A Bus Called Grace
On 28 June family and friends congregated at a bus station called Stafford Crematorium where I gave the following eulogy.
Mum would have given you her last Rollo — she was the most selfless person I’ve ever met — but I recall a charity event which Mum felt she ought to contribute to. She found a birthday card she hadn’t used and wrapped it in cellophane. It would have raised a few pence at best. I wouldn’t want her send off today to be like an act of charity, wrapped in cellophane, rather more like giving our last Rollo because we would have rather kept her for ourselves.
This is more than the end of a life its the final chapter of a love story stretching back 66 years. Born Edith Betty Holland, she met a man she would dedicate her life to, to honour and obey, till death do they part. Dad died just over 10 years ago and if you knew him you would know that he was a truly great man but as they say, behind every great man…
They fitted perfectly. My Grandma used to say that they were the best mum and dad in the world and she wasn’t given to flowery sentimentality. Mum was strong and resolute, not one for forgiving and forgetting. Fortunately Dad was a peacemaker — Mum the dependable, brittle, oak, Dad the strong but flexible willow. Mum had little self confidence but she had an inner strength she didn’t believe she had and drew strength from the man upon whom she could utterly depend.
The last few years Mum battled with vascular dementia but she clung on to the memory of her family and husband like grim death when, by all rights, she should have slipped into blissful ignorance. Its as if Mum and Dad had journeyed together for 60 years and when they got to the last stop but one, Mum had to get off and watch Dad ride on to glory. She watched all the buses to happy land come and go because she wasn’t looking for a bus called Mercy, she was looking for a bus called Grace. For 10 years she waited and finally the bus has arrived.