I went to a funeral yesterday in a beautiful little Yorkshire village. And yes, it was a sad occasion, but mostly it was a warm celebration of a life well lived. I mean, really well-lived. My friend’s father, I discovered, had had some very hard times to live through in his 80 years. I guess it taught him to take chances and to pack a lot in to eight decades. What stuck in my mind as I drove back in the late afternoon, was how he was always learning something new. Every time I saw him, he’d have an exciting new project going on. In the last ten years, his passion was ballroom dancing. He not only learned to dance, but as with all the skills he’d learnt, he taught as well, passing on his knowledge to others. Once or twice a week, he would catch the local bus to the village hall to meet his beloved dance partner there for classes. Oh, and did I mention he was blind? He was quite a character.
The image that will stay with me is his dancing shoes, in pride of place on top of the coffin. Those well-worn shoes summed him up. It made me think about what symbol I would like to be remembered for. Not a bad question to ponder, as it tends to change the shape of the day.