I took the children to W5 on Thursday where we met my Dad and my 9 year old niece who was staying with them for the weekend. We all had fun, though I was slightly freaked out when Duncan ran ahead of me when we were getting ready to leave, and I couldn't find him for a few minutes. Lady found him in the shop, helping himself to the pic-and-mix sweets. Oops. I told him that it is naughty to eat those sweets, he said 'sorry Mummy'. I'm sure he really meant it. ;-)
Lady went to her Granda's place and stayed over with her cousin for 2 nights She enjoyed some spoiling, courtesy of G. and had a lovely time.
I heard that they were caught in the act of a midnight feast, albeit, a very healthy feast; they were eating a big bowl of shredded wheat cereal!
I was so sad to learn on Saturday morning that my uncle had died suddenly. I feel so bad for my 4 cousins. Their mother (my Dad's sister) died 27 years ago when she was 28 and they were all small boys so they have no parents now. They were a very close family and they are devastated.
My sister flew over from London and stayed with us on Saturday night. Then we all drove to our home town on Sunday. There was a service at the parish cemetery where my Mum and grandparents are buried, and lots of the family gathered. Occasions like this bring out my latent Catholicism. It was nice to see the hundreds of people around their family graves, and the priest, who's a very nice man, spoke movingly about remembering our dead relatives and friends with love and pride. I had all the children with me, I was able to abandon Thomas and Lady to whoever was around while I stayed with Duncan. (my sister told me later that when the priest said 'the lord is risen...', Lady asked her 'is he talking about Voldemort?' :-o You see how latent my religion is?) Duncan was a bit overawed by the crowd, even though it was well dispersed. He disliked the loudspeaker too and covered his ears when there was singing. Since he was trying to eat a bag of crisps, I held my hands over his ears for him. When he was really restless, we left and walked down the road a bit where he played on a grassy slope. I was aware that people were looking at us because he was noisy and running around a lot. They may have been wondering why, perhaps thinking he was naughty or I was a bad parent. Or perhaps they were enchanted by Duncan's beauty! I did feel a bit weird, but I had wanted to go and I'm glad I did, even if I had a good run around at the same time.
After tea at my lovely aunt G's house, Duncan went with my Dad while I took the other children and my sister out to see our Granny. She's just come out of hospital and she is very weak and tired and upset by her son-in-law's death. She kept saying 'I just want to die'. Bless that wonderful woman. It is so hard on her to watch so many people she loves leave her forever.
We went to my uncle's house to see our cousins. I'm really fond of these cousins, though I don't see them often now. There were tears and laughter in the short time I was able to stay. The wake will be starting properly today, and the house will be full of people, night and day until the funeral on Wednesday.
My sister stayed in town and I drove the children home, feeling tired and emotional. These are the things that happen though.