes; they can't move on yet, but as long as they have her with them, that's comfort in itself isn't it? I couldn't make the service held for her last year, I was in Morocco. I do have the service sheet from the church and the poem she adored so much. This is the poem by Joyce Grenfell.........
If I should go before the rest of you,
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice,
Be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell,
But life goes on,
So sing as well.
I shall remember my best friend as I knew her best, full of life, always laughing, bright, vibrant,
cheerful, charming, with an abundance of love for life and every one around her, family and friends. I loved her then with all my heart and I still do.