So, on the morning of our four-year old grandson’s funeral my car parking abilities were at their absolute best. Unbeknown to me, my brother-in-law had watched it all from the car behind me. I had it right at one point and then ended up partly on the grass verge and partly on the road. Oh sod it! At least I wasn’t blocking the hearse that carried our grandson’s white coffin.
In my defence, I had been somewhat distracted by the sea of people who rolled towards us and the entrance of the crematorium’s chapel, like a huge wave.
“Are these people all for Daniel?” I asked the funeral director who walked along side us and the vicar.
” They are,” she gently replied.
” Wow,” I said. ” So many people for him.”
Daniel arrived and we, the immediate family followed his coffin in. I was worried about crying. I always try to get a tight grip of myself at funerals. The room was quickly filled with heavy sobs and I joined in.
The vicar led us in a beautiful celebration of Daniel’s life. We cried, we laughed and we smiled at the memories. We saw photos of him and outside, a bubble machine reminded us of his love of bubbles. This grandma still has tubs of bubble mix all over the house.
A blue Thomas The Train floral wreath adorned his coffin and elsewhere yellow ( his favourite colour) flowers had been made into a teddy bear.
Julie, the vicar told me that there had in fact been 80 mourners at the funeral. In his short life our grandson had touched quite a few folk.
We left the funeral service to the sound of Meghan Trainor. Daniel loved to dance.
And he had some rather cool moves.
Julie’s closing words to Daniel were :
” We love you. We miss you. We want you to be happy.
Go safely. Go dancing. Go running home.”
Those words and this song will remain with me forever and I’m sure Daniel did dance his way home.
I will be writing some more about Daniel, in the future.
Sometimes life deals you a tragic blow and you are catapulted into a nightmarish existence.
A week ago our youngest grandson, Daniel, who was four, was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, from our local hospital. At 11.30 the previous evening his parents, our daughter and her partner, had been informed that he had Leukaemia. He had been admitted to the hospital for complications with chickenpox.
Basically, what followed over the next two and half days was like being in a twilight zone. He eventually had a machine working away for just about every major organ in his body. Daniel fought a brave battle for his life. But, on Sunday morning his parents were told that he was dying and they took the tremendously brave decision to let him slip away peacefully in their arms, rather than risk him having a heart attack and a violent passing.
This afternoon, with a hell of a lot of trepidation and shaking legs, I went to the Chapel of Rest to see Daniel. I needed to replace the image of him lying in the Intensive Care Unit after he had passed, with something more peaceful. I am glad to say I found my peace. I spent some time holding his hand, stroking his lovely brown hair and chatting to him. He may well have been listening in from somewhere thinking please shut up grandma! I talked about the many happy things we did together and fun times we had – such as counting our stairs to make sure that one hadn’t gone missing, making dens under tables, generally turning our lounge into a tip, walking the Daisy Dog and running around the house like lunatics!
I left the Chapel of Rest a changed person… no longer deranged with grief.
This isn’t to say that the grief won’t return. As anyone who has experienced a bereavement (and I’m guessing that is a lot of us) knows, it hits you in waves doesn’t it? You think you have it all under control and then that one little thing can reduce you to tears… yes?
As for Daniel’s parents… they are being so brave and strong. They have a rather dark and scary road to travel down. But we, the family will be with them all the way. And we are gathering some HUGE torches to light our way.
So Daniel my little sweetheart, next week your funeral will be a celebration of your life… with colours, balloons and some pop star called Megan Trainer ( yeah, grandma has that wrong again) who you rather liked. You had a few cool moves when you danced to her tracks. Not for you a dark and dreary event.
My daughter and her partner have surprised and filled me with hope with their take on the cruel event that wrenched their beautiful son away from them. His dad told me :
” We were all on a journey together. Now Daniel has had to go on a journey of his own and we must find ourselves another journey. But, he will always be with us. We carry him in our hearts and we wouldn’t have missed our journey with him for anything.”
Are not our children brilliant? Do they not make us proud? Do they not inspire us?
Rest in peace Daniel Christopher. You were a one-off. And your mummy and daddy although broken-hearted will be just fine given the passage of time, because they made a promise to you as you passed. They understood that your journey together was over, but they promised you that they would somehow find a new way – in time. The better for having had you in their lives, albeit it for four short years. Mummies and daddies don’t break promises.
We all benefited from knowing you… our special, gorgeous little man.
Enjoy your journey sweetheart and don’t forget to come back and haunt us all on a regular basis. Particularly at the dead of night when we all can’t sleep.
And this grandma of yours will continue to talk to you… you don’t get away with it that easily!
This post is not written to depress or disturb you, nor to draw sympathy. On Write Dorne I write about all aspects of my life. Death is a part of life and we can not escape it. But, I think as we face up to it, it becomes less scary – well that’s the plan anyway.
I plan to write about Daniel a bit more. In fact a lot more… he was a large part of my life.
With a deadline fast approaching it’s good to be able to rely on computers, printers and modern technology to be there and to work beautifully. After all, isn’t that why we spend so much of our hard-earned cash on them?
So,… my printer has gone on the blink. Okay, I don’t submit my writing by snail mail, but, it would be good to print it off and actually see what my masterpiece looks like. We don’t always pick up on the little mistakes, on a computer screen – but, when we read from a printed piece… it’s all too obvious. Our stupid mistakes STAND OUT! YOU ARE SO STUPID!
I’ve devoted the best part of two of my precious days this week, trying to coax the little sod into actually printing what I need it to print. It prints – but nothing that I want. I’ve done printer maintenance, changed cartridges, being on help sites, cleaned the printer heads with alcohol and so many other things I can’t remember. I’ve lost the will to live and seriously fantasized about purchasing an axe and smashing the blasted thing into little pieces. But, I suspect the actually axing to death of the damn thing would aggravate my fibromyalgia something rotten.
I’ll kill it in a story instead.
I might also buy a new printer. So, my son-in-law can arrive the day after I’ve set up the new printer, press a button and make it all better – because he actually understands these things. And before you say it… no, he can’t talk me through it on the phone, because I am a complete computer, tablet, mobile phone and printer der brain.
It was all so much better in the days of typewriters. With a typewriter I would actually have a typed copy. Granted it would be covered in Tippex, have numerous typed over words and it would be my 100th attempt at getting it right… but it would be physical. I could hold it in my hand… and see the glaringly stupid mistake – right at the beginning of the feature. Then, I could take the same axe to the typewriter.
I’m not violent – honestly. Just a wee bit frustrated by all of this wonderful modern technology.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go and drown a printer… then I’ll attack it with an axe!
Anyone else having fun with their technological gismos?
“Are you going to let her off then?” said Cesar 2.
We – Cesar Milan 2, his two dogs, my dog – The Daisy Dog and I were idling our Saturday morning away in the field. A field that Cesar 2( my nickname for this fellow dog owner who had been on numerous dog training courses and who admired Cesar Milan and his techniques) classed as being safe and secure enough to let my relatively young greyhound off the lead for the VERY first time!
He smiled his most persuasive smile. This guy clearly knew his stuff and his dogs were proof of that.
However, he didn’t know my dog… I did.
“No, not here and not now.” I told him.
His disappointment was visible. I think he genuinely wanted to help, but, I needed to do things in my time and my own way.
Fast forward to last week.
On a warm, sunny morning the Daisy Dog and I headed twenty minutes down the lane, to a field where I was fairly sure we wouldn’t be disturbed. I was right, there wasn’t a soul in sight. I put a harness on The Daisy Dog… and she refused to walk in it. I put her collar back on and she walked fine… even though the new training lead was still attached to the harness.
I fed some of the lead out of a new bag that I have purchased to house the monster of a lead( which extends to about three miles!). In the new bag were water bottles for the dog and I, doggy poo bags, about three pounds of sausages and turkey, for training purposes, a picnic – for when I got peckish and a sleeping bag – for when I got tired. I was a brownie, (Sixer of the Gnomes, to be exact) as a child and my motto still is be prepared! It’s just these days the preparation has to be housed in a bigger, bag and I sometimes struggle to carry my preparedness. It flops around all over the place and sticks out way too much, and sometimes I trip up over it!
Anyhow, I tied off the lead, to stop it pulling out uncontrollably… and me tripping up over that as well. The Daisy Dog didn’t really seem to realise that she had the freedom to run a bit further from me. In fact she shadowed me all around the field, in much the same way she always does. It could have been something to do with the huge shadow that I was casting. Why bake in the hot sun when you have a huge shadow of preparedness to cool down in? So, no recall training was done on that outing.
Towards the end of the walk, hot and sticky trudge in the field, in an over zealous attempt to give her some more lead, I got the lead in the bag very tangled up. I also needed the toilet and I’d forgotten to pack one. ( Brown Owl would be so distraught!)
So, I put her back on to her shorter lead and we headed home. Over a cuppa I untangled my messy lead, whilst the Daisy Dog snored loudly on her part of the sofa. Yes, she has her own section of the sofa. No, she isn’t spoilt at all!
I haven’t seen Cesar 2 recently.
I feel sure if I do, he’ll have some advice for me. I wonder if he can give some pointers on how to stop my three miles of training lead getting tangled up in my bag?
The training of the Daisy Dog continues… watch this rather erratic space!
How about you?
Do any of you use training leads for your pooches?
So, it’s a Saturday morning and the Daisy Dog and I are on one of our plods. We’ve plodded through castle field, past the remains of the castle and down into Forge Valley: an ancient wooded valley, which was formed during the last ice age.
We follow the grassy path, along the edge of the river Derwent. The Daisy Dog reads the numerous doggy newspapers, written by her doggy friends and I look for otter tracks. I’m becoming a bit obsessed with them. I think I’ve found one and then I realise it’s a dog print.
We round the bend and there they are… Cesar Milan and his pack of dogs.
This guy is walking two dogs, off their leads and we get talking, as dog walkers do. One of the dogs, who has some lurcher in him, is a rescue dog. I listen to a bite-size ( sorry!) tale of his previous life. Cesar 2 as I mentally christen him is really into dogs and has been on just about every dog training course he could go on. And it shows… his dogs are calm, friendly and great around the Daisy Dog, who is on her lead. He mentions Cesar Milan and how he is over here at the moment and I swear his eyes glaze over. I must be psychic… how did I know he was a fan of Cesar?
We talk about Cesar 1. I too love watching his TV shows. He has an amazing way with dogs and I marvel at how he gets away with some of the things he does. Oh… a dog bit him? Well, you can’t win them all.
“She has a bit of a nervous look about her,” says Cesar 2.
“Do you think?” says I
Cesar 2’s appraisal of the Daisy Dog may well prove to be correct as just of lately she has been getting a bit mouthy (make that a lot mouthy!) occasionally,with other dogs. The other dogs just stand and look at her and Mr Whale and I have been wondering whether it is a case of nerves.
I still have a fistful of sausages, lamb or pork whenever I’m out with the Daisy Dog. I smell bloody amazing to dogs and they come from miles around to see me. This is probably not helping the Daisy Dog and her nerves, as they come charging across fields at ridiculous speeds to check out Mrs Sausage Woman!
Meanwhile, back to the sunny pasture where everything is settled. Cesar 2 has been telling me a few tricks he has learnt about dogs and I’ve been on a brief dog psychology course. It’s all interesting stuff and he seems to know his stuff.
But, I’ve slipped up and told him about my plans to do some recall training with the Daisy Dog… when I get my training lead. I couldn’t help it. He’s been saying how sad a life it is for dogs that never go off the lead.
My dog is not sad and I do want her to run free… but, not off and away. That is bloody irresponsible.
“So you haven’t let her off the lead yet?”
“No,” I admit.” Not yet and it won’t be here. The field is too big and she’ll likely clear off. There’s a definite little madam streak in the Daisy Dog. Besides I need to do some recall training first.
“She could go off here,” he says glancing around the doggy heaven that we are gossiping our Saturday morning away in.
Again, I tell him that I’m not ready to let her off and that it is not as enclosed as I would like. I quickly change the subject and ask him about his dogs.
He gives me a few more of his doggy tips.
His dogs wander around and sniff the grass. The Daisy Dog goes as far as she can on the lead. And I feel so damn guilty.
It’s too late… our Cesar 2 is a mind reader as well it seems.
“So,” says Cesar 2 ” Are you going to let her off then?”
I look around the tranquil, gated at each end field, with the river Derwent winding its way down the east side of it.
” Go on!” and Cesar 2 gives me his best, persuasive grin.
I’ll be back to tell you whether I did or I didn’t soon. How soon that soon is will depend on loads of things, that are, as usual out of my control.
A public footpath winds its way over to the ash tree on the horizon and down the other side of the field. In the summer months the path is claimed by nature. Monster nettles, that leave you with more than a slight rash and hogweed make it a safe, wildlife corridor for creatures to raise their young – undisturbed!.
Wildflowers crowd the banks of our local river the Derwent.
A fabulous summer storm brewing with the dense clouds preparing to drench the fields and anyone wandering around beneath.
For me… that IS easy as green is one of my favourite colours.
I drive a green car, have a green front door to our cottage, have green/blue eyes, have some green walls and I wear a lot of this wonderful, relaxing colour.
Spring in springing in my part of Yorkshireland. Although it changes frequently. So, yesterday we spring had arrived and heat. Sunday lunch was taken outside and a bit too much wine was drunk.
Today, a washed – out grey sea of clouds is hanging persistently above our heads. The coats are back on and the garden parasol is not required to shield us from the sun. In fact the sun is nowhere to be seen.
Hey ho… such is life!
But, the trees and landscape are waking up. Fresh green buds are unfolding and that virginal green will soon be everywhere. A green of hope and expectation. Gradually, it will turn to darker shades of green as the summer sets in and then in the fall the greens, oranges and yellows will combine for one glorious, last show. But, that’s for another blog post.
Click on the above link to check out the other takes on this great subject.
Time I wasn’t here. I wish I could be here more, but times are a bit more challenging these days and I’m not very good at juggling! But, I’m practising and practising. And I never give in!
So, on this wild and extremely windy Saturday afternoon, the Daisy dog and I stood atop the cliff gardens and watched the violent waves bash the shoreline below. We clambered up an exposed and rather slippery path to take in the view and make our way back to the car… and a sleeping husband. He didn’t want to brave the weather, in his wheelchair… having watched a wooden bench be tossed on to its front – just as the Daisy dog and I got out of the car.
My picture shows the castle headland, with the harbour and busy south bay of Scarborough, in north Yorkshire.
This is my offering for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, which asks us to give our interpretation of Atop.