I went out for my walk around the park just now and I thought long and hard (well for 40 minutes at least !!) whether I should write a post about his passing, given that I'd only met him a few times and didn't really know him that well. But although the blogging community is huge, sometimes the lesser numbers who follow the lives of those who have become friends on here can make it a small community too.
Daffy blogged about her dad and spoke about him to me so much over the last few years that I FEEL like I knew him quite well. Knew. Not know. Still takes a bit of getting used to.
I'd never known a Communist before meeting Ron. Never spoke with one and, obviously, never had one speak to me. He was my one and only Communist !! Of course we never discussed his political or (non) religious beliefs at all as on the few occasion when we were in a room together, it was with everyone else and the conversation was about his short visit from the nursing home or to celebrate a birthday. Not really conducive to political chit chat and I was thankful for that. What I know about politics could be written on a beer coaster.....a very small beer coaster at that.
But I know his daughter. I know his son a little too. If you believe that the success criteria of good parenting is to look at the lives of their children, then Ron (and Joan of course) have left a wonderful legacy. Thankfully Joan is still around to both further help and guide the lives of Daphne and Michael but much more importantly, to tend to my bloody garden !
Even though we knew the end was near, his passing this morning was still a shock. Daphne and the family had precious last moments over the previous 2 days with him to say goodbyes without letting on that they WERE saying goodbye as he never wanted to be told he was dying. Maybe if no one told him, it wouldn't happen. Well, Ron, the NHS are good but not THAT good.
When I was out on my walk and thinking about doing this post, I'd got Matt Munro singing away in my ear. No, not literally as sadly he's dead too. No, his album was on my MP3 player and suddenly he started singing "My Way" which seemed to answer my question. Yes I would write this post about him. Now I know this became Frank Sinatra's signature song but it was somehow appropriate that a British singer should be performing it to me today and old Matt did have a very special voice.
I listened very carefully to the lyrics even though like most of us, I knew them pretty well already. They just seemed so apt today and I guess that's why a lot of people ask for it to be the song played at their funeral. The final curtain and all that.
Regrets ? Yes I'm sure he had a few. But then again.....well you know the song.
So goodbye Ron. You stuck to your beliefs right to the very end. No requests for a priest or Gordon Brown to appear at your bedside. Ok that might have really hastened your death ! You've left behind a strong, caring, generous family who will remember you as long as they live. There are also a lot of people who didn't know you that well but wished they had, and I count myself in that group.
Just one last thing though, Ron. If you're reading this, then there IS an afterlife and guess what ? You were wrong, you old Commie coot !!