Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Have I told you lately...

I've been pondering what to repost today and finally decided on this, the words I had to say at Andrew's funeral.

But I am getting more clever and adventurous with this blogging stuff and I am add a few extras...

Starting with this - the theme song we entered the church to

You may have been very surprised today that we came in to the theme tune to the cricket and thought, well I never knew Andrew was a cricket fan – well he wasn’t!  He always said it would be a jolly piece of music for his funeral!  As you leave we have a gift for you, just something else we had already planned in jest.  But sorry Andrew two songs never made the play list –“ Fool if you think it’s over” by Chris Rea and “When will I see you again?” by the Supremes.  Although the more I think about them the more they seem appropriate too, but then we could be here ‘til midnight!

Andrew sometimes got called Mr Grumpy, not least by me and the boys.  
There was quite a list of things he didn’t like…..

Words like buy, purchase and spend.  Traffic jams and slow drivers in the fast lane.  Airport security.  Caravans.  He hated wearing a shirt and tie, although he wore one on our first date to impress me. 

In church he could never understand why we had to sing the words to songs more than once “didn’t God hear the first time?”

One of his biggest pet hates was dull services or meetings.  He had his own expression
“it was enough to bore the udders off a herd of cows” 
(Only he didn’t actually use the word “udders”)
He would sit beside me in church whispering “boing, boing” apparently the noise udders make when they bounce.  I would dig him in the ribs but silently giggle. 
He believed church should be alive and had aspirations of filling this place with young people and holding a Christian rock concert  Putting on a big event to show the youngsters in this area how exciting God could be. 

His faith was very private and personal but no less real.  He worshipped God by “doing” things.  His domain was the media desk by the door and woe betide any vicar who ran off with the media key in his pocket!  Or any inept person who fiddled with all the switches - “why can’t people leave things alone?”   “Aborigines and jet engines” was another favourite saying.

Just as much as being at the back of church he loved being at the front, it was being in the middle he found difficult to cope with, he couldn’t sit still and would always be thinking how he would do things differently!  We’d talk later about how together we could do it “better”!

The last time he stood here he did the Bible reading.  It was a Bible reading like no other as he read the story in his own style.  It was the story of Jesus casting out a legion of demons into a herd of pigs.  He finished by saying and it’s all true – no porkies!  The reading was accompanied by a power point using the Brick Testament, Bible stories told with pictures of Lego people.  

The children, and it must be said adults too, sat rapt with attention.  So many people have commented to me in their cards and messages how wonderful he was that morning.

Other things Andrew liked…

The word adequate, purple quality street, crispy cakes, mars bars and coca cola!  He loved driving buses, somehow the traffic never phased him behind the wheel of a bus.  He liked his train set – sorry that should bemodel railway.  He loved his big house and garden

He loved disappearing upstairs into his den where he pretended to be a DJ sat at the mixing desk.  It was a couple of days before I got upstairs and the turntable was still spinning.  We’d sit together finding tracks we liked and getting the other one to guess who the artist was.

Because of his love of broadcasting I believe he was rare off shore because he actually like doing the tannoy announcements.  We would even work on ideas at home of how to make the mundane ones sound more interesting.  Like the tannoy that started “It is a truth universally acknowledged….”  And if anyone can remember how that ended please let me know as I only remember the Jane Austen beginning.

How I wish I'd bought him this!
Andrew liked magnolia paint but I think I may have converted him to “dusted fondant”.  That’s off the Dulux colour chart.  His tea was white, no sugar, weak and milky, a light brown oak, off the Ronseal colour chart!

After taking the children to school, a car load for me and bus load for him, we liked doing the crossword together and either we were getting very good at it or the crossword on the back of the daily mail was getting easier!

He loved belonging to the church family here.  He’d found somewhere where he fitted in, he could be useful and everyone seemed to understand his unique sense of humour.

He loved his family, although he didn’t always show it and especially loved our two boys. 

And I know he loved me, every day he would ask, more than once, “have I told you I love you today?”  He rang every day without fail from the platform and I would get anxious if I missed more than one phone call.  The message on the answer phone went “hello it’s just me looking for you.”

It’s been difficult to sleep since he’s gone and on my first sleepless night I decided what to wear today.  When I wore this Tshirt he would say “someone who loves you very much must have bought you that Tshirt!”

On my second sleepless night I decided what he should wear.  Jeans and a Tshirt obviously!

Just as Andrew bought me my Tshirt, so the boys and I bought his for him.  We got it at New Wine and it has a bus on it!  But it also has a slogan and Andrew’s everyday T shirts had to be plain so he had never worn it.  He said “I’ll wear it one day!”  Today seems as appropriate as any.

It’s a micky take on the bus adverts around a few years ago that began “There probably isn’t a God….

But Andrew didn’t agree and his T shirt says 
“ There positively is a God,

       now stop worrying

           and enjoy your life”
So that's what I said and there probably isn't a lot else to add.
I have added a photo of Andrew and the bus picture to my facebook page today.We gave out cards with the bus on as people left along with a Quality Street chocolate, some deliberately took a purple one, while others chose something different.
I still see plently of the little cards around, with Andrew's name and dates on. Oldest son and I have just been discussing where we see them, one family keeps it on fridge, its on a pinboard in another house in the downstairs loo. Several made their way into purses and wallets. A keepsake, a reminder.

Andrew is still everywhere, all around. I remember him in a song, a chocolate bar or a cup of very milky tea.
Some people look to the heavens to find their loved one, the stars in the night sky. Well last night I dreamed of stars, swirling and dancing around me like snowflakes caught in headlights.
Each one was love and prayers and thoughts for us today, thank you for every speck of starlight you have sent our way. That light has been enough to help guide us on this journey, they mean so much.
Van Morrison - Have I told you lately. I think this was the last ever song Andrew played on his iPod and I have included this because we played it at the private family cremation service and I couldn't leave without making you cry one final time! 
Take away my sadness
Fill my life with gladness
Ease my troubles that's what you do.


  1. What sweet things you have shared here. <3

  2. What a wonderfully poignant tribute! <3

  3. Beautiful post Sarah, thinking of you! x