On Christmas Eve last year my brother (our Ronnie) was found in the road with extensive head injuries and was rushed to hospital. He passed away on Boxing Day without gaining consciousness and we hope without feeling any pain.
It was his funeral on Thursday and with the help of his friends, mainly Becky and Melvyn we gave him the send off he deserved. The chapel of rest was full to bursting point and the eulogies, in the main, were funny, telling stories of his childhood and adulthood, there were tears but mainly there was laughter.
Our sister Stacey told of how safe she felt when he was around and how much she loved and missed him.
Simon, his friend, landlord and boss said that he was a decent, genuine guy and a real character and the he considered him to he a loyal friend. He told of how Ron enjoyed a pint or two... or three or four or way more. How he lived every day as if it was his last because sure as hell one day will be. How he burnt the candle at both ends and in the middle too.
I told tales of our childhood and remembered the halcyon days when children were allowed to play out all day with just a jam sandwich and a bottle of water to keep them going. How we had so much fun playing in the fields and woods surrounding our home. How he could find mischief in anything and everything and how he was the first boy at our school to get a public caning.
Becky had placed a packet of Morning Glory seeds on every seat to remember him by and at the pub later we were told the significance of this!
The pub was also filled with his friends telling stories of how he would do anything for anyone, give help without asking for anything in return, how his generosity knew no bounds, arriving at the pub with fish and chips for everyone or giving his time to help those closest to him. How he was always reliable always being where he said he would despite being up partying for most of the previous night. How much loved and respected he was by all.
Maybe he knew what was to be because he had a big party, with a band, for his 64th birthday in November despite everyone saying he should wait until his 65th.
He loved his motor bikes and it goes without saying that he would ride them faster than anyone else around him. We thought that that would be how it would end but not so.
The service was taken by a humanist celebrant and we chose Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin for the music. Kevin, the celebrant finished with the perfect poem
I soar away into speed's breeze
the engine's power between my knees
The throttle trembles in my hand
At my control, at my command!
In the droning rumble of the motor's spimd
my problems, troubles and cares are drowned.
Nothing keeps me from the sky,
And I can ride where eagles fly!
I dig my heals into the pegs,
tune every muscle 'till my legs
are synchronized with my machine,
to feel the curves and with it lean,
to live the thrills of sudden hills,
the heart-quickening panic of would-be spills.
Don't call me back to earth again
where I must walk like other men.
All is quiet now
The rush has gone
I've never traveled this far
Don't know where I'm going
or where all has gone
The sun is bright
and there's a cool breeze
I wouldn't mind if this ride .....
..... would last forever.
So we said goodbye to Our Ronnie in the best way we could but remembering the huge hole he has left in our lives because his larger than life personality filled all our hearts at some point during his life.