Wednesday 26 March 2014

In Memorium

On Remembrance Day a couple of years ago, I wrote a post about the unstructured, unexpected, surprising even, vignettes by which we remember those who have died before us. Since then,   many more examples have come to mind, all of which seem to leave an imprint rather more meaningful than a headstone or an obitury. Many years ago, our GP friend told how, coming back from the seaside with a car full of tired and sandy little ones, he came upon an accident. In spite of the need to get the children home, he stopped to attend to the injured. In moments, he felt a hand on his shoulder and heard a voice say "Stand aside. I'm a ,  Doctor". Quietly, he stood up and drove his family home. The other day, someone came up to me at a 'bus stop and, addressing me directly, asked whether all the 'buses from that stop turned left at the top of the road. From further down the queue, a voice piped up "Oh no. One of them turns right". The voice went on to explain   at great length, all the routes from that stop. There was our friend, firmly in mind again, though I doubt I shall ever see where he is buried or where there may be a formal memorial. A friend from childhood  once pointed out that I must be rather impatient. This is not at all how I see myself and, indeed, had patience enough, when I was working, to do the kind of work that was, necessarily, slow and painstaking. But every time I wish that something would happen more quickly than it seemed to be, I hear his observation again and he, anew, lives for me for a moment.

Naturally, there are some people who provide lots of little  film - memories  When I was very small, I had the habit of  trying to kiss and hug my Father when he was at table. "Never interfere with a man when he is eating" was his contribution to our little ritual. I swear that my cat says exactly the same thing when I bend down to stroke her while her   nose is in her feeding bowl, and I am five years old once more. I have the feeling that I may have told you before about a person very dear to me who kept rather a messy household. When, in her absence, I gave her home a thorough turn- out, her comment when she came back was that it would take her ages to get it back the way it was. Over the decades, that episode has stopped me interfering with someone else's effort a thousand times with her voice in my ear. A casket with her ashes or a rose bush on her grave would have much less impact in memorium. Every time I come across a case of sibling rivalry, I hear the voice of my lovely Mother-in-law dismissing my analysis of children squabbling with the succint words "People have been having brothers and sisters for centuries". I wonder what small movie might recall me in death to those who have been close to me in life. There was an occasion when I described the new wife of a family friend whom I had just met as rather eccentric. All the young, in unison, shouted "You, calling her eccentric." The thing speaks for itself. Nos da.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice to wake up to, again. Thank you. Keep blogging your precise and recognisable minutiae of life for the not-so-young. It's a comfort to know I am not the only one but I didnt know I knew!