Monday, 23 May 2016

Mrs Jefferson's Sad Day

Things in life have a nasty habit of being bookended
When things go well and are happy, invariably there is a little bit of shit ahead to balance things out.
So I thought yesterday evening when, after a lovely weekend away, I had to drop a mountain of flower show schedules off for Mrs Jefferson.
I run the flower show in what may be loosely termed an " informal" way, so often I am late when Mrs Jefferson, who is another of the village matriarchs , requests her share of posters and information..
Mrs Jefferson, is no stranger to the finer things in life, so was eager to hear all about The Royal Ballet and Nu's glamorous fiftieth bash , but I did notice that she wasn't quite her usual powerhouse self as we chatted at the door of her neat little house on the edge of the village.
I was soon to find out why, for Mrs Jefferson confided that her best friend for a generation had died unexpectedly only a few days before.
I gave her some space to talk and the tears flowed unchecked for there was very little I could do but give her a long hug, as she told me that their last conversation was about grooming horses.
An inconsequential and banal conversation which pained her so very much for it was not a conversation of farewell
I was very aware as we hugged, that only hours before I had the fantastic opportunity to tell my best friend just how fabulous she looked, and now I was trying to comfort a woman who was never able to say goodbye to hers.
Life's bookends eh?
It's always the way.
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I'll leave you with a photo. the aquilegia is flowering in the cottage garden as is the montana over the garden gate, and along the path the dogs are mooching at the smell of a baby rabbit who has just escaped Albert's clutches .......


55 comments:

  1. I come from a generation that "I love you" is not easily said to parent or children. One day out of the blues, I said it to my father and I was then very surprised when he answered, "me too little girl" (I was 50 then). He passed away a couple of weeks later. I am so glad I told him that and I did not shy away.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Maria, my darling Dad died 14 years ago, we were not a very demonstrative family either. When he went into hospital we knew he wasn't going to come out again, but he didn't and my Mum wanted to keep it that way. I wrote him a letter telling him I loved him, he read it and said thank you but I already know, you too snagglepuss. Still makes me cry thinking about it now. I'm so glad we were able to tell our Dads how we felt x

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    2. There are different ways of saying i love you !

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  2. You are a lovely man John xx

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  3. Poor Mrs Jefferson. It is always more poignant when a person dies when the gardens are in flower and we look to the months ahead with hope. Your cottage garden is looking beautiful John. Just make sure you keep the Montana in check in case Mrs Trellis calls by. x

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  4. There is always room on your shoulder for hugs and tears John....the garden looks incredibly beautiful...I love it.

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    1. This time of year is only time it looks lovely!

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  5. Sadly, those farewells are often impossible .. the things you want to say are never said, there is never enough time, there are never the right words.
    Being there is the one thing you can hope for ..
    That garden looks like a place to feel comfort and peace.

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  6. It's so much more shocking when someone dies out of the blue like that, without a chance to say farewell or deal with any "unfinished business". As you say, a long hug is probably the only helpful response.

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  7. So difficult to lose a friend...even when you do get to say goodbye. Sometimes I think that I am (selfishly) grateful when I don't get the chance because the last memories are of love and happiness and not a difficult struggle. You, at that moment, helped Mrs. Jefferson more than you know with your hugs and your ears. Moments like that make you really appreciate the people around you. You are a treasure. Your garden is gorgeous!

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  8. Food for thought. I have what I would consider a bookend story John if I may share it. Growing up as a shut down, conditioned, only child of a raging narcissist I was an invisible, awkward loner. A tool my mother used to torment me with was a girl in my year called Jackie, pretty, popular and everything I wasnt, Mother often lectured me on all her achievements and asked cruelly why I wasnt more like her, why I couldnt or didnt do this and that like Jackie did. Over time I grew to resent her deeply, I lived in her shadow. Jump forward to our 30`s, and 9 pregnancies later I finally managed to bring 2 live, healthy babies into this world. Jackie on the other hand I hear never carried the child she so longed for, she suffered deeply with depression and split from her husband. Seems our situations had been reversed in a cruel way. Honestly, my heart aches with empathy for her.

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    1. Your mtger sounds like a right old cow

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  9. I agree with Twiggy....you ARE a lovely man, John

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  10. The "suddenness" in life and death finds us all.
    Lovely moment you spent with Mrs. Jefferson as you engaged her in talking about the sudden death of her friend. I am sure she appreciated you and most certainly, the warm, caring hug!
    "Bookend" moments indeed . . . how wonderful you had a chance to be with your 50th birthday best friend . . . the lady in red!
    You are a love . . . indeed!

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  11. And oh my . . . the cottage garden flowers and doggie sniffing . . .
    I liked . . .

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    1. The scene went pear shaped later on, as the bunny was located!

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    2. oh dear! did it get away?

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    3. No George killed it

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  12. I suppose the moral of this story John is that one should always remember with old friends that one never knows, so always have conversations which will be a comfort to remember in the future when they are gone.

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    1. Pat, i suspect you kind of let your nearest and dearest kniw they are loved

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    2. I am glad I am in a family that often and easily tells each other that they love them.
      I just moved to Florida a few weeks ago.
      My mom died 2 days after I got here, I was there with her but it was all fate that that happened, she was well when I left to live here.
      Say I Love You every day ...

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  13. Such a powerful message in this xx

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  14. The perfect cottage garden.

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  15. Let me first express my envy about that garden of yours. Dang! We live in a very dry area where it is difficult to grow anything. If I had your garden, I would probably sit in it all day in a comfy chair with a drink in my hand, look around with a satisfied smile, and think to myself: "Yup, sure is purdy around here!"

    It sounds as if you dropped by Mrs. Jefferson's house at just the right time. Good to have you around. :)

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    1. I photographed the best bit x

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  16. I don't end a visit (by phone, mail, or in-person) without telling my loved one that I love or care about them - for that very reason. One never knows when circumstances make it the last one. Lesson learned when my sister had a stroke and then tied before I could talk to her, these many years ago.

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    1. I meant died, oops!

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    2. Another good reminder sharon

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  17. Peter and I told each other "I love you" every night and I'm so glad we did. I still say it now, even though he's not here. By the way, your garden looks lovely and your friend Nuala really rocked that dress!

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    1. Good for you two val....you both worked at your relationship and it showed x

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  18. Life and death and the whole damn thing. Lost 3 best friends in 8 months, got very sick, now climbing out of it with the help of a great grief counsellor. Life changes forever. I still fell I'm missing a leg or an arm. So sorry for Mrs. Jefferson, so very few understand the loss of a BFF until it happens to them.

    XO
    WWW

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  19. Life is like that.
    In her friendship with her best friend, grooming horses probably was something she loved and enjoyed in the moment and sometimes maybe that is the best.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. well said, I was thinking the same

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    2. Me too. For horsey people, or people who were once horsey, talking horse is the best sort of conversation. If my sister were to die suddenly and our last conversation had been about her horses, I know she'd be happy with that. For us it means both present connection and happy memories.

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  20. It sounds like you were there with a listening ear and a hug just at the right time.

    Your garden is looking lovely. Perhaps I should plant more tall things then visitors would look up and avoid seeing all the weeds ;-)

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    1. Thats exactly why i overfill the garden

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    2. I learned this lesson when my husband died suddenly not that long ago. He and I were extremely close and had just moved to a new area, total strangers came to my door every day to leave food, ask if I needed anything at the store, it snowed and I woke to a freshly plowed driveway .. You never realize how important having people around you is until you notice there aren't any.
      Just stopping by with a flower and a hug makes a world of difference.

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  21. Ah, you've made me tear up, John. More people need to just listen and hug.

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  22. A life is full of 'bookend' stories/events. Good that you were there to comfort Mrs.J, John.

    Just look at that Montana!! Lucky you.

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  23. My Mum and Dad were not huggers or kissers and I made my mind up that I would hug and kiss my children lots. It paid off as we all hug each other a lot. Sadly the partners of my two boys have a job to accept this thinking it strange to hug and kiss your Mum and Dad.
    I also think you are a lovely man John.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I was lucky, my parents were young when they had me, romance was always in the air :)

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  24. Love the garden - it's perfect. You are such a good man to offer comfort.

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  25. You are such a lovely man. Thank you.

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  26. my condolences to mrs. j. tell your friends how much you like them NOW whilst you can.

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  27. If you ever wonder why we keep coming back, re-read this post.

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  28. Nothing better than a hug good on you John.

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    1. As long as ive cleaned my shitty wellues

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  29. We all need a neighbor like you

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  30. Avoiding the main subject, your garden looks terrific.

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  31. I'm glad Mrs. Jefferson and so many others have someone like you to share their joy and their grief with. You're a keeper.

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