Last Tuesday afternoon I went to a funeral of a long time friend. He was about 77, which is a similar age to what my Mum and Dad would have been were they still alive. I hadn't seen him or his family for a while but every year we exchanged Christmas cards. He and his wife were friends of my parents and had known them since their early 20s, or before. In the 1950's and early 60's we used to go away on these weekend holidays with two or three other families and a great swathe of kids (children) so the funeral was a time to remember the great times, to catch up with people I rarely see and to give thanks for the life of a good husband and father who loved and lived life to the full and loved his family and friends with just as much energy as his love of life.
Today, at work my brother rang me with news that a former neighbour of ours (when we lived in another suburb) had died of a sudden heart attack last night. He was of a similar age, with a loving wife and two boys a little younger than myself. We moved into adjoining houses in a Housing Commission street in 1958 and for the next 40 years they were great neighbours. They supported Mum with love and good sense when my Dad died, and they supported my brothers and I when Mum died. He was a mechanic and a tinkerer and was just as handy patching bicycles as he was doing basic car maintenance. He was a perpetual kid, a practical joker, the life of the party, but a warm and loyal friend and the perfect neighbour. His funeral will be later this week.
They'll both be missed. Even though I haven't seen either of them for a while, they were an integral part of my childhoold and youth, and for the latter into middle age.
Peace guys, and thanks.