We were all relaxing on the lawn, the Sage having washed down all the garden chairs which he had inexplicably decided to move under trees: trees where birds had both roosted and crapped.
I asked the Sage if he’d watered David’s plants. Some of them, he said. We realised that meant that the rest would need to be done this evening, otherwise they might not survive the night after a hot day in the greenhouse. We got into the car and set off. “Only 20 minutes” I said. “Then I need to get dinner on.”
David’s son had called into the shop earlier on, to ask Al if he would like to pick the produce that he would, otherwise, have bought. The Sage had been along to his house to check how much there was.
So, we arrived at around 6.30, to find David’s son and son-in-law busy watering. We got out, introduced ourselves and said how sorry we were for their loss. They are two lovely men, one lives just down the road from us and the other, with David’s daughter, in the next village. There is another son too, who is quite ill – they had all been more worried about him than about their father, although they knew he had slowed down a bit of late.
They were starting to clear up – D was the sort of chap who found a use for everything and never threw anything away. They’d taken a load of plants out of the greenhouse and laid them on the lawn – a couple of hundred, easily. They were putting aside what they wanted to take, but there’s loads to deal with one way or another. We’ve said we’ll pick all the fruit and veg and flowers we can and Al will pay them at the end. There are 4 really good compost bins, at least 2 of which I think Weeza and Phil will want to buy (the family is not bothered about money, they just need to deal with it all as soon as they can) and we will take and look after all the potted plants. There are hundreds of pots and seed trays and we said we’ll take them too – it’s a fair bit of work we’ve let ourselves in for, but what can you do? They dearly loved their father and would hate all his work to be thrown away, and we know what they mean. The pots will be used, over the next few years.
There will be a church service and then a cremation – I said that, if they want hymns, I will probably be the person playing them. Dave was the same age as the Sage; far too young to die. His wife had died of the same illness their son now suffers from, 15 years ago.
Annie called round to say how sorry she was. She spoke hesitantly, not typical of her, because she was upset. He had given her and her husband many plants for their garden and he was a good friend.