Autumn has finally crept upon us and the trees are undressing with every breezy gust, dancing leaves swirling and settling in glorious gold and rusty carpets along the verges. But summer hasn’t quite given up yet and there are still plenty of blooms to be seen, hanging on to their summer show in borders, beds and pots.
I write this weekend as it is a very poignant anniversary. One year ago my beloved friend David left us on a grey October morning after an epic battle with cancer. I wrote several posts during that hair-raising, heart-stopping roller-coaster ride last year and paid my tribute to him on the evening of his death.
At the time it felt as if my heart had shattered into a million shards of sadness and I wondered how on earth I would pick them up and carry on. As those of you who read this blog regularly will also know, the last year of my life has been a continuing roller-coaster. I have experienced acute stress, another major bereavement and some health issues. My wonderful sister has been inspirational to so many since the very untimely loss of our beloved Amy, her daughter. I feel that loss too and write this post as a continued memorial to both Amy and David.
Stepping into my sister’s garden this week, which has now become a building site as the new annexe rises at the rear of the back garden, I was thrilled to see beautiful roses still flourishing in the flower bed dedicated to Amy.
We are all still supporting one another and living very different lives now. I have managed to leave a great deal of stress behind and made a major life change, which I wrote about last month. We all seem to be living the “unforced rhythms of grace” and forging new pathways through the days and weeks that pass.
Determined to commemorate David’s life, and my memories of him, there were one or two special things I chose to mark the occasion today. David was such a kind, generous companion and friend, wrapping lots of little things into my life that made such a difference. we only ever did lovely things, walks, concerts, meals and lots of laughter and ice creams. Its the loveliness I miss.
David was a wonderful antidote to the chaotic busy-ness of my 21st century life. He rarely used his mobile phone, he never seemed to rush anywhere but was never late, he was just about able to open up the computer, never venturing further but he didn’t need to. His hospitality made even an afternoon together feel like a week’s holiday. I have umpteen little cards or notes he bothered to write and post or put through my door when I was at work. All those little things …
So today I went to the cathedral and lit a candle for him and one for Amy, shedding a few tears for the missing of them, still so acute.
After a short pause in the Lady Chapel I caught up with my daughter. Cappuccino and bagels were the order of the day, very restorative.
There was only one way I wanted to remember David this afternoon and that was with an ice cream. I am sure he would have approved of the choice so I took my darling grandchildren to one of our favourite ice cream shops in Hayle. It where he met them for the first time, treating us all to ice creams.
It isn’t all doom and gloom but there are the moments that sneak up on you, when you least expect it, then there’s the sharp pang and the remembering. So its been a bittersweet day, but our lives carry on and we carry our lost loved ones in our hearts and in our memories, trying to make sense of it all. There are new shoots and there is still so much goodness in life, still so much to be thankful for.
As autumn draws on I am looking ahead with hope and determination, still excited by the possibilities that lie before me. Ultimately the memories I have are precious and they are mine. Above all there is always love, love never ends, never dies and there are the continuing bonds with those who have gone before us.