Well I managed travelling on the train with my Mum on Monday despite not being used to travelling on my own anywhere as I am used to being taken. But it was a positive experience - so much so that I will travel to Lincoln on my own again to see my family members. The service out went from Peterborough to Spalding, Sleaford, Ruskington, Metheringham and then Lincoln. Through beautiful Lincolnshire countryside and changing landscape on a country service that was comfortable and where the conductor was helpful, helping mum with her walking trolley and we arrived in Lincoln for 12 noon. My uncle was there to pick us up and we went back to his had a little lunch and then travelled to Ollerton. The service was held at the same place that we had Uncle Stan's funeral seven years before, beautiful and simple. We then attempted to follow the rest of the family to the reception and got lost. We caught up eventually.
Although a sad occasion the best part of any funeral is when the family meet and start talking renewing old bonds, catching up, remembering those gone before us and just spending time together. New friendships being forged as well as in a family such as ours there is always a new addition somewhere down the line. Not all the family were there a lot of the younger ones did not know her, others could not get time off work but those who needed to be present were there. I am the seventh eldest of 21 first generation grandchildren. My oldest cousin is 72 so there is quite a differential in years. I also believe we are down to the fifth generation already. My grandmother would have been in her element with all those children.
My aunty's children and grandchildren were pleased that she made it as they did not know whether she would be able to get and mum was very close to her sister who passed a week short of her 88th birthday. In fact my cousin Kathy was one of mum's bridesmaids.
All too soon it was time to come away I don't think any of us wanted to part but I believe that there is to be a cousin's night later on in the year where we are all going out for the evening together and having a massive catch up as well. Its a lot of years since we have done that.
We were dropped off at the station by the skin of our teeth and I managed to get mum up over the bridge (could not find the lift) and on to the right platform. There were two trains to go out and I did not know which one was the best to be taken and so approached the conductor. He indicated that he thought the train he was on would be quicker it was going to Retford and then we could change at Retford get on the London train straight through to Peterborough. This young man was kindness itself. He helped me on the train with Mum saw that she did not move around too well without her trolley and then came and told us that he had rung ahead to Retford as apparently all the lifts are closed down and he realised she would not be able to manage the steps and the bridge. Also Retford was only manned by a couple of people of an evening so he had rung ahead and arranged for someone to escort mum and I over the train line; what a caring person. To me that little bit of extra effort made our journey that little bit more easier although the train itself was not very warm and we got swung around a bit in our seats. It was a bitter evening. On reaching Retford another gentleman was waiting for us to take us across the tracks we then had a 20 minute wait for the train to London. Fortunately that was a very comfortable and warm train and we soon defrosted a bit, by this time mum was shattered. Fortunately OH was waiting for us at the station so we did not have to wait and then we whisked her home into the warmth. So it was a very emotional and tiring day but it was good to be with my family again. I am very lucky to belong to a loving caring family. They are more than a blessing each and every one of them.