Friday, 20 May 2016

Saying goodbye is never easy...


There's an elephant in the room .. Well my mind... And before I can get back into blogging properly I need to talk about. My Bamps passing. I discussed in previous posts about the cancer so I don't want to talk about that really. I want this post to be about the funeral, the special day where we celebrated the life of my Bamp. He had his flaws but don't we all & those flaws make us ...well us.

The details;
Thursday 28th April,
Tredegar Methodist Church
Followed by committal at Llwydcoed Crematorium
Refreshments at Tredegar Constitutional Club

The service at the church was so lovely. The priest delivered the service well, he spoke clearly & as if he knew my Bamp. What he read was what my Nan written herself. Here's what was said;

Graham was a honest, hard working, Loving, impatient, stubborn, independent, funny, talkative, and would help anyone if he could. 

Graham was born in his grandmothers house in Tredegar. His mother went into labour while on a visit there. He was a 7 months baby & weighed 2lb 2oz at birth. He was wrapped in cotton wool & placed in a small dressing table drawer which was lined with cotton wool. He was bathed in olive oil & fed with an eye dropper. They were told he wouldn't last the night but graham had another ideas- he was stubborn even then. He was the middle child with an older sister Sandra & younger brother Lyndon. 

When he was 15 he let school & started a 5 year apprenticeship as a painter & decorator. Not long after he injured his hip & spent months in hospital & was on crutches for over a year. He went back to finish the apprenticeship when he recovered. 

He was a member of Tredegar Operatic Society for a time & had a lovely tenor voice but had difficulty remembering the words. He was also a member of the Vale Terrace Chapel Youth Club 
which is where he met Lynne in 1965, they got married in 1967 in the Chapel. They went on to have David, Ceri & Angharad. David's daughter Chloe was born in 1988. The family was later extended 
with the edition of Ceri's partner Sian's 2 children, 3 grandchildren & 2 great grandchildren. And 
then with Anghards FiancĂ©e (which he pronounced as finance which gave us a little giggle) Nick's 3 children & 3 grandchildren, David also extended the family with his fiancĂ© Sandra's 3 children. Angharad & Nick marry in May & David & Sandra in October, but all the children are a,ready family. 

Graham worked at Rees Edwards Builders until 1968 when he left to go tout Cromptons Ekectricals. This change was the only time he left a job, all the other times were through redundancy
Ones. Graham spent 15 years in Cromptons as a painter. He had various jobs over the years including 5 years at Redlands Roof tiles, his last job was 12 years at Teeves, which he finished 9 years ago to have a hip replacement. He once took a job that paid £1 a week less than benefits but he wanted to show the children that you shouldn't expect something for nothing. 

Graham loved talking & would talk to anyone about anything. He had a keen sense of humour & loved telling bad jokes, he enjoyed the company of children & would entertain them with magic tricks 
like the disappearing penny. Graham was often teased by the family for putting Chloe's ice cream in the microwave for 5 seconds to take the chill off it so it wouldn't give her a headache. 

When Lynne developed Parkinson's Disease 12 years ago he took over things she couldn't do easily, cooking, shopping etc. As well as being a caring husband, father and grandfather he was a devoted son. Graham was always on call to act as labourer when his dad was doing DIY or doing the handy work so that his dad could keep the allotment he had up until his death.  A good gardener himself,Graham's favourite time was in his garden before 6am to 'breath in the clean air before everyone else'. He HAD to go town early every day to see that it was "aired". A good shopper who loved a bargain, he shared his crops with many. 

Diagnosed with Mesothelioma, caused by asbestos, in November last year he had chemo and four hard so he could walk Angharad down the aisle. He would do a good turn for anyone & the family 
have been reminded  of  this many times these past few weeks. Fiercely independent he didn't want 
help from the Hospice but appreciated all they tried to do & the family would like to thank Karen & the team for all their help & patience. Also the team of district nurses who looked after him in his last resort weeks. 

A man who is greatly loved & will be missed. 

These words only sum up a small part of the service & of what my grandfather was like. During the service we had the hymns; All Things Bright & Beautiful & Guide Me O thou Great Jehovah.
Nick read a poem out from her, David, Ceri & Myself. I will insert a photo of that below.

We had the theme song of Last of The Summer wine with lyrics to leave the chapel;

We then had the drive to the crematorium, as soon as we reach the turning to go down the hill towards the gates my stomach turns, every single time, it's as if it's the final goodbye... As if there's no going back. I know that sounds stupid but I'm sure many will agree.
At the crematorium we had the hymn Abide With Me, and then the song to leave to was
Bring me Sunshine ... This was chosen by my great uncle Phillip who was best friends with my Bamp before he married my Nan's sister. Unfortunately they couldn't be at the funeral because of a holiday they had booked before & with much effort to try & change it or meet at a later date we all decided it would be wrong of them not to go as Bamp wouldn't of wanted them to miss out.

The funeral went well, as well as they can go & Bamp would of been amazed at the turn out of almost 200 people, with the mass  majority wearing bright colours like he had requested. He requested bright colours and smiles, which came as a shock to us all considering he was such a stickler for people wearing black trousers not jeans & pointing people out who weren't wearing black ties at funerals, saying they were disrespectful..... Well he had what he wanted... I think we managed a few smiles & shared a lot of love and laughter. 

A keem gambler for horses, only ever 50p's I found a horse running that day called 'Love You Always' & I just couldn't not bet. I will always love you Bamp. Gone but never forgotten. 

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