One Wedding and a Funeral
We arrived in New Zealand frayed and thread bare. Of all the trans-global flights i have taken this was me at the end of my tether. The newborn had decided to create a lethal nappy on touchdown and the three year old who was asleep had to be woken and screamed to the top of her lungs that she didnt want to go to New Zealand. As my eyes hung from my skull at the end of 30 hours travel, I could barely make out the words ‘Family Room’. After a forced time-out, Jan and I declared we would take a stopover in future. Three children was that step further and while they had been almost perfect the entire trip, they waited until Auckland to lose it.
In any case we survived and part of the reason for our rushed journey was to arrive in time for both the hen and stag of my sisters wedding. We made it with 24 hours to spare. As all weddings should be, this time was to be a joyous celebration and the union of two of my favourite people in the world but upon return from the stag weekend, my eyes once more hanging from my head, I received news from my sister that our paternal grandfather had passed away. I had touched upon the subject of losing grandparents in ‘Elders and Betters’ and as someone who had quarter of a century with all of my grandparents, this felt like the closing of a chapter with that treasured generation.
My sister and I travelled to my birthplace of Christchurch for the funeral. She simply had to put thoughts of her wedding to one side as we paid respectsto our wonderful grandad. As I am the eldest grandchild, I was asked to give a eulogy and in fact chose to read from ‘elders and betters’ with some additional reflections. I stumbled my way through it. My eyes once more clouding the many in the church who paid their respects.
After the service I walked to grandads house and looked with fondness over the books, the photos of his great grandchildren and the old clock that hadnt been wound in a few days. I was glad to be able to give a proper goodbye to one of my grandparents. Jasmine and I returned to Auckland with less than 36 hours to the wedding. On the Waiheke ferry Jasmine tried to rest and calm the many things that cluttered her mind at the time.
At 2pm on the 16th of March, Jasmine Muir became Jasmine McKenna and another person in my family kept that Irish connection alive. Both she and I are married to Dubliners now. While I cant speak for her and her new beau, I couldnt be happier with my Dublin lass.