Friends

03 December 2017

Goodbye, Neighbour


One of my neighbours died recently, a man aged 102, who lost his wife some years ago. The couple were great friends with my Joe. Bill and his wife Mary would entertain Joe once a week with tales of years gone by. Joe loved those stories and after Mary died he was pleased that Bill continued with the once-weekly story-telling. Bill made doll's houses, elegant ones, unlike those my Dad made for me. They were fabulous but Bill's were very upper class in style, even the furniture had a Regency feel. 

Joe and I attended the funeral and later were invited to join with family and neighbours to hear family tales and memories of past years. It was wonderful to hear those stories about days gone by.

This time there were fewer people attending Bill’s funeral, even some close family members were missing. I was invited to attend but couldn't make it to the church. My car has gone to new owners and, since I can't walk like I used to, I had to decline the invitation. However, I did attend the get-together at the house afterwards. Memories of Mary’s funeral made acceptance easy. That time there was much laughter over recalled memories, but this time there was a different atmosphere. Whereas once the family members made sure guests were comfortable and fed, this time there was little communication with anyone. So disappointing that some gathered together for private chats that, judging by the laughter, included fun memories.

I was warmly welcomed and escorted to an easy chair which was a distance away from other chairs. So, there I sat, knowing no-one and talking to no-one. It was a great relief to see another neighbour come in and the next hour was spent exchanging memories with him. I don’t think he was treated any better by the family. I remembered Mary’s funeral and how there were lots of neighbours in attendance, sadly not so with Bill. Only two neighbours this time whereas before there were about ten. At that time there was much laughter over family tales. So sad that Bill left this world without a few jolly words to send him on his way.

A few days later the funeral service programme was put through my door so I was able to read what occurred at the crematorium. It was a nice touch. 

I wonder if he and Joe will get together ... nice thought!

5 comments:

Ron said...

Valerie, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your neighbor, Bill, he sounded like such a special man. His doll's houses sounded amazing! Wow....102?!

I'm also sorry to hear about the lack of attendance and jolly words/stories at the gathering at the house after the church services. And I'm surprised by that, considering what a wonderful human he was. Do you think perhaps some of his family members and friends have passed on over the years, since his wife's death?

"I wonder if he and Joe will get together ... nice thought!"

Yes, I'm absolutely sure they will! Funny you mentioned that because after my mother passed away 5 years ago, I though the same thing ---- that she and my father (who passed away in 1996) got together :)

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday, dear friend.

((((((((( You ))))))))))

X to you and Charlie

Valerie said...

Ron, I can't believe it is five since your Mom died. It only seems like a couple of years back. You may be right about the lessening members of Bill's family but it was the attitude of those left behind that was so disturbing. Still, everyone changes as they get older.

Charlie looked up when I opened the computer - I guess he knew he'd get a mention...lol

Jimmy said...

Valerie I have a feeling that Joe and Bill are sitting together laughing over tales of days gone by, there may not have been very many to give him a proper send off, but I am sure there was a huge crowd there to welcome him home...Joe included.

Valerie said...

Hope you're right, Jimmy

kden said...

Maybe the world has just gotten so hurry scurry and people don't want to take the time to slow down to visit and reminisce. Large gatherings are sometimes not cultivated by younger people to carry on the tradition. Even though, you did a good thing by showing up to honor a man who meant a lot to you.