It was all very jolly. We all converged upon John Lewis in Norwich at noon. The Sage and I left home after Dilly and the children, but their car was behind ours in the car park queue. The Sage got out to go and meet his sister, Juniper, and I went to park. I thought I’d try the lower ground level first, as sometimes there’s a space which people don’t spot as one has to go there specially. A woman was just stowing her purchases in her car, so I waited. And as I waited, along came Ro, on his lunch break. I parked and we went upstairs, and on the first floor (this is the second floor as far as you’re concerned, dear TransAtlanticeans) we met Dilly, Squiffany and Pugsley. Up the escalator and there were the Sage and Juniper and, as we pushed together three tables to sit together, along came Weeza and Zerlina. Juniper hadn’t expected quite such a gathering of the clan and sat down on the Stilton which was her Christmas present.

We had a lovely time. Juniper cuddled Zerlina and was rewarded with smiles and Squiffany chatted to her in a friendly manner. She has two grandchildren herself, aged 11 and 6 and she always rents a cottage near her daughter, where her son and his partner stay too over the holiday.

Our niece’s husband died suddenly in November last year, and then she and her brother were both ill at Christmas (in a D&V way) so they had an entirely miserable time. On the anniversary of Jonathan’s death, she and the children wrote messages on helium balloons, took them to the cemetery and sent them aloft for Daddy, which cheered up the children a great deal. One of the daughter’s schoolfriends lost her father this year suddenly, at the age of only 41, so young E feels for him, but is comforted somewhat, though no less sympathetic, by knowing that she no longer stands out as the only one to be pitied.

10 comments on “Meeting

  1. Z

    The context makes my meaning clear. Sometimes I wonder why I bother, I really do. Maybe I should behave like a normal person and write only when i’ve something to say.

  2. Completely Alienne

    I think the helium balloons is a lovely idea too. I lost my husband in September last year, but I think my two are a bit too old for something like that. As last christmas was so awful the three of us are off to Egypt this year so we can forget that it is christmas at all.

    Interested to see E’s thoughts on having someone else at school in the same position as her. My youngest seems recently to have become friends with a child who lost her mother a few years back. I wonder if there is something similar going on there.

  3. Z

    Sarah and the children talk about him a lot, she wants them to feel he’s still part of their lives, and also to reinforce their memories of him. The little boy was only 5 when his father had a fatal heart attack with him in the room.

    My father died suddenly when I was 16, CA. It was in January, but I still don’t really remember anything about the following Christmas. Then my best schoolfriend’s father died. Maybe it did bring us closer – we’re still friends – but we’ve never talked about it.

    Dandelion, you blog when you’ve got something to say, so evidently you’re more normal than Dave or I am.

  4. Dandelion

    z, I don’t know what blog you’ve been reading, but my output has no correlation with having anything to say. Unlike yours and dave’s. Don’t ever change šŸ™‚

  5. Z

    You’re very reassuring, Dand.

    And thanks for that, BW. I think that, as well as finding it quite moving – they really felt that the balloons were going up to Daddy – they also found it quite dramatic and exciting.


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