On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 09:27:49 GMT, David Samuel Barr
On my first visit to England with my parents, we lunched with all the
Josephs at their home, and then James & Emma took my sister & me to the
Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall; in keeping with Proms tradition,
we stood outside the hall all afternoon in order to get front railing
spots on the main floor (where there is no seating; you stand for the
whole concert--it's like a classical music mosh pit, although the
musicians don't dive into the crowd to be passed around).
That is something I've always wanted to do but, alas, never have. So I
content myself with tuning into the last night on television each
year, apologising once again to my wife, closing the door and singing
along at the top of my voice ... badly. As my father said when someone
made an unkind comment about his singing in church, "If you can't sing
good, sing loud!" It would be so much more fun surrounded by other
fanatics whose voices would, hopefully, drown mine out.
In the last few years we hadn't heard from Hellen, even for my parents'
50th anniversary a year ago, which was rather surprising. I note that
the obituary doesn't mention a cause of death or any comments about her
pre-mortem health (and in fact just guesses at her age); we had assumed
that her recent silence was a result of her being incapable of communicating,
from either severe physical illness and/or Alzheimer's or similar mental
impairment, about which she characteristically would not have wanted
anyone outside her immediate family to know. I'd long had a feeling
that if this were the case, our next news about her would eventually
come in an obituary, and it looks like I was right.
My wife had a dear, close friend of whom we saw little after our
marriage because her husband didn't approve of me and made it
uncomfortably obvious (could it have been my singing?). They also kept
in touch over the years, but then, shortly after a move, the
communication dried up. A year later, my wife got a phone call from
her friend to explain she had an inoperable brain tumour and not long
Naturally, my wife was extremely upset and we planned a visit the very
next week. Unfortunately, her friend took a sudden turn for the worst
and was unable to receive visitors. That and several subsequent visits
were cancelled for similar reasons and my wife's friend died without
that final meeting.
Thankfully, she has many fond and loving memories of her friendship
and can remember her friend as she was before her illness.
"When weaving nets, all threads count." - Charlie Chan
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