Out of the blue …

You think it doesn’t matter but it does …

You think I don’t notice but I do …

Sometimes when life throws up its worst, little kindnesses are all we have.

A phone call, a facebook message, a text, a bunch of flowers, a visit, a cup of tea. They may seem meaningless but believe me they’re not.

When my dad passed away in December 2009 it was my first experience of losing a parent. I remember as a family we were taken aback by the love and support we received from family and friends and people we barely remembered from Dad’s long life.

It is one thing to give that support to others.

It is a whole new experience to receive it.

In October 2010 we lost Steve’s dad, my mum in April 2011 and last Thursday, out of the blue, we lost our lovely, maddening, fun-filled Pat, Steve’s mum. Somehow I think we all just assumed she’d be around for ever. She’d won bridge the day before and we’d told her a few days earlier that if you google “best sponge cake” 3,830,000 options come up and she is number 1. She’d wanted me to approach Fielders Cornflour to get them to sponsor the blog šŸ™‚

tom 'serenading' gran

Grandson Tom ‘serenading’ Pat a couple of weeks ago.

It’s no small thing to lose four parents in four years. Except that this time round it was different. Pat rang our family doctor and friend, John Schibeci at 6.30am distressed and in the few minutes between the call and John’s arrival we’d lost her. That heart, which had spent its whole life giving, finally gave out itself. Living closest, Steve and I arrived shortly after. The police were there, the ambos too, but after they left, John gave us both hugs and in his beautiful gentle way, said this …Ā “All the official stuff is done. There is no hurry to ring the funeral directors. Do it in your own time. You can take the whole day if you want. Ring them this evening if you need. Pat will be fine.”

So that’s what we did. It gave Steve’s sister the chance to fly down from Brisbane and drive up from Sydney, close the door quietly and have a moment together at home to say goodbye. It gave us the chance to be together, make plans and phone calls, go in and give her hand a little rub, kiss her goodbye.

If John hadn’t said that to us, the day would have played out quite differently.

We didn’t know you could take your time to say goodbye.

I just wanted to share this with you so that if given the the chance, you’ll know it’s an option.

Pat had a beautiful send off on Monday, lots of laughter. Steve said she’d be sorry she’d missed it. Her grandson Tom told some lovely stories of how Gran was always riding the grandkids about something “If your hair was too long you were a lout. If it was too short you looked like a criminal.”Ā Tommy said “I just hope someone has given the Lord notice that she’s on her way and that he’s told his son to get a decent haircut.”Ā  She would have rocked back with laughter at that one.

Fortunately he didn’t sing.

We suffered another great loss during the week.

One of our best friends. Too young. Too raw to talk about here.

It’s not been a good week.

Both Pat and Cam loved their swing music.

This is for you my lovelies. I’ll close my eyes and pretend you’re here.

And give thanks for our wonderful friends and family. Thank you so much for your kindness and support over the past few days. xxxx

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    1. Posted 10 July 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Marg & Steve – I was so sad to hear of your loss. I’m glad you got to have the time with her and a wonderful send off and thank you for the advice.

      I’m tapping my foot to Begin the Beguine as I type this.

      Thinking of you both.

      • Marg
        Posted 10 July 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        Appreciate that Libby. Crank the volume baby and get hubby up and dance! Hoping to get down to the Turner exhibition. Will be in touch. Marg x

    2. Posted 10 July 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      My sincerest and deepest sympathies for your family’s losses Marg.
      Love to you and yours,

      • Marg
        Posted 10 July 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        And to you. Thankyou Shalagh xo

    3. Janeen
      Posted 11 July 2013 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      The Hogans are so easy to love x

      • Marg
        Posted 11 July 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Yes Neeny, when you catch them on a good day, there’s none better šŸ˜‰ xxxx

    4. Posted 11 July 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      So sorry to hear this news and sending love to you and your family. x
      I was given the gift of time when my brother passed away very suddenly and was able to fly in and be with him for a while….I told him I’d see his safe and I did. It made a huge difference x

      • Marg
        Posted 11 July 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Thanks Lisa. I know it’s not always possible. Every circumstance is different. Every family is different but at least if people know they don’t have to rush, that might help make such a sad day a little easier. xxxx

    5. Posted 11 July 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. XO I too have lost four dear ones in the past 1.5 years and I share your grief, shock, and sadness. Wishing you peace and quiet moments to remember and celebrate them. XO

      • Marg
        Posted 11 July 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Thanks Krista. What a time you’ve had! Life hey? Take care lovely x

    6. Posted 11 July 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Oh Marg I am so sorry for your loss. You captured her so beautifully in your photographs. There was a joy about her that was palpable. hugs to you all.
      F xx

      • Marg
        Posted 11 July 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Thanks Fran. I know the family tap into this from time to time. They’ll all appreciate your thoughts I know. xx

    7. Bin P
      Posted 11 July 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Dear Marg and Steve,
      We can’t begin to imagine your sadness, loss and grief. we send you our love and hugs. I’m going to look up Pat’s sponge recipe and bake it in the next little while.
      with love
      Bin & Mick

      • Marg
        Posted 11 July 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Thank you guys. Yes a tough week. I’ll pass on the hugs for sure. Good luck with the sponge. Have the oven nice and hot! And remember… light touch, light touch šŸ™‚ xx

    8. Sally Cowlishaw
      Posted 12 July 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Hi Marg and Steve
      I am so sorry for your losses. Take care of each other. Hope we can catch up soon.
      Lots of love and kisses

      • Marg
        Posted 14 July 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        It’d be lovely to catch up Sal. Thanks for the thoughts. Hugs back at you. All home safe. V tired xxxx

      Posted 21 July 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Hi, So sorry to hear your news about Pat. I lived near Oberon and actually had lots to do with Pat over the years I was there, truly a great lady.

      • Marg
        Posted 21 July 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Just read this to Stephen Bev. Your thoughts very much appreciated. Pat truly loved Oberon and missed all her local friends when she moved in to Bathurst. I’ll pass this on the rest of the family. She was a great girl indeed. Marg x

    10. Kate
      Posted 29 July 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Dear beautiful Hogan’s,
      I just read this blog post and as with many, my eyes filled. Such a lovely way to express the ineffable sadness of loss. Love to all and more. xx

      • Marg
        Posted 29 July 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Kate. Lots of love back at ya x

    11. Posted 23 October 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Oh….that just made me cry…. I am a little late in reading this but thanks for sharing with me…
      We should all have such great dames in our lives as to leave us laughing and crying….and wanting more time with them…
      Though I never met her….your pics and thoughts about her placed her into my heart…
      What a legacy she left…

      • Marg
        Posted 23 October 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        Thanks Evie. She was a great girl. And she’s very missed. I’ve been musing this week about whether I might do some pieces on some of her other recipes. Cooking Without Pat šŸ™ It won’t be the same but recipes have a way of bringing you closer to people you’ve lost. I do it with my own mum’s. It’s good heart food. x

        • Posted 24 October 2013 at 6:16 am | Permalink

          That would be wonderful! I will keep watching for those…. And yes – they do bring you closer…

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