I was very moved yesterday. The Furlong dog and I met a man sitting on a wooden bench in the shade there, in our nearby cemetery. It was a very hot day yesterday – as it is today. I only remembered to write about this poignant incident because I saw the same man again today – in the distance.
Anyway, the old man and me, had a wonderful chat about this village – oops – “town” when we first came here fifteen years ago. We talked about how it had changed. How his old mother had died twenty years ago in the old age home that used to be here, before Government regulation as to window sill height and door widths had forced the old Victorian place to close, to the detriment of the whole community. We told each other about our children and grandchildren, He had three children and some already grown up grandchildren, none of whom lived in our village – sorry, town.
He was a real Yorkshireman, cloth cap and all. With the accent. His children had all made good in other places. He didn’t have a dog any more. And he saw his children infrequently. It was a lovely chat.
The Furlong dog disturbed it by pooing under a tree and I had to attend to that. The man on the bench got up and tipped his cap to me.
“Just got to get along now. Better see how the wife is doing”, he said.
I saw him walk up the path and stand for a long time in front of a new gravestone.
And then he wandered on, up the hill.
The Furlong dog and I were curious of course, so we also went to the gravestone. It stood next to an older one of “Loving mother and grandmother” who had died twenty years ago. The new one was also to “Loving mother of three children and grandmother”. She had died last year.
Today, he must have come to visit her again. I hope he found her well.