The following morning I headed out to the horses in a daze. Their reaction that morning was different – they were all very quiet. I went about feeding them – going through the motions….. and then – unfortunately – it was time to head to the nursing home to clear Mum’s room….
I didn’t want to see Stan – or anyone really – I just wanted to move everything out of the room. With the three of us we went through it fairly quickly. I took pleasure in taking all the photos down. The Blu Tack also took off some of the paint – that pleased me….
Some of the patients asked about Mum – one lady burst into tears. I said to Julie that when I had settled down I may come back and volunteer to help her – but I never did. I can’t even turn into the street where the home is.
Over the following week there was much to arrange . Mum wanted a private funeral – just immediate family – as she had said ”Well most of my friends are dead now”. We decided to do the whole funeral service ourselves. It was a good time for us to go through photos, reminisce – and for the three of us to prepare some words.
We were taking Mum’s ashes to the lawn cemetery in Tamworth – where our father had been buried back in 1967. When he died, from a heart attack, we weren’t allowed to attend the funeral – so now was our chance to hold a funeral for him as well. We made a booklet – selected music – and off we went. I think we did well – and to be able to finally hold a service for our Dad – it felt like there was some closure.
Tamworth holds lots of memories – both happy and sad. Of course the sad memory is losing our Dad at such a young age – I was 11 – and it is a shock from which you never really recover – you learn to live with it.
At the time though – what was very healing for me was the riding lessons I was having – for it was there that I really caught the ‘horse bug’! I also developed an appreciation for nature and the open spaces. I loved country life and all it had to offer. We would be forever exploring the hillside behind our house which led to the lookout – and it was a visit to this hillside which was next on our list – the hillside and lookout – holds many memories – and we drove there after the funeral and once again toasted both our parents.
Then it was time to say goodbye to Sue and family – and the rest of us headed back home. Ros stayed on for a few weeks – helping to sort Mum’s belongings and other affairs – then it was time for her to head home to UK.
It was a strange feeling not having to go to the nursing home, not having to deal with a place that didn’t do what it should, not having to deal with doctors etc. etc. I felt a great freedom – and also enormous guilt. I tried not to play over in my mind what I should have done.
Once again I turned my attention back to the horses and learning more about clicker training. I had had so many stops and starts – how far had I really come?
It was now January 2014 – I had paid a deposit for the Five Go To Sea cruise in April. I really didn’t think I would be going – but now I could attend. It would be a wonderful way also to recover from the previous year. Now I could plan a holiday – and now I could really immerse myself in the clicker world. It was time to meet some of the clicker community…..
My parents were together again – I could rest easy…
One of the great songs we played at the funeral – I like to think they were dancing away to this …
Moon River – Andy Williams “….. two drifters off to see the world….”
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