Uncle Harold

Sometimes there is tightness in my chest, not a heart attack, and I feel a degree of sadness.. I feel like I am the waves of the ocean drawn out with sadness and then pulled to the beach with hope. A call that says things are not going well, or a friend who is troubled bring thoughts of Uncle Harold, his generosity of spirit and how I miss him. It could be argued that I write quite a few posts about people that are no longer here. This could be true but they have influenced how I see the world and who I am today.

Uncle Harold had this amazing ability to convert anyone to Christianity. It was not his sermons or his great love of God. It was his driving! Any hapless soul who entered his car would within a short period time start praying, whatever religion you were. His driving was, interesting to say the least! I used to strap in, close my eyes and pray a lot! I loved that he whilst he was Christian he explored and admired all faiths and would quite often chant in foreign languages. He also had this insatiable sense humour.

Uncle Harold was there when I decamped to the UK aged 23, when I couldnt find a job, when I was made redundant and when my mom died. He blessed my flat when I bought it, he lent me this little white micra car which never ran unless he was standing next to it praying. When things were bad he would say “have a ice cream” or worst his suggestion of a Hawaiian pizza with pineapple! My best was his refrain to anything good, bad or ugly, he would say “It is all part of the rich tapestry of life”

It is a little sad that I got to know Uncle Harold’s cadre of friends during his last months on this earth, he passed away 8 years ago. I am still in touch with the lovely priest Father Edward, who had the bible on his iPhone much to my horror! Then there is Frank, another priest a close friend of Uncle Harold’s I have known for years. Frank who never fails to make me laugh and guided me through the horrors of palliative care and then the funeral. I spent my first Christmas in the UK with him and his family, picture below.

I came across this lovely note from David Schooling another of his friends. David said “Harold once visited us when we were at a secluded beach cottage. He had not been well because of the chest infections he always had. Early the next morning we went for a swim in the sea. He was so enjoying it that he didn’t heed warnings not to go too deep. Suddenly he was swept out to sea. I swam out to him and tried to help him. But both of us were not good swimmers. He tired rapidly and was taking in a lot of water. Eventually, in spite of my best efforts, he was beginning to give up. So he told me to give messages of love to his family. It was a terrifying time. Suddenly however he began kicking furiously and together we reached the shore with great relief. Afterwards I asked him what made him kick so strongly after he had all but given up. He said “I felt something touch my leg and I thought it was a shark! I was quite happy to drown but not to be eaten by a shark!” I love it.

Uncle Harold has this friend Dick Gilbert. I know very little about him other than his generiousity and kindness when I needed it the most. He sent me this quote which is so true… COURAGE doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,”I will try again tomorrow.”(Mary Ann Radmacher, writer)  

On that note have a wonderful weekend and stay safe my lovelies!

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