18 November 2014

Family matters

I was chuffed to get all your supportive comments about tattoos. I thought we must be the last family in the universe not to have them and was steeling myself for a load of hateful venom in return, but I was wrong. Many of you feel the same way as me and it was reassuring that there is some common sense left in the world.

Here are some lilies presented to my mother the other day - they are such an unusual colour. I cannot say I have ever seen lilies that colour before. In fact in reality they are a much darker electrifying purple.

Other news... I had to go to a family funeral last week down at Hastings. I had to get two trains with six minutes between them. I should have known better. Man can engineer a spacecraft which takes ten years to reach and land punctually on a speeding comet (see here the amazing achievement of Philae) but Southeastern could not get my first train to do a fifteen-minute journey on time and and I arrived at the connecting station 12 minutes late thus missing my second train. Thank heavens I had originally arranged to get to Hastings with an hour to spare, so I could first meet up with a relative and have a coffee before the funeral. Being late meant I missed the coffee/catch-up but got a taxi straight from the station to the crematorium with ten minutes to spare.

As an only child, I have always felt I missed out on the joys of having brothers or sisters, but it seems it's not all it's cracked up to be. The two sons of the deceased were always close as children and young men. Then they went to different universities, got wives and children, in one case got divorced and remarried and have ended up arch-enemies. Nobody quite knows what has caused the vitriolic rift but apparently there is much harking back by one of them to childhood resentments. The younger one lives in Australia now and came over for his father's last few days but the older one, who lives in Scotland and was staying in his father's house for the last few weeks, would not even meet up with his younger brother, let alone talk to him. They made sure they did not bump into one another during visits to the deathbed at the hospital and the older one refused to have the younger one at the wake afterwards. I felt so sorry for the younger one, as he genuinely has no idea what he has done wrong. He originally said he would avoid the funeral altogether, but turned up at the eleventh hour, sobbed his heart out during the service, and then magically disappeared with his car into the sunset, before we had all had a chance even to leave the chapel, so we never got to say goodbye before his return to Australia. Apparently the younger one has waived his rights to the whole inheritance as he does not want to put up a fight. So sad to see two men, both lovely as individuals, being so divided. Their parents would turn in their graves. Maybe being an only child has its compensations  after all!


Furtheron said...

Not all families/siblings are like that. I was "estranged" from my brother for a long time but that was due to my drinking and other things, it wasn't like we rowed we just never spoke. However after I got sober and his first marriage broke up we've been back to being best of buddies again. When Mum died we just supported each other through it all. I'm very glad I have my siblings no doubt about that

Flowerpot said...

I'm by no means estranged from my brothers, but we only see each other once a year, if that. However, when mum was ill it did bring us together for a while. I've made my own family now. PS Love those lilies amazing colours!