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Should Auld Acquaintance . . .

January 11, 2010

2nd Feb 2009

There was a time when me and Mrs D would go to 3-4 Burns Suppers around this time of the year. Since being struck with cancer, however, we have been forced to cut back on the number we attend. The most she felt able to cope with this year was one – but which one?

We narrowed the selection down to Tamworth or Walsall. We have lots of friends in both so it was not an easy choice to make. In the end we plumped for the Walsall event because it’s smaller than the Tamworth one (around 120 folk attending rather than the 300+ at Tamworth) and Mrs D felt she couldn’t cope with the larger crowd at Tamworth.

Another reason for choosing to attend the Walsall function was that two of our friends would be delivering speeches. The ‘Address to the Lassies’ and the ‘Reply on Behalf of the Lasses’ are meant to be comedic speeches and both Paul and Terry have a great sense of humour so we had high hopes for their speeches.

What clinched the decision in favour of attending the Walsall dinner, however, was a more practical consideration – it is less far to travel to from our house than is Tamworth and consequently in case of an emergency it would be much quicker to get Mrs D to hospital from Walsall than would be the case from Tamworth.

Such is the way the cancer affects the decisions we make in our lives now !!!

It was a good night – as it always is. Paul and Terry didn’t disappoint – both speeches producing tears of laughter. There were other tears too as Mrs D was given a warm welcome on arrival, many folk not expecting her to be fit to attend.

Mrs D enjoyed herself. She wasn’t well enough to dance but was determined she would attempt the Eightsome Reel – a fast, swirling dance that she loves. There were some anxious moments, But though racked with pains in her chest and struggling to breathe she managed to complete the dance – though at times I was almost carrying her through the steps to prevent her collapsing.

‘That showed them’, she said, as I helped her back to her seat. ‘I did it. I said I’d do the Eightsome Reel – and I have. That’ll show the buggers – writing me off.’

However, there was a price to be paid – in pain – for her herculean effort. She was struggling to breathe so we left before the evening finished.

In the car, Mrs D broke down in tears, sobbing uncontrollably. The thought that she would not see these dozens of friends again was too much. In bed later she pleaded to die – the fight was getting too hard. She cried herself to sleep in my arms

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2010 9:58 am

    Another precious memory to rejoice in the months and years to come…

  2. January 12, 2010 12:36 am

    What is a “Burn Supper”? Is it what us yanks call “Roasts”?

  3. January 12, 2010 2:54 pm

    YnB, shame on you and married to a Brit.. though I guess Burns was Scottish.. Robert Burns: apparently they’re all gaga over this dead poet and celebrate him every year .
    Duncan, please tell me I got that right?

    Pretty funny: burn/roast as in they burned the roast. But, ah… not that funny and you meant something different! back to the coffee, it’s early.

    Nonetheless it’s a good story, wish I could see a close up of you in the kilt!!

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