You may remember that, back in the spring, DH and I had to cut short our stay in the far north of Scotland in order to return to Wales for the funeral of our elderly farmer neighbour. Our long and much-valued friendship meant that this was the only possible course of action and we were so glad to have returned in time to say goodbye to him.
Last Friday evening I was deeply shocked to receive an email from the husband of one of my oldest and dearest friends to say that she had died and giving us the details of her funeral. We knew last year that she had been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, but the end had come far more quickly than any of us had anticipated. Indeed DH and I had been making plans to visit her after our return home next month and were looking forward to seeing her again.
Now, almost 49 years after she and I met as freshers in our first week at university, DH and I will be going home in a week’s time to attend her funeral. Since we heard the news DH and I have talked a lot about her. Amid my sadness and the accompanying tears there has been a good deal of reminiscent laughter, as we looked back over the long years of our friendship and remembered our eventful years as students and the later mutual visits which were always so enjoyable, if never frequent enough in our busy lives.
The next few days are going to be very hectic, as DH and I try to deal with the outside commitments already on the calendar, plus all the packing and closing-down which accompany our return home every autumn. Summer has come to an abrupt end for us and even the weather is suitably autumnal, being cold enough for DH to have lit the wood-burner today. Unless I am quite unusually organised, the descriptions of our doings which I had been planning to put into my posts over the next couple of weeks will have to wait for a quieter time and I know you will forgive me if I don’t manage to visit your blogs as often as usual.
C’est la vie – that’s life, as my French neighbour would say - teaching me yet again never to take anything for granted and to cherish the good things, like friendship, while I can.
Image via Wikipedia