Friday, 15 August 2008

Sydney - Saying Goodbye to Mum

12 to 17/08/08 Sydney 222(7004) kms
June Daphne Langston -
my heroic, crazy mother.

We drove from Derby on the 11th August and met up with a friend from Tamworth, Sharon Gosson, who had moved here a few months earlier to take up a temporary posting as a mid wife. Thanks to her kindness, we were able to leave our car and trailer safely in her care whilst we flew to Sydney on the 12th in a direct flight.

We returned to Broome on the 17th August.

I wrote only one blog in Sydney. It follows.

15/08/08 Camden

My dear old Mum passed away on Monday morning with her mate of more than sixty years with her. We knew it was coming but were devastated anyway. The funeral was held on Thursday in Camden, with over a hundred people in attendance at the Camden Baptist Church. Family members all had a hand in the planning of a service designed to celebrate Mum's achievements in life and show her character and personality. Man, there was some love in the room!

From the moment the eldest grandsons from four of the families (Jayden Cummins, Tim Blaxland, Jeremy Orchard and Chris Langston) carried Mum's casket in to the sound of a recording of Mum playing "The Entertainer", this was a special service which recognised Mum's faith and great capacity for love. My sister Sue Blaxland bravely read a wonderful poem about Mum being chosen to be a new seedling in God's garden and I spoke of my memories of Mum.

We sang the "The Old Rugged Cross" and "The Day My Lord Hath Gavest" but perhaps the most poignant moment was a recording of Mum playing and singing "May You Always Walk In Sunshine". Mum, herself, was helping us out with the celebrations. A line in the song, sung straight to my heart, had been a theme she had returned to again and again throughout my life ... "may you always be a dreamer, may your wildest dreams come true" ... was a reminder of the faith she had in my ability to both dream and survive. I'm not sure where I will find that external confidence from now but I must try.

Of Mum I said his - "Heaven sent, heaven bound and glory in between."

The family would be quick to thank Brian Stewart who led the service and spoke of the need for us to build up our eternal behaviours and relationships and set aside many of our ephemeral ones. Brian was a great help in the planning of the service and support for Dad.

Whilst all members of Mum's immediate family contributed to her being sent to rest with great dignity and in a way which reflected her character, my brother Art was the rock upon which all the organisation was built. Thanks to my many friends for their expressions of sympathy and support.

Now comes the difficulty of starting everyday without her - harder for each of us by degrees but hardest for Dad. Their love affair isn't over. In 1992, Dad had a quadruple bypass but the doctors didn't manage to cut Mum from his heart so I can't believe her death will be any more successful. We will struggle to make each new day beautiful but Mum's favourite saying should act as a final instruction to us all: THIS TOO WILL PASS

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