I guess I didn't really get to know Dave as well as I might, as my life always seems so hectic and with too many things to do. For that reason, Dave became the guy who help us to fix broken windows, fence posts, doors and cupboards. He was always there for us when we needed him and was ALWAYS in good humour, even if sometimes drier than others :-)
He was Welsh though and through and was always reciting snatches of Welsh verse or singing snippets of songs. He always spoke in Welsh with me even when I was just starting out on the language, but I appreciated that, it made me feel MORE welcome and part of his world. However he accepted everyone, he always saw the good sides of everyone and it's clear that he loved Barbara with all his heart, he doted upon her. When he met her, for the first time in his life, he went travelling and loved it. He was excited, fun and liberated.
He had seen his fair share of grief in his life having lost a son at a very young age. He has worn his son's belt buckle ever since that time, without fail.
What Dave's unfortunate death has done, is made me very aware of my own mortality, and that of my own parents whom I love SO deeply. I dread having to deal with that moment when it becomes a reality. I don't know how I will cope. This week has at least seen my talking honestly with Mum & Dad about this taboo reality. I want them to know hopw I feel about them NOW, and I want them to know how I will remember them THEN. I don't want the regret about having never told my parents how much I love them and about how much they have influenced me and my life. They know of course, but I still want to tell them!
So in the meantime, lovely Dave, dying in his beautiful sunny garden, released from a depressing and dehabilitating illness, and his funeral today, again in gorgeous sunshine with light dappling through the trees, attended by well over a hundred friends and family, is a reminder about the beauty and happiness of life as well as the sadness, of the joy some people bring which will always remain an influence in our own lives. Dave, if you are listening, we ARE getting the drainpipe fixed and we WILL keep up with the weeding!
In fondest memory of Dave, and with deepest sympathy for Barbara, her family and all of Dave's family, yours, Glyn
The poem which moved many at the funeral, by Henry Van Dyke
"I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says "There, she is gone."
"Gone from my sight. That is all."
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at that moment when someone says "There, she is gone" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout - "Here she comes!"