Today we have heard of the death of a friend - always a sad thing. C and his late wife R came to live in our village not long after we (my first husband and I) arrived up here from the Midlands. They took over the village Post Office and Shop.
From that day on the shop became the hub of the village. We went there for our papers in the morning and if anyone was not well, C would deliver the paper without being asked - somebody would have reported it to him in the shop. Nothing was too much trouble for them. R baked delicious goodies for sale - by the slice if that was all that was needed. Old ladies had their orders delivered and their list collected if necessary. When my husband was seriously ill and I was housebound C would call and make me go out for the afternoon, taking over the job of sitting with the invalid. On market day he would call in for my fruit and vegetable order and leave it on the doorstep later in the day.
They had had tragedy in their own lives, losing their son at a very early age.
Eventually they decided to retire, sold the shop and moved on. We all missed them terribly. Some years later R also died and now, today, we have heard that C has succumbed to cancer.
I - and many others I am sure - feel a great sadness at the death of this humble, unassuming man, who was always smiling and good-humoured. Good-bye C, I shall miss you. It has been a priviledge to know you.