For Roger, he liked it here…

I woke up this morning, in this odd time between Christmas and New Year, where we are somewhat forced to stop and reflect, wondering what to do with my day. I needed a quiet place to sit and study and so I went for a drive.

I took my Grandma’s car, now my own little car, I found myself driving to Lymm, where she had lived for many years and we had spent a lot of our childhood growing up, with weekends at her little bungalow with her and Harold, our Dad our Aunt and often our Cousins.  I found myself in Sextons bakery where she had worked for some time while there, far from quiet but it somehow felt right. After a couple of hours I decided to head off and found myself turning right, rather than left towards the car, towards Lymm Dam instead, where I spent a long time strolling slowly down the paths. I felt company there, by my side.

About 20 minutes in I came across a bench, with a plaque in remembrance of Sophie, who passed away last year at the tender age of 33, my age next year, and so I sat and looked out at the view from here, and I cried quietly.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately on purpose, and I wondered what Sophie’s life had been like, whether she would say now, that she had found hers in her short time here.  I thought about Grandma and her life, not an easy one, yet in her heart was nothing but pure love, her spirit knew the adventure of life.

Walking further up the path I passed Richard (43), then Norman (70), Peter (52) then Roger, with no dates or age, but who made me smile with the plaque which read, ‘Bring your own bread and butter and some for Roger, he liked it here’.  Further down were Gerry (79), a rambler and Danny (40), who asked us to do all the things he loved to do.

 Danny Kemp, 1972-2012

I thought a lot about our lives here, in this time, when we only really stop to appreciate the things in the moment, once they have passed or are soon to end for us in this lifetime. I thought about our purpose, to bring this momentary joy into our lives and those of others, and wonder whether any of those I met today would tell me now, that they felt that they had done that.

Honouring Sophie, Richard, Norman, Peter, Roger, Danny and Gerry, and my Big Grandma, as we step forwards from this time of reflection, into a new year with new intention, to take these precious moments as they arrive, enjoy them, and to carry them forwards. Not to take a single one of them for granted, for life is far too short.

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