I am in-between directions …
I can honestly say that l was horribly stressed last night, l went to bed early and with a hot water bottle. Currently out of the two pains, my pinched nerve is my biggest agony. The shoulder is simply a throb, it throbs every day, and as long as l don’t make any silly and awkward moves it remains a throb in the background of the pain. But my pinched nerve is a real aggressor and currently both sitting and standing, walking and sleeping is proving awkward. Sudden jolts and bumps as an example through being sat in the passenger seat caused me immense problems today and getting both in and out of the car caused all sorts of problems.
I woke up at 6.30am, got everything ready, walked scrappy in the pouring rain, and set off at just around 8.30am, and arrived at around 11.30am at the crematorium, at the same time that my mother arrived with her friend and who strangely enough didn’t recognise her Son until he simply said “Hi Mum.”
“Oh sorry darling, l didn’t recognise you, am in a world of my own.”
I was the only one who didn’t wear black, l wore dark blue jeans and a lovely grey marl hoody, l ended up not wearing my sneakers and settled for some stout boots as they would cope with the rain better and more importantly the puddles.
I arrived before the main body of people, and had a pee and luckily the rain squalls had decided to call a truce on the grounds for my small crippled walk around the building. My Mother laid some flowers and then proceeded into the warmer foyer of the building itself, and slowly over the next ten minutes small groups of people arrived and gathered in small huddles of acknowledgement.
I stood back from everyone and simply looked out at the sea of gravestones and wondered at the beautiful blue skies that had miraculosuly replaced the dark forboding clouds of the journey up, and bade my Father good tidings in so far as he was lucky to have had nice weather for his grand entrance.
My Mother fetched me at around 11.50 and said the family wish to speak to you and took me over to where my Sister was with her two children and their other halfs, my Aunt and her Brother my Uncle who full out snubbed me, and my aunts Son, 51 and one of the youngest Generals for the Royal Marines in the British Army apparently. In truth, my Sister snubbed me for most of the service, it mattered not l sat with all the twenty somethings as l found them better company.
But prior to that l had a few conversations of interest.
1] One of the neighbours to my Father pulled me to one side gave me a hug and showed me a photograph of Jacqui Cat which did intrigue me somewhat. How did she have new photos of the cat that had rehomed a bit over a week ago? Because my Sister lied to me when she said she had rehomed her, she hadn’t bothered! I had sent my key down recorded delivery and my Sister didn’t even bother to turn up and carry out my Father’s wish? So poor old Jacqui Cat is now still being fed through the cat flap by this kindly neighbour! I didn’t get a chance to raise this as an issue but l will, most assuredly.
2] I had a talk with a gentleman of around 75, and it went something like this ..
“Oh yes hello, attending the service are you also?”
“Yes l am.”
“Yes l have known him for about 30 years, such a terrible loss. He was a great man you know?”
“So l have heard, but of course l should imagine everyone would have a different opinion, wouldn’t they?”
“Yes, indeed, how long did you know him?”
“Well quite a few years in truth, but properly perhaps just over forty.”
“Good lord, both of you must have been quite young when you first met?”
“Yes, yes we were.”
“He was a very good friend to have, an excellent Father, a big family man, a loving husband, his wife isn’t here, they broke up in the late 90’s you probably know that anyway?”
“Well he was only married once you know for thirty odd years, and his first and only wife is here, she is over there in the long coat.”
“That’s not his wife!”
“Yes, actually it is or rather was, they divorced in the late 80’s.”
“No, he had a French lady, that was his wife.”
“No, that was the so called only true love of his life, they were only together for four years and she left him because she asked him to choose her or his family.”
“Oh yes his children, that’s his daughter over there, marvelous girl, has done everything for her father’s service, as to the son, a bit of a waste of space l have heard, not thought of highly at all. He probably will not even turn up.”
“Indeed, l didn’t catch your name, and how did you know him?”
“Of course, l didn’t actually offer you my name, but it’s Rory, and l am his Son. Hope you enjoy the service.”
With that l walked off leaving whoever it was coughing and spluttering.
As to the service, l was rather impartial to the whole thing, l was as said sitting with my Sister’s children and their other halfs, whilst the main bulk of the family were on the other side of the building. I listened to everything and didn’t shed a tear, and yet others cried around me, although ironically, none from the bench l was on. My Aunt read a poem of sorts through floods of tears, my Mother and sister cried, and l simply sat there thinking, when was this going to be over?
It finished after thirty minutes thankfully, l then proceeded outside and had to endure a few more conversations, and one of note was with my cousin, the youngest General.
“Right Rory, been a few years, hasn’t it?”
“Alright Tom, yes it has, a good thirty five l would say, l last saw you at my Sister’s second wedding.”
“Indeed, so what are you doing now then?”
“I am inbetween directions Tom.”
“In-between directions? You mean in-between jobs?”
“No, to be inbetween jobs, means you have just left one job and you are about to start another job. I am in-between directions, in so far as l haven’t got a clear direction of the path l wish to follow.”
“So you are without a job then?”
“Well that’s not very good is it?”
“That’s a matter of opinion Tom, l would say.”
“Well l thought you only worked things you had a passion for, what are you passionate about?”
“I am passionate about lots of things Tom but l don’t know which direction l wish to take, having taken many directions during my life already.”
“Your father was a published author you know?”
“No he wasn’t Tom, your Father is a published author, my Father was a self-published author.”
“Same thing Rory.”
“No it’s not. Your Father wrote crime novels and was accepted by a reputable publishing house and sold several hundred copies of his works, and my Father couldn’t find a publishing house that would accept his work. So he self published one story that he wrote six different ways and gave away 10 free copies to family and friends, of which of the ten give aways only two people ever read the stories, those being your Father and myself. That’s not the same Tom, not at all.”
“Well it just wasn’t what the publishers wanted, that’s all.”
“Because the one story told six ways of a lost love that he never moved on from didn’t hold any interest to an audience Tom that’s why. If he had written factual books instead of attempting a fictionalised love story that was pretty boring anyway, on say Nopoleonic battlefields and military history, l believe he could have been a much better author.”
“So l suppose you don’t write then?”
“Yes l write daily, and in certain respects l am published daily and read by more than ten people daily.”
“Well then why don’t you persue a career in that, you’re published?”
“Yes, but once more, l am only self -published through my blog and not by a recognised publishing house. So even my works are not what l class as published properly as in seen by a buying audience.”
“Right, so why not follow a career in writing?”
“Yes it is a direction l have considered admittedly, but l haven’t got a clue what even l would write about, and that is also in-between directions.”
“Don’t you feel a bit of a let down to the family then?”
“Which family would that be Tom? Mine as in my Mother and Sister or yours to whom l am nothing but a nephew and cousin? Not at all, when the direction is there it will open up to me.”
“Mm, l can see why your Father considered you a lost cause Rory.”
“Well shucks Tom, thanks.”
I stayed at the wake for an hour and twenty minutes, l didn’t actually have any further conversations apart from one small one, with my aunt and her son, the General. My aunt started it …
“Oh Rory, l was just saying to Tom, that you are the eldest of the children left now, your Sister at 50, my daughter at 49, Tom at 51 and you at 55, and yet you look closer to 65 why is that dear?
“Oh l don’t know, perhaps it’s just the result of living life to the fullest and living a tougher life than many know.”
“Maybe so, your father was 80 when he passed and yet, he looked healthier than you do now dear …”
Got to love families eh? I didn’t stay long after that. So the dreaded valley of death wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and now its over, l can take a deep breath and sigh out, well at least until the next step.