It was Christmas and it was stinking hot.
Everyone had sweat oozing out of every pore.
It had been a tough year, everyone was worn out.
Even so, we gathered in memory of Simmo.
He’d have been embarrassed knowing he died at such an inopportune time and had caused us all to turn out at a time we’d rather be home sitting under the air-con.
But such was our sense of connection to Simmo that we put aside our own comfort and made the effort to honour a man whose life had impacted on us all.
The family delayed the memorial until the evening hoping it might be a bit more comfortable, but it wasn’t. It was one of those nights we hated, as the temperature didn’t drop and at eight that night it was still in the high twenties.
We gathered around the pond in his back yard, he liked his pond; it gave him peace he’d once said to us.
His wife, Marge, handed out candles and said she was pleased we’d shown up. He was a good man we’d replied as we took the tiny candle and lit it, setting it adrift on the pond.
We all stood there watching as the little flames floated and bobbed about on the pond. His son, Harry, said a few words, then his daughter Mary.
They were beautiful words, they knew their dad, and summed him up perfectly. We nodded in agreement.
Afterwards, Marge invited us to share in the BBQ. There was a supply of sausages and a salad or two. Simmo was a man of simple taste, he wouldn’t have wanted anything extravagant so we enjoyed the humble sausage sandwich thinking of him and remembering the many times we’d shared a beer and a sanger with him sitting with our feet dangling in the pond. Though we didn’t think it appropriate to do so on this night.
Rather this was a night to recall what once was and realise life wouldn’t be the same again.