Couple of thank yous- I never got to say

What a day yesterday was- dads funeral- so many things to say. First tiredness- it’s probably landed with all the Warbies, & the families. Made worse as it is pretty hot today.

In my black handbag I had a folded piece of paper with a couple of thank yous I intended to say as a mini speech in the marquee get together after the funeral. But I never said any of it. There were so many guests, all busy talking, eating have a drink- it never seemed the right time.


Dad had been to see the vicar 15 years back & arranged to be buried in the churchyard, & his wishes were to have a marquee get together in the next door field . All very good, but it has taken my 2 brothers Jeff  and Ian, who live locally mountains of preparation. I wanted to thank then for all the wonderful effort to arrange everything so fantastically. I wanted to mention their families who’ve all helped.


But I didn’t. Dad would’ve been proud it was such a lovely atmosphere, the field was mown grass, some hard treading for cars to drive over, toilets in place, food, bar, and flowers organised. Every day over the last fortnight there have been emails flying backwards & forwards keeping the other siblings who liver further away up to speed.

I also wanted to thank all the people who had come to dads funeral. The church was full. I never turned around once settled in a front pew- but I could tell from walking into the church as we followed dads coffin ( carried by 4 grandsons, & 2 grandsons- in law) ( if that is a term!)- all the pews were full. So I would say 250- 300. For their support for my dad, for all their good wishes, & cards over the past fortnight.

I was going to say how everyone  has their own memories of my dad- but no one has probably been told of for wearing nail varnish! I recall coming back for a weekend to the farm, whilst living away doing my art degree, Mum was stood at the aga striring gravy for the roast chicken. She saw my black nail varnish, & said ‘ you better get rid of that before your dad sees it. He’ll go mad’!

He was never very keen on any color nail varnish really, nor make up in general, for that matter. Funny how I can remember things so clearly for 35 years ago!

I had wanted to thank my cousin Ashley for his eulogy. But having heard it in the church it needed more than just a token thanks- it was absolutely fantastic. A great mixture of humour, warmth, making us all smile for over twenty mins. It wasn’t until the last sentence we all had a lump in in our throats & a tear in our eyes. He was truly brilliant.

Depending on what Ashley had said in the eulogy : I ;d written on my piece of paper that I may even retell the story about the sports car………

’31 st May I went to visit dad in hospital. He’d a bad chest and had been there since Saturday. The previous days had been quite unwell. So I was expecting the worst. But it was fantastic, he was sat up in bed, eating a good lunch, & greeted us with humor & conversation.
He told us about his dream the previous night- ‘buying a sports car- a convertible. He and mum we driving down country lanes’. Then he woke up. We chatted a while. I said mum sent her love & he waved as we left the ward. Driving home an hour later, I was phoned to hear he’d just passed away. Something so massive in my life. But I have this wonderful vision of dad & mum in a sports car. He was cheerful, happy, & that was a wonderful visit. So many things to say – but I’ll leave that for another day. Eric Warburton 13/06/1920′

I was going to mention in my little speech ‘ how dad on my wedding day,  at the reception had given his ‘father of the bride’ speech before the meal, so he could enjoy his food & not be fretting. Mind you, as I was sat next to him he still managed to tell me off for not finishing everything on my plate!

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The pendant I wore yesterday was one mum gave me on my 40th birthday. It had been her grandma’s Alice Maud- hence her name Maud. My mum is wearing it in the lovely photo of mum & dad when they were young used in the order of service.

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The whole day yesterday my dad was given such praise it was lovely to hear, & by the mere fact so many mourners had filled the church I was filled with pride. I had feared for the previous fortnight that I would be beyond sad on this day- but it some how felt surreal.

The Biggest thank you I was going to leave until the end, for dad, for being a great dad, father in law, grandad, great grandad & most of all husband.

But because I didn’t get up & say any of it. I didn’t want to throw the paper in the bin, just type it for this blog, so hopefully someone will hear the list of thank yous!

Oh I know what I wanted to say.

It was the swallow that flew down inside the church straight to the stained glass window during the funeral. It was having a good sweep round, but flew out quite quickly when we left the church. My brother reminded us about how on our last visit to see dad before he mentioned the sports car, he said he’d seen swallows flying around above his bed earlier that morning. Julian, Jeff & I manged to change the subject, probably back to a boring conversations like the weather; but how strange he mentioned swallows.

What a nice connection.


My friend Ali looked up the symbolism of swallows……’The swallow also represents love, care and affection towards family and friends, showing the loyalty of the person always returning to them. The bird also represents freedom and hope.’


4 thoughts on “Couple of thank yous- I never got to say

  1. All the Warby clam should feel so content that yesterday went so well. Fascinating hearing all about Eric’s early life in the eulogy, articulated so well by Ashley.
    I felt a sense of pride that I had been lucky enough to have been a very small part of the families get togethers on boxing days, which I always enjoyed.
    It was great to see so many people there & catch up with them. The marquee with the fabulous tea and I’m embarrassed to say I had a G & T at 4pm in the afternoon. What would Warby has said about that I wonder! Also I was wearing nail varnish…..
    God bless to you all and thank you for letting me be a part of the celebration of Eric’s full life.


    1. Thanks jude for reading the little piece about yesterday. You were always welcome at Dairy House. I think actually I was over at your house much more glad you shared the day with us all at Rostherne x


  2. Harvey is the image of your Dad when he was young! Feeling a little tearful Sue! He looked such an amazing man.
    Oh yes….. my Dad also would go mad if he saw any make-up on me or my three sisters. Strict rule of the house…..NO WARPAINT! 🙂 way back in the 70’s. t’was so hard!!!


    1. I think Harvey definitely has a look of my dad when he was younger. Thank you for reading this blog- it was sad but very an uplifting day. Glad your dad was just as strict with the ‘war paint’!but we survived. So pleased the weather wasn’t this hot- phew xx


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