Angus Mayer – my friend.

Angus Mayer

This simple remembrance of a friend was delivered at his funeral on 24th September 2016 at The Wenallt Chapel in Cardiff. Angus was a one off – one of life’s great individuals. He and his wife Margaret, whom he adored, are the central characters in a wonderful love story. Their family is truly one of the kindest you will ever meet. It’s a privilege to call them my friends.

 

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My friend

Jean and I were speaking with Angus just a couple of days before he left us and he held Jean’s hand and through his tears he said, ‘I have always tried to be a good man.’ As he said it I smiled and thought to myself. ‘No Angus you are not a good man….  you are a great man!’

In my eyes, that’s what he was – a great man and a great friend.

Somehow, I knew that the time between us meeting like this to say goodbye to Margaret and meeting again to say goodbye to Angus would be a short one and so it turned out. They were inseperable in life and will now be inseperable in death.

Angus left us a little while ago and we are here because of his influence on our lives.  For you his family… your lives were intertwined with his from the moment you were born.  For others of us who are here, our lives crossed Angus’s at different times and in different contexts in the course of time.  No matter what our connection with him we will never be the same again because of the man he was.  We are all a part of the wonderful legacy that Angus and Margaret Mayer have left behind.

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This morning as we mourn his passing, we are also celebrating Angus’s  life.  I believe life is a gift from God. It’s a gift made to be full of experiences, people and events. We had the privilege of knowing him and loving him and walking along the path of life with him.

In knowing Angus we have, hopefully become better people.

I was first introduced to Angus and Margaret soon after I started courting Jean. She told me of this wonderful family she knew and visited regularly. She just loved her visits to Fairfax Road. Without fail, she was welcomed every time, you children were asked to budge up and make room and a plate of something homemade and special was put in front of her. It was only later in life that  Jean realised that Angus and Margaret were probably giving her their own food. But they did it willingly. That’s the kind of people they were!

Jean loved her visits and longed one day to have a family of her own just like The Mayers.

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For me… I loved both Angus and Margaret from the very first time I met them and my love for them both never stopped growing. We were frequent visitors to their home down through the years and it became our custom to visit them every Christmas Eve. Each year one of his terrines was opened up and each year he would say the same thing…

’I wouldn’t cut this before Christmas Day for anyone else you know!’

Last year it was a Christmas Cake. He was very proud that Cath had made it.

Last week, we promised Gus that wherever he was, we would still visit him on Christmas Eve. He appreciated that! You can be sure we would have kept that promise and you can also be sure he and your mum will always hold a special place in our hearts and we will remember them in a special way on December 24th!

 

One by one our children were introduced to him. The first time my son Gareth visited, Margaret informed us that Gus was in the greenhouse. Out in the garden we were met by a great cloud of feathers and suddenly Angus’s booming  voice came through the cloud!  He was busy plucking pheasants. It’s a story we retell at regular intervals!

Kate, my daughter, was fascinated this year when Gus met us wearing an old cardigan which had a massive paper clip attached to the zip, replacing the obviously broken orignal. To me that summed up the lovely man that Gus was… quirky, eccentric, funny and so very interesting. I loved just sitting and listening to him tell his stories! Your dad was a master storyteller. He was the best cook I ever knew, his cross stitch skills were remarkable and one of our prized posessions is a signed and framed cross stich of Creation – Day One that Angus made for us several years ago. Trust me every time we pass it we smile and think of our lovely friend.

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He loved life – cooking, decorating, building, gardening at home and at the allotment , fishing, but most of all he loved his family. His face would light up when he spoke of you all.

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Death robs us of much – never again will we have Angus with us, no longer will we hear his voice, see his smile – no more hugs and handshakes.  Gone is the chance to tell him things you wanted to say.

How are we going to cope? We have something to help – a great and wonderful gift

The gift of memory…

Remember how much he loved your mum.  Remember him as your wonderful father, grandfather and your friend. Talk about him often. Talk about him with each other and keep his memory alive. Remember the fun times.

One day he said to me ‘Roger I could never be a teacher’

I didn’t have the foresight to say ‘But Gus, you are a teacher already!’

He didn’t realise all the things he taught us all about living life to the full, about overcoming life’s obstacles, about filling life with great experiences and about LOVING!

Let us promise that the good Angus and Margaret showed to us in their lives, we will now show to others and keep their memory alive!

 

 

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They are gone.

We can shed tears that they are gone
or we can smile because they have lived.

We can close our eyes and pray that they will come back
or we can open our eyes and see all they’ve left for us to remember.

Our hearts can be empty because we can’t see them
or they can be full of the love we shared together.

We can turn our back on tomorrow and live for yesterday
or we can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

We can remember them and only that they’ve gone
or we can cherish their memory and let it live on.

We can cry and close our minds, be empty and turn our backs
or we can do what Angus and Margaret would want:

Smile….open our eyes……

love each other like they did…

and go on.

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Doris Catherine Wilson

Tribute to Doris Wilson

Always my Aunty Doris

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(Bishop Trent)

I am standing upon the seashore.

A ship at my side spreads her white

sails to the morning breeze and starts

for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength

I stand and watch her until at length

she hangs like a speck of white cloud

just where the sea and sky come

to mingle with each other

and someone at my side says ‘She is gone.’

Gone where?

Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large now as when I last saw her. Her diminished size and total loss from my sight is in me, not in her.

And just at that moment, when someone at my side says she is gone, there are others who are watching her coming over their horizon and other voices take up a glad shout – There she comes!

That is what dying is ~a horizon and just the limit of our sight.

………………..

We have come together this afternoon to thank God for the life of a remarkable lady, Doris Catherine Wilson, but to me always my aunty Doris, the best storyteller I ever knew!!

I am honoured to speak on behalf of the family and pay tribute to someone who played such a special part in all our lives. Doris was special; she was a people person. She was someone who believed in people.

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We come together today not only to mourn her passing but also to celebrate her life.

Doris was born on 5th December 1921 to William and Florence Surringer who lived in Sophia Street in Tiger Bay, Cardiff. Life in that part of the city was tough in those days. Doris grew up well cared for and loved. She was married at 18 years of age to William Wilson, who was home on leave from the forces. Straight after the wedding he was called away to serve his country in Gibraltar for two years.

Bill and Doris were blessed with 5 wonderful children, Billy, Ian, Jamie, Neil and Barbara.

During the war years Doris worked in a shop, whilst beginning the job of raising her family.

After the war she skilfully balanced the needs of her growing family with a full time job in Lloyds Foundry in Cardiff. It was hard, hot and heavy work where her job as a pourer brought her into close proximity to the furnaces…                                                                          It also brought her into close proximity to a close group of friends and each day Doris would cook their breakfast and lunch on the brazier in the foundry. She loved to look after people ~ people were her life!   This was evident all the way through her life. Children were everything, especially her own children, who remained so close to her right to the end.

Doris had a generous heart. At one time she was in hospital receiving treatment. In an adjoining bed was a young Algerian lady called Aziadi with her daughter Nesli. She was a stranger but on hearing of her child care difficulties Doris offered to look after the young Nesli while Aziadi was at her studies. Later on when the family had to move out of their flat, again Doris came to the rescue and gave the family a home for over a year – a huge commitment that just typifies Doris’s caring ways. Nesli now lives in Edinburgh and Aziadi is back home in Algeria, but there will always be a very special place in their hearts for ‘Nanny Doris’.

Doris made everyone feel special and everyone was special to her. She was wonderful at caring for people – her dear husband Bill in his later life needed many months of full time care as did her mum, my Nan ~ Doris freely gave that care at no thought to her own health needs. She would never hear talk of putting them in hospital or a home; she would look after them, come what may. She probably saved the NHS many thousands of pounds. When the doctor came calling he would often refer to their little house in Llanedeyrn as Mrs Wilson’s Ward. She had Bill in one room and her mum in another both receiving the very best care!

Testimony to her loving care for those she loved!

Doris was a survivor and overcame a number of great sadnesses in her life.

  • In 1966 there was the motorcycle accident involving her youngest boy Neil It left him with severe difficulties throughout his life.
  • In 1992 the loss of Ian in tragic circumstances, followed by her husband Bill and then her mum and in more recent times the passing of Neil, took its toll.                           Throughout she endeavoured to remain strong, the rock on which her family could rely. She never let them down and she has left them with a remarkable legacy.  She was so proud of her family.  She leaves 9 grandchildren
  • Jeanette and Paul
  • Craig and Debbie
  • Tracey and David
  • Joanne and Nicola
  • Julie
  • …. and one adopted (Unofficial) granddaughter Vicky. To all you grandchildren I will, say this you were all special to your Nan; treasure her memory.

and 11 Great grandchildren

  • Michelle, David, Emily and Jake, Jack, Kyle, Rachel, Ross, Grant, Mere Florence and Lucca (the twins!!) As you grow up I hope you will appreciate what a great person your great grandmother was!

The family have asked me to pass on their thanks too to some very special people in Doris’s life.

  • Joyce, Neil and Caroline and their children Rees and Donna. Joyce met Doris when she became carer for Bill during his long illness and I am sure you are not surprised that she soon became a close family friend, Doris was like that. Joyce, Neil and graham from the bottom of our hearts… Thank you for your love and kindness.

Also

  • Val from Monmouth. They met by accident but in recent times Val would travel from Monmouth almost every day to see Doris and make sure she was OK. Val ~ thank you. Your kindness was appreciated.

Doris believed in God and now she is at rest with her heavenly Father, which is far better.

I leave you with another poem, which I believe Doris could have written herself…

She is gone.

We can shed tears that she is gone
or we can smile because she has lived.

We can close our eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or we can open our eyes and see all she’s left for us to remember.

Our hearts can be empty because we can’t see her
or they can be full of the love we shared together.

We can turn our back on tomorrow and live for yesterday
or we can be happy for tomorrow because of our yesterdays.

We can remember her and only that she’s gone
or we can cherish her memory and let it live on.

We can cry and close our minds, be empty and turn our backs
or we can do what she would want:

Smile,

Open our eyes,

Love each other…

…and go on.

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The following letter was written by Tracy Scheff, Aunty Doris’s granddaughter who lives in the U.S.A. Tracey would have loved to have been present at the funeral, but it was not possible. This very personal and loving letter shows clearly the love between this incredible lady and the granddaughter who treasured her! In recognition of the 10 year anniversary of losing, Doris I attach it here with Tracy’s permission.

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My letter to Nanny.

February 15, 2007
To my Nanny,
My heart is broken today. I lost my beloved Nanny Wilson. My true Nanny, my favorite Nanny, my special Nanny. Even though you were 3,000 miles away, you were always very close to my heart. I always wished you lived here in the US with me and my other grandmother was living in Wales.
From the moment I met you, I felt an instant connection even though I was only three years old. You were everything a perfect grandmother is but much more. You were caring, witty, sensitive but strong, compassionate, smart, loving, you had a tremendous love for your family, you had this fire inside that you would do ANYTHING for your children, grandchildren, family, friends, other children in need, you were selfless, always caring about other people, you never forgot a birthday, holiday, or special event. I can go on and on. I admire your qualities and strive to be just like you. I feel like we share so many of those qualities. I’m proud you are my grandmother.
All of my memories of you are fond ones. From my first visit to Wales at three, I remember the special room you had made up just for your grandchildren. From the baby dolls, to the little cars I used to play with on the mat in front of your front glass door, I remember how the light would shine through and make different colors on the mat, to the little white peddle car with the big red number on it. I loved that car, I wanted to take on the road, but I remember only being allowed to play with it on your patio, it was still fun anyway.
I remember my second visit when I was nine. You had a Birthday party just for me, with decorations and cake. I felt so special. I remember you giving me money to go to the local store and get my favorite strawberry yogurt. I think I ate all of the ones you had in your refrigerator. I remember you and Granfy making my favorite toast with the bread you had to cut and the yummy butter slathered on.
I remember my third visit when I was 18, you couldn’t believe how much I’ve grown. You kept thinking I was a little girl. I remember and miss your squeeze hugs. I do the same thing to my children all of the time. I squeeze them tight not wanting to let go.
I have nothing but fond memories. Memories that make me smile. I remember how much you spoiled my children. I remember the packages you sent, the candy, the clothes. I felt bad for just the amount of money it cost you just to send the package alone, but knew you enjoyed it.
I remember your visits to the US. I remember what you had to go through to get on a plane and be in a car for a long period of time. I knew how claustrophobic you were, but you didn’t let that stop you. I couldn’t wait to spoil you. It was now my turn. I loved getting you presents, especially trying to make sure whatever I bought said “made in the USA”. I wouldn’t dare buy you anything that said “made in France”. I loved buying you things that meant something special to you. I know how much you loved photos, so I always made sure it had something to do with photos. Whether it was the locket I got you with a picture of David and me in it or the wooden photo box that I had engraved for you.
I have a special gift for that you I was not able to send to you in time. I’m very sad that you didn’t get to see it because I know you would have loved it. It is a tin of butterscotch candy (I know how much of a sweet-tooth you have) with a picture of Corey, Kyle, Rachel and myself in front of the Disney World Cinderella Castle scanned right onto the tin. I will save the tin and always remember you when I look at it. I will keep it exactly the way it is and not let anyone ever touch a piece of candy in it. It is for you.
My heart aches, my tears flow, but I am comforted to know that you are looking down from heaven with Granfy, Uncle Ian and Uncle Neil. When Rachel and Kyle asked why I was crying when I found out about your passing, I told them that Nanny Wilson is in heaven and you have another guardian angel watching over each of you. I will teach my children all about you and what an amazing, wonderful, caring, strong great-grandmother they had.
I hope you know how much you meant to me, how much I love you and thought the world of you. I will miss you, never forget you and always remember you. I love you my Nanny. I will not say goodbye, but see you again one day.
Love your granddaughter,
Tracy

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Mick Hunt – my friend


 Mick Hunt – my friend.

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This is a copy of my memories of my friend, given at the Service of Thanksgiving for his life in Birkenhead, near Liverpool on Tuesday 26th May 2015. I shared these memories with the family – a family we did not know at the time – but who have now become our dear friends.

We have travelled 216 miles to be with you today and need to travel 216 miles back home later but today miles mean nothing, it’s a privilege to be with you all as we celebrate my friend Mick’s life. Last week we were in Spain and I would have travelled back from there if I it meant I could be with you all on this special day. Mick was our friend. We loved him dearly!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about this lovely man.

Mick and I met sometime in the 1980s I guess, when Mick came with a friend called Clive Williams to run Open Air Mission beach meetings on Barry Island beach in The Vale of Glamorgan. Mick and Clive made a superb double act. Different as chalk and cheese but men who shared a common desire to share the Christian message with anyone they could. After experiencing trouble in Barry, where their vans were stoned and broken into, they parked their caravans on our church car park at Bethesda Chapel in Dinas Powys. My wife Jean and I were Youth Leaders at the time and we became very friendly and a friendship soon grew with the young people and us and it led to Mick spending a lot of time in our home.

Mick and I too, were very different in many ways, but that only sought to bring us close. Mick was my spiritual father and taught me so much about life and living life as a Christian. We spent many hours talking about Christian things. He was just a wonderful man. I loved to hear him preach and Jean and I, and anyone else who was around, used to sit enthralled, as he would tell us stories about his work with the Open Air Mission, especially his escapades with his dear old friend Clive. The story of Clive’s visit to a hospital with gallstones is forever etched on our memories. Clive, in desperate pain, struggling with a hospital gown, putting it on the wrong way around and Mick struggling to protect Clive’s modesty, while comforting and encoring his old friend. I still giggle every time the story comes to my mind. He shared with us many anecdotes, like the ones about being made to listen to Clive’s LP records of steam train sound effects and bird songs. Visits to the famous Dai Woodham train scrapyard in Barry were a must for Clive every year and Mick always tagged along.

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Even after he retired he would often drive down to spend time in our home. We loved him and the whole church loved him. He even spent holidays with us when he could. When we were in Craven Arms, Tewkesbury and Dulverton in Devon and many other places, he joined us and we spent happy times together.

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I think he loved us in South Wales. We certainly loved him.

One special memory I have is about an old Bible. During one visit to us in the early nineties Mick was admiring my new loose leaf Bible, he said he had been looking for one like it for ages. As he was leaving at the end of the visit, I ran after him and gave him the Bible. At first he refused it, but eventually took it with him. During the years he had it, he used it well and we often spoke about it. Several months ago he gave it back to me. It’s one of my greatest treasures. I gave it to him brand new. He returned it battered and stuck with sellotape… and full of sermons! During the time he had it that Bible and the messages he preached will have touched many lives for good. I will NEVER give it away again!

We made many visits to see Mick and once joined him in Chester Market, where he had a stall selling Christian books, cards and stuff like that!

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 Mick with Kate.

In 1991 Mick came to us with an idea. He had recently got involved with a charity called Operation Christmas Child based in Wrexham. It took aid out to Romanian orphanages.

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He wanted our church Young People’s Choir to come up to Wrexham and sing in a concert at the William Ashton Hall. We did it and had such a great time performing and meeting Mick’s family for the first time.

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As far as I can see Mick only had one real bad flaw in his character. He was a Chelsea fan and my son Gaz and I would tease him endlessly about it. We tried hard over the years to convert him to supporting a proper team like Manchester United but we failed. Mick would have left us earlier this month happy that his beloved Blues were the champions! I will miss those happy times.

One thing for sure is that he loved his family. He spoke of you all constantly and I teased him all the time about the fact that he gave all his girls the same first name… Our Bev, Our Amanda and Our Marie.

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To you, his family, daughters, sons in law, grandchildren… let me tell you this…you all meant the world to him. Every time I was with Mick he spoke affectionately and at length about you.

If I am honest I don’t think he ever really got over losing your mum, which, I believe, was a sadness he always carried with him. He loved her. He loved you all and spoke proudly of you and all the things you had done done. When Rebecca rang to tell us the sad news of Mick’s passing, it was as if we knew her.

Jean and I were so very grateful for the phone calls from Bev and Rebecca, when you let us know of Mick’s passing. I told Mick constantly that I was worried if any thing happened to him I would want to know. It always brought a chuckle from him. He said he would arrange it… and he did. Thank you so very much, although it was the phone call I always dreaded.

Mick meant so much to us in our family and in our church in South Wales. In the eyes of the world maybe just a simple man who had a tough start in life, but to us a true friend, a Christian brother and a truly great man.

Treasure your memories and always be proud of your dad. We will always love him and will certainly never forget him.

Talk about him often. Talk about him with each other and keep his memory alive. Always remember the love that he had for his children and grandchildren, the community and the poor times of his childhood. Remember the fun times and there were so many of these! The Bible tells us – there’s a time to mourn and a time to laugh. Remember his example.

Mick loved people, hence his work with the Open Air Mission and he had a way of drawing out the best from people.

He taught us all that no matter who you are or whatever hardship you face you are always able to GIVE and always able to LOVE.

Our biggest gift to him now is to be thankful that he is at peace and to seek to be as strong and courageous in our loss as he was in throughout his wonderful life.

Let us promise that the good Mick showed to us in his life, we will now show to others and keep his memory alive!

……………………………………………………………………………………….

 A few friends from South Wales have sent their love and best wishes.

Llinos and Graeme Burt

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I’ll never forget helping at Barry Beach Mission with Mick. He was such a lively character. I’m grateful for the opportunity he gave us as 15/16 year olds to try new things. It was Mick who encouraged us to play Clive’s accordion. The kids loved him – even with his tattoos!

 Jason and Kate Erickson

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Mick was a great man of God, I always remember his passion for Jesus in life and in the beach missions he did with Clive! We spent many great holidays in Devon and Cornwall, often debating how much he disliked Man United lol 🙂

A rough and ready, tough looking, kindhearted man of God… I loved him!

Natalie Rolley

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Mick was such a lovely man.  Still remember him putting a tattooed finger into my son Stephen’s mouth when he was about 4 weeks old to comfort him. Jean and I were looking at each other in horror, but knowing he meant no harm. I’m so saddened to hear the news but know heaven has now got an amazing character with the biggest heart xxx

Sharon Wilson

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Loved working with Mick as a teenager at the holiday clubs, so many memories of being on Barry Island beach and the caravan parked out the back of the church. Over the years Mick became a dear friend, who visited us on many of our group Easter holidays. Visited him once in Coedpoeth and we were touched that he had been out to buy us cakes and croissants for breakfast.

Gareth and Keri Newberry

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Mick was brilliant and a great friend. We talked about anything, but especially we loved talking football. My favourite Mick saying? ‘He’s a lemon!… an absolute lemon!’ I loved his stories of his travels with his sidekick Clive Williams and the other stories of preaching in the tough parts of Liverpool and the time he got his car wheels nicked! Priceless!! He was a great friend to my dad and a great friend to me.

 Bethany Davies

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I loved it when Mick came to visit us.  I was really young. I remember he slept in the downstairs bedroom and always got up early to read his Bible. He used to walk around with me standing on his feet. I really loved Mick – I will miss him.

Lisa Newberry

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I will always think of Mick and smile at the banter we used to have! I loved that full on mickey taking (no pun intended!) that you used to get with him and the fact that you always knew that he only did it because he liked you and enjoyed the challenge! I won’t go into the time that we visited him (Sharon refers to it!) and I had food poisoning from an Ogmore Vale custard slice…. Bad times

Heidi Trotman

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Ahhh…. Mick a great friend and a great character. Many happy memories of time spent with Mick in Dinas Powys.

Mark and Julie Thompson

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We have spent so many happy times with Mick over the years. We especially enjoyed coming to Wrexham, where I conducted the choir. A great man with a great heart! Much missed. Our thoughts are with his family.

Jean Newberry

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Mick was a true friend in every sense of the word. He shared our home, he shared our church and he shared our lives. He was funny, genuine and one of my very best friends. Rog and I adored him.

Kevin Welch

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Only heard him speak once, but what a story. He’s in a better place now.

…………………………………………..

 

 

He is gone.

We can shed tears that Mick is gone

or we can smile because he has lived.

We can close our eyes and pray that he’ll come back

or we can open our eyes and see all that he’s left for us to remember.

Our hearts can be empty because we can’t see him

or they can be full of the love we shared together.

We can turn our back on tomorrow and live for yesterday

or we can be happy for tomorrow because of our yesterdays.

We can remember him and only that he’s gone

or we can cherish his memory and let it live on.

We can cry and close our minds, be empty and turn our backs

or we can do what Mick would want:

Smile,

Open our eyes,

Love each other…

…and go on.

Post Script

We attended Mick’s funeral, or better put the Thanksgiving service for his wonderful life and Tuesday 26th May 2016. The funeral was held in Landican Crematorium in Birkenhead.

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The service was held in the beautiful South Chapel, which was such a lovely setting. Proceedings were led by Rob Jeffs a wonderful old man who sounded so like Mick when he spoke. He was superb! Friendly, funny and serious at different times, just when he needed to be, He put the family at ease and reminded us  what an amazing character Mick was. The truth of Mick’s Christian faith shone through so clearly. It was a service which honoured God and helped us all give thanks for the wonderful life that Mick lived. Unlike any other crematorium I have ever visited, the service was relaxed and we never felt rushed. After the service we introduced ourselves to the family and instantly new friendships began.

The wake followed at The Basset Hound, nearby hostelry. This, too, was a lovely place, homely and friendly. We were given a private space where we shared stories of Mick. Mick’s family are wonderful and we saw immediately why he loved them so much.UnknownWe had a beautiful time with Mick’s family and left with armloads of food from the buffet for our long journey home.

After leaving The Basset Hound, we made one last emotional journey to see Mick’s bungalow. Mick lived in Bethany Crescent in Bebington. This is a lovely crescent of bungalows built in 1927 by a chap called Archie Boulton.

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The trust that was set up in his name is listed in the charity commission as

A H BOULTON TRUST

TO AID THE ERECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF BUILDINGS USED FOR THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL, RELIEVING THE SICK OR NEEDY OR OFFERING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO INDIVIDUALS CONSIDERED TO BE DESERVING BY THE TRUSTEES

Mick was offered a home here because of his long commitment of preaching the Christian message which meant so much to him.

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We looked in through the window of his bungalow, and it was as if he had just left. His old chair was there – empty now – and the picture Becky Thomson had drawn on one of the holidays Mick had been with us, was on the fireplace as it always was. His Chelsea picture was there too… We thought and talked about Mick, smiled a bit, shed a tear or two but above all else left happy because of this lovely man who had made such an impact on our lives.

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Thank you Mick!

A Thanksgiving Service for the wonderful life of Beatrice Elsie Musgrove.

A Thanksgiving Service for the wonderful life of

Beatrice Elsie Musgrove.

Monday 24th November 2014 at Bethesda Chapel, Dinas Powys,

Vale of Glamorgan.

UK

The service was led by Roger Newberry


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Heavenly Father, We come into your presence in the name of your Son, our Saviour The Lord Jesus Christ. In all our dealings we acknowledge you as Sovereign Lord. Be with us here this morning to comfort, to guide our thoughts and to help us worship You for Your love and as we honour the memory of this wonderful lady.

Amen.

Opening thoughts

On behalf of Beat’s family, I would like to thank each one of you for being here today… and though today is a very difficult day the family do not want it to be a day of mourning but a day of celebration. Today we come to remember Beat’s life and reminisce over all the special moments that we had with her.

Beat was a lovely lady. She was kind, thoughtful and was as honest as the day is long. We haven’t come to Bethesda Chapel today because Beat has died, we have come because she lived and her life touched ours for good. We are here today to celebrate her wonderful life.

In the difficult times of life I often find that our words often fall short of what we would like them to say. But it is then that the Eternal Word of God speaks to us with peace and understanding, all we need to do is listen!

These words come from Psalm 46, Beat’s favourite Bible passage; they written many centuries ago. They may seem like ancient dusty history to many who look from a distance. But if we listen, as Beat did, the Bible speaks to us with words that can bring comfort and hope.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

As a famly we hope and pray that those of us who mourn will find comfort and strength from today as we celebrate Beat’s wonderful life.

We would do well to remember that this life is really a preparation for the Life to come, and for those of us who love God, when we have accomplished our work on Earth we are called to continue that work in a better place, where there is neither death, nor pain, nor crying.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”

Ps. 116:15

That which is so dark and heart-rending to us, in this case, is precious in God’s sight—one of His children has gone home. Beat has gone – from struggles and weariness of this life into a better place.

 Gone From My Sight

 I am standing upon the seashore.

A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.

I stand and watch her until at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other and someone at my side says ‘She is gone.’ Gone where?

Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large now as when I last saw her. Her diminished size and total loss from my sight is in me, not in her.


And just at that moment, when someone at my side says she is gone, there are others who are watching her coming over their horizon and other voices take up a glad shout – There she comes!


That is what dying is – a horizon and just the limit of our sight.

Hymn – What a friend we have in Jesus

Reading: Psalm 46  –  Read by Gareth Newberry

Psalm 46 – For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A song.

 

God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;

God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;

he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,

the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease

to the ends of the earth.

He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

he burns the shields with fire.

He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.’

The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Prayer

Heavenly father we acknowledge your presence here, and come into your presence this morning as family and friends of dear Beatie. We are here because we love her and miss her and we want to cherish our memories of her, we want to honour her life and honour her and support one another as we grieve her passing from us – a passing from life here with us to everlasting life there with you O Lord.

Father, we thank you for Beat! You formed her, you knew her, you walked with her through 91 years, and even now we have confidence that she is in your presence.

We thank you that you are a God of mercy, who promises to comfort us, particularly when we lose our loved ones, and so in these moments now, and in the weeks and months ahead, please bring comfort and mercy to us as we remember, and share fondly all that this lovely lady was to us.

In the name of Jesus our Saviour we pray.

Amen.

A poem read by Mercedes Musgrove – Death is nothing at all.

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away to the next room.

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other,

That, we still are.

 

Call me by my old familiar name.

Speak to me in the easy way,

which you always used.

Put no difference into your tone.

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

 

Laugh as we always laughed

at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word

that it always was.

Let it be spoken without effect.

Without the trace of a shadow on it.

 

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same that it ever was.

There is absolute unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind

because I am out of sight?

 

I am but waiting for you.

For an interval.

Somewhere. Very near.

Just around the corner.

All is well.

 

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.

 Henry Scott Holland

Eulogy  –  Gareth Musgrove on behalf of the family

On behalf of my brother, Rob, and sister, Jean, I would like to share some memories of my mother’s life with you today. Mum was born in November 1922 (and would have been 92 last Monday) in Cardiff where she lived with her dad George, her mother May and seven brothers and sisters.

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May, Gertrude, Ethel, William, George, Idris then Beat and soon after Grace.

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The family home for the young Bateman family was in Knowle Street, Grangetown. Bringing up eight children today would be a huge struggle, and I can barely comprehend what life in the 20’s would have been like.

It must have been devastating for the family, when, at the tender age of 42, George, Beat’s father passed away; she was only 3 years of age.

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When mum reached her teens, she watched her beloved brothers go to war and Beat being Beat, wanted to do her bit, and often told us of her desire to join the land army. However, Beat’s boss Mr. Jones, the grocer, was not going to give up his hard-working shop assistant without a fight and offered mum an extra 10 shillings a week to stay and that started a long career in the grocery trade.

My mother’s kindness and love for her nieces and nephews meant she would spend many hours helping her sister Gertie in her spare time. Gertie would often take in lodgers at home in Coldstream Terrace, Riverside and this is where Beat first met her one and only love, Joseph Ainsworth: charming, smart and stylish – a real English gentleman and in 1950 they were married.

It was only a few years later that Robert was born and then twins, my beautiful sister Jean. Jean’s twin brother, John, sadly survived only a few days after both were born premature. Mum would love to tell us how small Jean was when she was born. Holding out her hand, she’d say, “I could fit her in the palm of my hand”, as she only weighed the same as a 2 pound bag of sugar (she’s a little bit heavier today, but just as sweet). The family was complete in 1961 after I (Gareth) was born. My father had by now left the funeral director’s James Summers, where he had been highly regarded and respected and was working for Beat’s brother Idris as company secretary of Bateman’s the Welsh Grocers.

We all have fantastic memories of growing up in Waun-y-Groes Road, and can recall fondly our loving aunts and uncles, cousins and neighbours.

One memory stands out the most, and that’s of the family night-in, waiting patiently in our living room with the projector set up and ready to go; then my father would give the order for lights-out, and the cine films of that summer’s holiday – with Auntie Grace and her family or New Year’s Eve at Auntie Kitty’s – would spring into life. My Dad must have had great vision as the family films have given us hours of pleasure over the years.

I also have fond memories of music growing up, and It was only when compiling my notes for today that I realised the reason for my unbalanced music tastes: Gilbert & Sullivan for breakfast, the Beatles for lunch, ‘Hey Hey’ we’re the Monkees’ for tea, and probably the Seekers for supper.

In early 1974 our lives changed forever; and for my mother especially, when my father died. I believe the passing of my father was the start of a broken heart that just didn’t heal and would see her grieve for the rest of her life.

I know these must have been very difficult times for mum, often going without to ensure we didn’t. I can recall her cycling 5 days a week from Rhiwbina to Merthyr Road to work in the supermarket – this just typified my mother and her generation.

It’s hard to describe just how tough they made them in the 20’s, but one story springs to mind…

After a late shift working on the wines & spirit counter, mum started her bike ride home, when one of the two bags of shopping hanging from the handlebars hit the front spokes in the front wheel, and my mother was catapulted through the air. Pushing the bike and carrying the shopping for the remainder of the journey, mum arrived home with a swollen ankle. Early the next day she walked to work (probably the same distance as from Dinas Powys to Penarth sea front); and a visit to the CRI later that day, prompted by Roger & Jean, would result in an X-ray showing a broken ankle in three places, needing a steel plate. That story, I believe just proves what a resilient lady Mum really was.

After Beat retired, she would love to spend time with her brothers George and Idris, and with life-long friend Auntie Ciss.

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Some time after moving to Dinas Powys in 1997, my mum had the onset of Alzheimer’s: a horrible disease that gradually stole her most wonderful memories.

Although in the last few years mum’s health gradually worsened, I know her love for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren remained resolute; and you could see how she enjoyed visits from her great grandchildren, Mia, Alfie, Millie and Lois.

Sadly, on the 5th November, our beautiful, caring, wonderful, loving mother slipped away peacefully at the Waverley in Penarth, surrounded by her proud family, who are confident in the knowledge that she will now spend an eternity with my father.

Solo: The Old Rugged Cross – Mr Mark Thompson

Address:

As we gather here this morning to remember the dear and precious life of Beat, I know that many of you are dealing with mixed emotions. Today our hearts are sad, but they are not sad for Beat, because she is in a far better place, but sad because we have lost a dear loved one.

But while we mourn, we must also remember, there is great joy knowing that because of the relationship that she had with God, she is already in His presence. For the Bible says in:

2 Cor 5:6-8

“So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

Beat was a woman of simple faith. She enjoyed life’s simple pleasures. There was nothing pretentious about her. She liked things down to earth, plain and simple. Beat did things – all kinds of things – above and beyond the call of duty. For her, real life and real living were always about others – how she could help them, care for them, and serve them. Just before her mother died she asked Beat to ‘Look after the boys!’ She did it wonderfully well.

She was born into poverty, spent much of her early life caring for her mum and then went on to live for over 40 years as a widow but never forgot the need to share her things with others, for us as a struggling young family it was the occasional fiver or some dented tins from International. For others it was a simple bar of Cadbury’s of which she seemed to have a never-ending supply.

Beat received many gracious gifts from God. Most important, of course, was the forgiveness that she received from her Saviour and His promise of eternal life. Another gift that she received from God – a gift that she used every day, was the gifts of caring and hospitality. If she knew someone needed help; Beat was there ready to do whatever needed to be done. Jean’s friend Val came to live with Jean when things got difficult at her own home.

Beat was a real Grangetown girl – and she left us a couple of weeks ago to be with her Heavenly Father and we are here because of her influence on our lives. For you Rob, Jean and Gareth your lives were intertwined with hers from the moment you were born. For others of us who are here, our lives crossed Beat’s at different occasions and in different contexts in the course of time. No matter what our connection with Beat, we will never be the same again because of the woman she was. We are all a part of the wonderful legacy she left behind. She was everybody’s friend

The Bible tells us that death is not an unforeseen accident. We read in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes… There is a time to die. It is not something left out of the purposes of our Creator.   It is something planned and necessary in the sight of God. God knew Beat needed rest. It is an appointed event that will come to all of us.

This morning as we mourn her passing, we can also give thanks for Beat’s life. This can be a celebration of a life well lived, a life that impacted all who knew her.

I believe life is a gift from God. God has made us and given us life. God has blessed our life and made it full of experiences, people and events. Each day we live is a blessing and a gift from above.

Beat was a person who was given to us by God. We had the privilege of knowing her and loving her and walking along the path of life with her.

In knowing Beat we have, hopefully become better people. We have stored memories and experiences. These are gifts from God.

But death robs us of much – never again will we have Beat with us, no longer will we hear her voice, see her smile – no more hugs and handshakes

Gone is the chance to tell her things you wanted to say.

Do you wonder how you will deal with it?

The best way is with the promises of the Bible.

Beat had a relationship with God that carried some wonderful promises. Some of the promises are found in John chapter 14:1-6. Let me read that portion of scripture to you.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The First Promise to us is that we don’t have to fear death.

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled”

We are troubled when we don’t know what is going to happen when we die, but Jesus has taken the fear out of dying.

We are troubled when we view death as an end instead of a new beginning.

Beat’s life is not over, as a matter of fact, a new phase has just begun. Our earthly bodies die, however our heavenly bodies endure for all eternity.

The second promise is that Jesus prepares a place for us in Heaven.

He said, ‘I go to prepare a place for you!’

It’s a place with no more sorrow or crying.

Heaven is a place where the hurts and disappointment of this world are no more. Where the frustrations of life are replaced with unspeakable joys.

It’s a place with no more pain and a place of great beauty.

The Third Promise found in our reading is that He personally receives us.

Now I want you to picture this, the moment that Beat took her first breath in Heaven, God was right there to welcome her.

And for Beat, she experienced a love that we can’t even understand.

  • A love that forgives every failure that she had in her life.
  • A love that mends the hurts only she knew.
  • A love that understood every feeling that she had.
  • It is an unconditional love that completely satisfies the longing of her soul.

Beat knew these promises and had a faith in God.

That’s how we can come to terms with times like these, with the wonderful hope that if we share Beat’s faith we will see her again

God gave us something else to help – a great and wonderful gift

The gift of memory – a powerful capacity to remember.

Remember her…. Rob, Lyn, Boo, Gareth and Mercedes – as your wonderful mother and mother in law, Marc, David, Paul, Kate, Gareth, Bethany, Caroline, Richard, James and Sarah you can remember her as a loving gran and a wonderfully funny Nana Muz. As a family we must make sure that Emily, Ryan, Theo, Josh, Emily, Alfie, Mia and Millie will remember her as Nanna Muz – a cool great grandmother and a great role model for them and someone who taught us so much.

Talk about her often. Talk about her with each other and keep her memory alive

Always remember the love that he had for children, her family, the community…. the poor times of her childhood. Remember the fun times. The Bible tells us – there’s a time to mourn and a time to laugh. Remember her example.

Remember the times – when she pretended to be Supergran, when she imagined herself being a heavyweight boxer.

Beat had a way of drawing out the best from people….

She taught us all some valuable lessons…

  • No matter who you are or whatever hardship you face you are always able to GIVE and always able to LOVE.
  • Another lesson… never owe anybody a penny!
  • Loyalty – her devotion to her husband was inspirational and a lesson to us all.

Our biggest gift to her now is to be thankful that she is at peace and to seek to be as strong and courageous in our loss as she was in throughout her wonderful life.

She is gone.

We can shed tears that Beatie is gone
or we can smile because she has lived.

We can close our eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or we can open our eyes and see all she’s left for us to remember.

Our hearts can be empty because we can’t see her
or they can be full of the love we shared together.

We can turn our back on tomorrow and live for yesterday
or we can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

We can remember her and only that she’s gone
or we can cherish her memory and let it live on.

We can cry and close our minds, be empty and turn our backs
or we can do what Beat would want:

Smile….open our eyes……love…

and go on.

May God bless her memory to us.

Hymn: How Great Thou Art.

Dear family

  • I commend to you those memories that are yours alone. The Beat that you knew was special to you as a family in ways that no one outside could know.

You have every reason to be proud of her life.

  • I commend you to the care of Almighty God and trust that you will find the strength and peace that only God can bring.

Prayer

Heavenly Father we thank you for the life of Beat – a good woman. We thank you that her life touched both her family and the community at large for good. We thank you for her simple faith. Now she is at peace and her struggles are over over, guard and watch over her we pray. Father we commend to your loving care all those who mourn and pray that in these difficult times they may grow ever more aware of your love. Strengthen and bring comfort we pray and give grace to them as they seek to understand the changes that lie ahead. Father we rejoice in the believers hope in Christ in whose name we ask these things, that the glory may go to Him. Amen

Benediction.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God, our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.

At the Graveside

On behalf of the family, I wish to thank each one of you for being here today… and though today is a very difficult day the Scriptures makes this promise:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

We have gathered together today to remember a precious life and to say goodbye one last time and celebrate the life that she enjoyed here on earth and thank God for all the precious moments and memories that we have had with her. Her life has touched so many in so many different ways.

We have also come together to bury the ashes of Ainsworth, beloved husband of Beat. Separated for 40 long years, but now resting together. We believe they are reunited in heaven never to be separated again. In doing this we recall that our bodies bear the imprint of the first creation when they were fashioned from dust; but in faith we remember, too, that by the new creation we also bear the image of Jesus who was raised to glory.

Beat has now joined Ainsworth in heaven – in the place that was prepared for her and we commend her into the loving arms of Jesus and that hope of eternal life in Christ. It is tenderly and reverently that we commit her body to the grave.

The body returns to the earth, from which our bodies came.  The spirit returns to God who gave it, waiting for the day when both spirit and body shall again be united at the coming of the Lord.

The Committal

In the light of the promises God has given us in His Word and in as much as it has pleased the Lord in His sovereign wisdom and purpose to take from us someone we have loved, we now commit her body to its final resting place to await the fulfillment of another promise of Scripture.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him…. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

I Thessalonians 4

Since it has pleased Almighty God in His great mercy to take to himself the soul of our dear Beatie, we commit her body to the ground – earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who will transform our lowly bodies, so that they will be like His glorious body.

Having committed Beatie’s body to the ground and her Spirit to Jesus we can now say: “Thank you for all you have given to us in your long and loving, life.” And we must make a promise to each other… The good Beat has shown to us during her life we must go from this graveside and show to others.

Faithful God, Lord of all creation, you desire that nothing redeemed by your Son will ever be lost, and that the just will be raised up on the last day. Comfort us today with the word of your promise as we return the ashes of our brother Ainsworth to the earth.

Grant Ainsworth and his beloved wife Beatie a place of rest and peace. Confirm us in our hope that they will be created anew on the day when you will raise them up in glory to live with you and all the saints forever and ever.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and staff they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

 

Let us pray.

May the peace of God, which is beyond all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ bless and console us and gently wipe every tear from our eyes: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Go in the peace of Christ.