Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
We laid the earthly remains of dear old Ron to rest yesterday morning. When we all arrived at the Church we were reminded that one of Ron’s duties had been to look after the car park. Boy, could we have done with his services yesterday! There were so many cars – everywhere - he would have had a fit! Family and friends came from far and wide for the service of Thanksgiving for Ron’s life that we packed the Church of St Therese de Lisieux. Some had driven 200 miles just to be there. Father Dom set exactly the right note; yes, it was sad to lose an old friend or relative but we were all thankful that we had been touched by his presence.
We came to celebrate the life of a man who just out of his teens had spent a week up to his neck in water under heavy enemy bombardment waiting to be evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk; a man who to this day carries a piece of shrapnel in his right thigh received in the assault on Sicily later in World War II. At the Remembrance Day service last year Ron, whose sight had by now virtually left him, felt his way to the front of the Church to deliver the Exhortation from Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Alan mentioned that Ron was the oldest Server ever at the Church but that he was always ready with a quiet word of encouragement for the youngsters. He was also committed to his visits to the housebound elderly folk of the parish riding round on his motor scooter. Eventually, when the cancer behind his right eye got so bad that his eyesight was failing Father Dom had to say to him “Ron you can’t see where you are going.” “Don’t worry I know the way, and anyway they need me” was Ron’s response. And me? I will always remember the quiet unassuming man with whom it was so easy to talk, to discuss things, a man who was always ready to listen in a non-judgmental way although any help and advice he gave was well worth waiting for.
I and many, many others will miss him deeply.
You can put aside that old tired worn out body, Ron for you have a much brighter raiment to put on now.
May you have been greeted by choirs of angels.
May you rest where Lazarus is poor no longer.
May you be gathered to the bosom of Abraham.
May you have eternal rest.
God bless you, old friend.
Rest in Peace
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years