“Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.”
I wrote last week about trying to use the new year to be better at keeping in touch with my family and it turns out that time, that irrepressible phenomenon, intervened and took me to task.
My grandmother had been ill before Christmas but after a hospitalisation she was released home for the holiday season. As we entered the new year however she again was taken ill and referred to hospital. On Monday, in the early afternoon, she passed away.
Stella was a formidable character. She was alert and her attention to details impressed me throughout my time of knowing her, particularly at the big age she was mastering – if she had survived to Sunday she would have marked her 90th Birthday. She was also kind. She welcomed my wife into the family as generously as anyone did in a really touching way – and for that I will always hold her in the highest regard.
Her funeral this week was both a sad event and also a good time to remember her for her strengths and to reminisce with family about her and indeed our past scrapes and japes.
In the end however, as Isaac Watts’ hymn confirms, time bears all of us away… time goes so quickly and the days that we have are precious. I was glad to see so much of my extended family over the past few days, including my other grandmother, who’s about to mark her 89th birthday. To be able to catch up with her, to regale her with tales of our travels and our day to day lives was a joy – and I know she genuinely loves hearing about our trips abroad and London.
I hope to tell her more stories and catch up with my family more often too.