Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I thought Thursdays were for funerals

But today is Wednesday. And today says a formal goodbye to two more good people: my auntie Muriel, and my son's stepmother Fiona.

Auntie Muriel was my dad's older sister (he was the youngest of eleven children). She was born in May, 1909, second child to Fred and Sarah Elizabeth (nee riley) Toon of Syston, Leicestershire. Like her older sister Marjorie, she was one of the women pioneers in the world of business, supporting one of the most recognised businessmen in the city of Leicester. She waited for the man she loved, Uncle Rex, our "magic man", and they were married when I was still a child (a teenager?) Auntie Muriel took me to the opera--I didn't enjoy the show much, couldn't understand what was going on, but I loved going with her. She and Auntie Marjorie would feed me one evening a week, after school and before orchestra practise, and I so much enjoyed being in the Toon family house on the Green in Syston, with its servants staircase to Aunty Dora's bedroom, Kim the dog in his fiercely-guarded corner bed, and grandad's strops for sharpening cut-throat razors hanging from the kitchen mantle.

Last time I saw Auntie Muriel, she was physically frail, but still with a robust song and the Toon sense of humour where you have to blink and think, "did she really just say that?"... or maybe it is just that magic moment when someone who has always been there for you transforms before your eyes from "Aunt" or "Uncle" or "Doctor" or "Teacher" into the real live human being with a thousand dimensions that you have been blinded to through being years younger.

I will miss you Auntie Muriel. Thank you for being part of my life. Please give a kiss to my dad, I still miss him and always will.

The second funeral today is a memorial for Fiona Popowicz, my son's stepmother, who fought a brave battle and who is now gone from this world, far too soon. She was an artist, she was spiritual, and she cared very much for Dylan.

I am sorry I did not know her better.

Mirek, Dylan, I am thinking of you and all of the family. I know you have been through a lot. Just remember the love... it is what matters.

And I always thought Thursdays were for funerals...

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