I do truly believe that life shows you the way. I know that some people will roll their eyes, but have you ever considered that for all the planning you do, for all the organising and lists and preparation for the future does it work out as you planned? Ever?
So with this in mind I want to write about my dear friend Rod Clarricoats. In January when I wrote my blog I said how a dear friend had been immediately there for me. ( read here ) I said how this person was an old friend the type that is just there in the background. I had not spoken directly to Rod for over thirty years, but he found me on FB many years ago and when I needed him, without prompting, he messaged me at a dark time. That was Rod: always there for you when you needed him, always kind.
I have said in my post how he made me think about where I was and how lucky I was, and when I told him he was always a kind bugger he responded by saying that he was a now ‘a kind old bugger.’ He was the same age as me: fifty six.
We messaged each other a few more times in February and he asked about the campsite I was thinking of setting up: and told me that he would be in France this summer and if he could he would come to visit.
Yesterday I found out through FaceBook that Rod died on Friday morning. I am ashamed to say that I had not seen his post on Facebook: a meme about not letting cancer win. From what his family have written Rod acquired an infection and died quickly. I was so shocked.
He had never told me that he was ill, he had still simply been there for me all these years later and now he was gone.
Years ago when we were at college together, and going to Soul Weekenders in Essex in England, Rod was one of my bestest friends: when my heart was broken he would pick me up and take me out; and even when I moved to Wolverhampton with my future husband (not the one I have now) he would visit my mum; sometimes being a bugger and taking a different girl each time! Over time we lost touch, our lives took different paths and Rod moved to Wales with his family. From his posts on Facebook he was a happy man, blessed with a loving family.
We met at college: we were never an item but I know that one of the things he loved about me was my strength of character. It was the beginning of the eightees so there we would be in our two tone jeans. I can remember arriving at college one day as the older year had finished their exams and leaving and there was Rod: with all his friends in the thick of it throwing flour, and shaving foam. As it progressed they bought eggs and cornered my dear friend Aud and I in the ‘girls’ loos and decided to ‘make us into a cake!’ Don’t get me wrong we had given as good as we got! I also remember my broken heart and Rod taking me and Aud to the pub on a Sunday night; and telling the said perpetrator of my broken heart to ‘sod off’ because he wouldn’t leave me alone. That was Rod!
So I am writing this post because Rod has reminded me (as he did in January) that you have to make the most of life; because you never know what it has planned for you. I have many jobs to do around the house but I need to write and get my book out there. I feel that urgent need now because life really is too short. With life showing me the way from the messages and contacts about what I have written it is important to help others in times of difficulty. I will dedicate my book to Rod.
I have cried for a man that I hadn’t seen in thirty years, and I am crying now, because I realise that I have lost one of the good people who have been in my life. If he were here he would tell me to shut up and get on with it, whilst giving me cuddle at the same time.
So Rod: you’ve inspired me to get this done. Thank you my friend.
Au revoir (because I know we will meet again one day.)