In the community computer room, we sat side by side viewing one computer screen and taking turns in selecting our favourite you tube artists. It is her turn and she asks for her favourite group from the 60's Procol Harum and "Whiter Shade of Pale".
As the tune ends, she enthuses "Isn't that just marvelous Helen; I never knew what they looked like. Her wheelchair she brings closer to the screen as we watch her late father playing with his orchestra and always, always she says "now Helen it is your turn to choose a song. During my weekly visits we travel the world, listen to concerts, laugh at comedians. Following a formal afternoon tea, with bone china cups and cakes we return to her beautiful room. As we wheel along the corridor we always stop to acknowledge the pen and wash portraits of her seven brothers and sisters, all painted on their second birthdays, then a painting of her beautiful father and mother.
Rose Ann, from childhood was a regular patient at various hospitals where surgeries were numerous.
Her glass is always half full. Her needs simple. She is generous, thoughtful and caring. Possessing a photographic memory she can recall events and meetings with precision. I first met her on our wedding day more than thirty years ago, she came to the church to extend her good wishes.
In Ireland, she is what we used call "A Black Irish Beauty". Jet black hair, blue eyes and porcelain skin.
Rose Ann died on Friday, December 14th at the age of three score and nine.
I know I will miss her very much and the joy and fun we shared on those weekly visits.
Tomorrow is her funeral and snow is promised. The poem "In memory of WB Yeats" by Auden comes to mind:
He disappeared in the dead of winter: The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted, And snow disfigured the public statues; The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day.