• Charli


While stretching during warm down at Callanetics last night I had an image of myself driving though to Fred’s funeral alone but passing the car that had my brother-in-law-in-law, my 2 nieces-in -law and the partner of one of them. I realised of course that it made no sense for me to drive 2hrs each way, alone when I could be in the company of my lovely, if not slightly bonkers, family.

The Callanetics teacher, L, is actually one of my nieces-in-law, and so I shared my thoughts with her. Being the positive problem solver that she is, she suggested I call her dad (my brother-in-law-in-law) and arrange to travel together. S agreed that it was daft for us all to go separately and so very kindly offered to take me.

We had a good drive through, only slightly hampered by wet weather and heavy traffic. We took the M9 and The Carse of Stirling to reach our final destination on the West Coast.

He stayed over on the West last night to support Ma P. Much as I enjoy sleeping alone, during these strange times, I am less relaxed but did sleep well last night.

S is an excellent driver and we were all comfortably seated in his Toyota Land Cruiser. Chat flowed and L was, as ever, chatty and effusive about sharing her opinions on everything ranging from driving, animals, her adored nephew and eyebrows.

We arrived early at the family home to be met by aunts, uncles, cousins and nieces.

We moved almost seamlessly amongst each other, eating a little, drinking tea, coffee, juice and water until Fred arrived in his beautiful wicker coffin.

There have been laughter, hugs, assurances and many tears since Fred passed away, and I don’t anticipate that will change anytime soon.

T and Mum attended today and it was lovely to see them. I am very close to my in-laws, but needed blood relations close to hand.

What was lovely at the Wake was the ease at which the family chatted, and used each other for support, comfort and reassurance.

We are all shattered  – it doesn’t matter that Fred was 83yrs old – He will be sorely missed by young and old for his love, laughter and generosity of hospitality and bonhomie.

I love my extended family.

Family – a poem

Tall and short and young and old

we share our love and talk and consider

all those things we hold so dear.

Would we tolerate each other’s tastes

if our paths had never crossed,

or would we mock judge and question

loose ties that would never bind.

Love is coiled so tightly that we move

seamlessly as one.

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