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Sunday 12 April 2020

From Jack

Hi Everyone!

You’ve probably guessed why I haven’t blogged for nearly two years.  I lost my wife not so long ago.  We had 53 years together all told and looking after her was my main priority.  I made sure my wife got everything she wanted, nothing was too much trouble.  When I stood in front of The Boss nearly 52 years ago and said those 18 vows  (4 richer, 4 poorer, 4 better, 4 worse, in sickness and in health ‘til death do us part) I meant every word and I hope I fulfilled every one of those vows. 

The good thing about Mary is she would visit us on a regular basis.  My wife loved her visits and so did I.  It gave me a chance to pull her leg which I did with great gusto.  I’ve had two Christmases without coming on this blog but The Vicar came each year with a bag full of goodies for me.  I hope The Boss sees all the good things she does for others as well as me.    Thank you, Vicar, for all you did for Mrs Jack.

Since my wife passed away The Vicar would text each morning to make sure I was OK.  I just couldn’t phone her.  I just knew it would end in tears.  What a beautiful tribute she wrote for Mrs Jack on her blog.  One day she might say something nice about me (I’m only joking, Vicar, you know what I think of you).  I wrote her a poem but she kept that for herself.

 In February she took my brother’s funeral.  It was a brand new crematorium – he was the first man cremated there.  It was all new to our Mary.  It was a state of the art place with lots of electronic gadgets on the minister’s desk.   She did very well with just the odd mistake. Well done, Vicar. 

Unfortunately she can’t take Mrs Jack’s funeral because of this Covid 19.  We’re going to video stream it – I’m not sure what they call it as I’m not technically minded but people can watch it on their computers.  At the moment we can have only ten people.  We will have a memorial later and Vicar Mary can officiate at that. 

The other day she texted me to ask if I was cooking and looking after myself.  Well, let me tell you, Vicar, I learnt most of my cooking skills from you.  I can now burn sausages and serve frozen veg straight from the freezer.  Oh yes. My speciality is soup with hooks.  I am getting better: the first time I made custard you had to eat it with a knife and fork.  I have improved.   I’ve cooked beef dinners and now I can make Yorkshire puds.  The other day she asked me what I was cooking so I’ve sent this post so she has to type it onto her blog and she won’t be able to miss it. 

I got my biggest pan and put a pack of lean mince in it.  I fried an onion and added a stock cube, some water and some gravy granules.  I let it boil and added four spuds (chopped up), carrots, swede, peas, broad beans, celery peppers leeks, cauliflower, broccoli and the secret of my recipe is, if you’ve got it CHUCK IT IN!  Oh, I forgot that I chucked in a chopped apple as well and also a good handful of thyme.  I simmered it gently for half an hour then added a drop of Mr Jameson.  Yum yum.  It lasted me two meals.  Please don’t give Gordon Ramsey my recipe – he wouldn’t know how to do it.  When I ate it I couldn’t get it down fast enough!  I forgot to say I made some dumplings too but they were a little stodgy but I’ll get that right with practice.  So I hope I’ve answered your question, Vicar. 

The lady next door is 87 years old and I offered some to her but before she ate any I told her to check her insurance policy to see if it covered poisoning. 

Finally I want to thank each of you who sent me condolences.  Remembering if you’re self-isolating, whatever part of the world you live, and if it’s exercise you want go around the garden and may the Lord walk with you.  Please take care, look after one another and stay as safe as you can.

Love to all


PS Thanks Vicar, for all you’ve done for us.  I look forward to that HUG.  J.

Footnote.  Jack has been in touch and has asked me to say thank-you for all your kind comments.  He can read them but not reply.  So thank you.

Friday 3 April 2020

Sad News

I feel unbelievably sad today.  My dear friend Jack's wife died of cancer yesterday.  I have asked Jack's permission to write this post.  I can't visit him so this is my virtual hug for him and his family.

Mr and Mrs Jack were married for over fifty one years.  They were both from the same small Lincolnshire village so I think she was a hero as she knew perfectly well what she was taking on.  Our Jack had a reputation for being a "bit of a one" as we say in this part of the world. 

She was one of  several sisters and her sisters remained very important in her life even though they all moved from the area.  Mr and Mrs Jack settled down as Jack was a farm worker and they always lived with fifteen miles of their home village.  She was really pleased when her granddaughter told her just a few weeks ago that she and her husband and child were going back to live in that village.

Mr and Mrs Jack had two children. a boy and a girl.  Mrs Jack was an excellent family manager and ran a great home for the family to come back to.  When the children got bigger she went out to work but she took pride in running a beautiful home.  She also kept Jack in order - no mean feat!  Some time ago Jack (when he had been ill) wrote , "My wife has been brilliant .  I just couldn't have managed without her.   She's had to do everything: cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, putting the rubbish out, and taking our little dog for walks.  . . .   I say to all husbands, "Treasure, treat and look after your missis: they expect so little in return."  What a tribute!

I've always been made very welcome in their home and on a visit last year I had the privilege of blessing their first great grandchild.  Mr and Mrs Jack had three grandchildren who have been the joy of these last few years.  Such family events have been special as they have known for quite a while that she would not recover from this illness.

The months since her diagnosis have inevitably been difficult but as always Mrs Jack has organised her family.  They've made Christmas extra special, they've sorted birthdays and they have visited.  Visiting in a time of corona virus has been difficult and they have often had to use mobile phones and talk whilst looking at each other through windows.  I cannot begin to imagine how hard it has been.

And neither can I imagine how hard it is for Jack, a sweet and loving man, to go through this dreadful time all on his own.  Jack, I promise that as soon as I can I will come and given you a real hug.  S*d this virus!  Until then I will be having a word with The Boss.  Take care.  Love from The Vicar

Note:- Jack will be able to read your comments but not reply.