Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Reality Check

Today I attended a funeral of a lady I've known since I was a child. Her husband of over 60 years died last year, and she's now followed him.

Gwen and George ran the Cub Scout troop I was a member of for a couple of years, and they entrusted me with my first leadership role at the tender age of 9 when they made me the 'Six' of the black troop.

At the funeral, a fellow scout leader paid a very good tribute to Gwen that summed her life up perfectly, and one I can sum up in one word: Giving.

For George and Gwen service wasn't a dirty word, one that you could use to demean another's job, it was a way of life. Serving others to help them achieve, believing in them so they felt confident, and standing with them when they felt small and useless.

They set an example that others my age have tried to follow and there are some things that I will never forget. George asked youngsters a question that baffled them until they understood it: What's three times a third of eleven and one eighth? The answer was eleven and one eighth, and it's question I ask others at times, usually with a grin on my face. A maths 'A' level student took half an hour to work it out, then hit me.

One other thing was a set of lyrics, set to the William Tell Overture:
Dai's got a head like a ping pong ball
Dai's got a head like a ping pong ball
Dai's got a head like a ping pong ball
Like a piiiiing, like a ping pong ball.

I've sung it to my children when they were toddlers, bouncing them up and down on my knee and getting ever faster to their joy. I intend to do the same with my grandchildren.

They were a team and stood by each other no matter what. With their passing and others of that era, we're losing something in life a piece of knowledge: Life is to be shared. It's a simple meaning that, in our desire for enjoyment and fulfillment, we could lose all too easily.

Goodbye Gwen. You're with George now. Rest, and let us take up the example you followed from your forebears.

1 comment:

Lexa Cain said...

I'm sorry you've lost a friend and one who meant a lot to you as a child. It's great that you have such good memories of her and her husband. Childhood memories are precious.