This is about an elderly couple, both born in 1933, just a few months older than Peter is and I am. We’ve known them for ages. When we moved, we lost touch for a while. Then we found out they had moved too. It turned out they lived not far away from where we lived. Indeed, what a surprise this was! They had moved into a very beautiful new home in a village for the elderly. From then on we started seeing each other about once a month for coffee and cake and a few games of Rummy. They always enjoyed playing this game with us. We had some good times together. Both of them suffered some ill-health; we thought the husband more so than the wife. We couldn’t see them for quite some time because the husband apparently was in a bad way, so the wife said on the phone not to come and visit. Should we have made an effort to see them anyway? Instead, I always waited for them to tell us when we could see them again. I wrote them a Christmas card. They knew that we had gone overseas for a while and that one of our daughters had died shortly before we left. So I wrote in the card a bit about our overseas trip and that we were now back home again. When we didn’t hear from them, I should have made a phone-call finding out how they were. But I didn’t ring. Why do I tend to put off phone-calls like this?
Then, yesterday, we got a phone-call from one of their sons. “Mum died last Friday,” he said. I thought I hadn’t heard right. “Did you say your Mum died?” I asked. He confirmed it and explained the funeral service would be on Friday at 11 o’clock at the Catholic Church in Dapto with the funeral procession going to the Memorial Park in Dapto after the service. And he said all the details were in the Illawarra Mercury if we wanted to have a look. “How’s your Dad?” I asked. His response was that he’s very shocked. But the family is with him. They are of Dutch origin and have a large family in Australia and overseas.