My Dad always said thinking was a dangerous game and we should be rationed to two thoughts a day – any more and you were
A. going to have a headache and
B. showing off.
You know when a child says, “I’ve been thinking…” and it’s going to lead to a question, well, as soon as I said, “Da-ad, I’ve been thinking…”, he would look at me seriously, preferably over the top of his glasses, and say, “Now, steady, lass, you’ve already had your two a day you know…” It didn’t stop me, of course and my questions were legion.
Our youngest grandson does it to us now and his imagination is wonderful, if a little hard to follow at times. What is even better, from my point of view, is his absolute conviction that the love of my life, his grandad, can do ANYTHING. Currently, he has Grandad promising to create an invention in time for their visit to us at Christmas. Neither Grandad nor I, nor his parents, can quite work out what it is that he wants, which makes it a bit of a challenge, but Ben has complete faith. Bless the boy.
I’ve got quite a few projects on the go at the moment. Nothing new there, you may well say but, heyho, that’s life at Number 20. I’ve bought some little sets of drawers, for jewelry boxes for my friends for Christmas. The idea is to paint them then decorate with decoupatch papers to suit the individuals’ tastes. I’ve got eight to make. I’ve had them ages. painted them cream ready to add paper and then come to a grinding halt. Really must get going. It’s only about 13 weeks until Christmas and we’re away for three of them. Oh Ecky Thump, as they say, better get a move on.
While our friends were visiting last week, I introduced the female of the species to Zentangle and Joanne Fink’s work and, although she isn’t quite hooked yet, I think she will be. We were practising monograms a la Fink and, to give her a bit of a boost, I pencilled a couple for her and then did one of my own to look at techniques. This is the one I did:
We did have fun but there wasn’t enough time. You may have seen, some time ago, another Joanne style piece I’ve been working on for my son and his family. I’ve been out to buy one of those plastic clip frames today, as it is nearly finished.
And now, almost at the end…
So I’ve been pretty busy and look like remaining so for a while, which is how I like it.
However, I have, in spite of my Dad’s advice, been thinking. It was triggered by a funeral we attended this week. A colleague and friend, who had been ill with some form of cancer for the last couple of years, finally lost the battle. It was, of course, horrible, but he had planned the service himself, choosing the music from his favourites, including “Bring Me sunshine” by Morecombe and Wise at the end and it had the desired effect, as we all came away with a rueful smile and a fond memory. What it set me thinking about was not death and the nearing of the end of life, I already think too much about that for my own mental well-being, but about my funeral. I want to be sure that people walk away from mine with a happy memory too but also with the chance to have a bit of a weep if they feel like it.
Generally, I’m not one for !Inspirational” quotes and the like, I tend to find them a bit sickly, but the poem below was read at Dave’s funeral and I have to say, it works for me.
You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
The order of service gave the poem as Anonymous, so I looked it up and here is what I found:
The story is bittersweet but heartwarming.
So I’m planning mine and you, world, are responsible for seeing that I get it.
I want to be cremated and my ashes scattered on the Derbyshire hills near where we scattered my Mum and Dad’s, our children know where. (Don’t tell the Peak Park Planning Board, they probably wouldn’t approve.) And at the service I want some of my favourite music. You can come in to Imagine, by John Lennon, then we’ll have the poem quoted above, followed by a really rousing old fashioned hymn that everyone can sing along to but sung by a Welsh male voice choir, so people aren’t self conscious about singing, “Fight the Good Fight”, I think, or “Bread of Heaven”. I don’t think a funeral oration is a good idea, don’t want people bringing up my past indiscretions at that late stage, do we? I’ll write a letter to my remaining family and friends and have it read out, perhaps. Something mildly amusing and grateful for a good life. Then another poem, from Shakespeare, I think, not quite decided yet but I’ll have a think – one of my two a day. And to go out? Nimrod, by Elgar. I know of no other piece of music guaranteed to go straight to the tear ducts, and people do need to cry, just a little, at a funeral.
That’s it then. pretty much settled.
But not soon, I hope, I don’t plan on going anywhere just yet.