Monday, October 11, 2010

I am Deeply Touched

Raymond is gone, so to is my headache.

As I climbed out of bed, after 5 days beside my beloved husband, I was very conscious of the fact that my headache had miraculously disappeared. It was now time to think about funeral arrangements. I called David Carty [Principal of St Mary's School] to ask the name of the Catholic Funeral Director. I was given the name Adrian Quain, although David suggested he would be more than happy to call Adrian on my behalf; I was happy to go along with that.

When Adrian knocked at the door I greeted him with a handshake. My Mother, sister Toni, brother-in-law Brian, and Lea Shelley were with me as I answered questions and spoke of Ray's battle with cancer. I found myself being asked about personal finances. It was necessary for me to talk openly and honestly; Adrian was probably trying to work out where the money was coming from to bury Ray. I explained that life savings had been used, particularly in the last 4 years, with our relocation from Lakes Entrance to Warners Bay. Ray had felt very strongly about being closer to his ageing Mother so we had made the move after selling the Squash and Fitness Centre. I also mentioned the fact that Damian worked beside Ray in any role that Ray undertook in an effort to keep the family budget in the black. After Ray's neuro surgery, I assumed the responsibility of managing the finances. I also failed frequently. Very quickly it became apparent to me that keeping the bank balance in the black is not easy, particularly with  medical expenses on the increase. Damian was a champion and contributed wholeheartedly, working side-by-side in all roles we undertook to keep the wolf from the door. He made a great assistant at Kumon, and the children loved him. 

Although I had previously arranged for Toni to take over with the arrangements in the event of my not feeling up to it, I found my love for Raymond overflowing making all things possible. I was determined to do everything in my power to have the mass celebrating his life a tribute to this extraordinary man.. The children loved and respected their Dad and I wanted that to shine through. It was important for others to feel that love.

The shock came at the end of my time with Adrian as I walked him to the door. He apparently realised that money was short and he told me that I was not to worry about the account; it would be taken care of. Of course, dummy that I am, found myself crying. How could I not feel deeply touched that a funeral director, unknown to me before this day, was offering to take care of costs? I did say that would not be necessary. That is a story for another day.

Megan arrived later in the day from Lakes Entrance.I asked permission to read the following verse at Ray's funeral.  Meg has an amazing ability to write verse and it comes straight from the heart.. I remember the day it arrived; I was out. Ray was heartbroken that he was unable to read it on his own. There had obviously been more of a deterioration than I had realised. We sat together, I read, we both cried. Thank you Megan for providing such joy and for allowing me to use your words at Dad's Funeral Mass.

With life the way it is today
some things so hard to bear
there are some things I'd like to say
that with you I'd like to share

I think of you so often
you're set so deeply in my heart
there's things I wish to thank you for
but I don't know where to start

Thank you Dad for having me
and blessing me with your soul
Your kindness, love, faith and strength
are things I now do hold

I thank you for the time you've spent
with me day by day
and all the things you've said and done
that guide me on my way

And for being there beside me
through the good times and the bad
and for feeling for me with your heart
when I'm feeling kind of sad

There's nothing I need ever ask
to make my dreams come true
for dreams consist of life itself
and life's what gets us through

Because you are a special man
I feel so special too
the world that I hold in my hand
is a part of you

Written by Megan Radford (b.1972)
 just weeks before her beloved father lost his battle with cancer.
Read by Cheryl Radford at the funeral


Kaz said...

Wow Chez,think Megs words will have us all crying.Thanks for sharing.xoxo

artistdeb said...

Wondeful poem.

Starry Strange said...

thanks for sharing again with us, it is beautiful to explore all your life and the love in your family.
xoxoxox Starry

Anonymous said...

A beautiful, bittersweet story. Meg has the "writing gift" also. The poem has me bawling like a baby. Love the blogs Cheryl, and you! Looking forward to meeting you some day and we can sit down and share some enchilida casserole and lots more stories.
Love from your Texas friend.

diane b said...

A lovely verse to bring tears to anyone.