I've had a lovely day today - I went to a funeral. I can hear your sharp intakes of breath on that one - lovely day, funeral??? Yes it was a lovely day. My aunt died last week at the grand old age of 88, she had an interesting life in which she worked full time for the most part.
This particular aunt held a very special place in my life because she introduced my parents to each other - in other words if it were not for her I would not be here. Some who know the story might say that it's her fault but I'm taking the positive line on this one for a change, because if I wasn't here then neither would my boys be - this could start getting very deep now so I should probably stop before I'm out of my depth.
Any way, what made it so lovely was that I was able to meet up with my cousins who I see so rarely. John and I were sitting in the car park when a couple walked across to their car. Having not seen Paul for at least 25 years I wondered it if was him, but I was undecided - I remembered him being taller or was that just because I was smaller? I kept looking trying to be as discreet as possible and decided to casually get out of the car to sort out the flowers that I had brought (whilst still peering across the car park) to my shame I suddenly realised that the female was my cousin Lesley - how the hell I'd not recognised her I do not know but I did confess, my excuse was that I was focused on her partner Julio who I had not seen for about 20 years and I was clearly blinded to Lesley's presence! (I had seen Lesley only 18 months ago - hence the shame)
Anyway as it was Paul's Mum's funeral of course he wouldn't be in the car park before the funeral party - doh! When the party arrived I recognised Paul straight away - slightly older looking but still easily recognisable, his brother Peter was even more recognisable as I'd only seen him 18 months ago as well.
A lovely simple service, not many mourners but our family is diminishing annually now, and once the distress of the removal of the casket was over the mood lifted and reminiscences abounded.
We all realised that we are now the older generation, Helen was the last of the siblings. It made me realise that I really know nothing about the paternal side of my family - I spent too many years estranged from my Dad to be able to ask the right questions - now it may be too late, I never knew my grandparents as they both died very young but I feel an urge now to find out more about that side of my family, trouble is, where do I begin...