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Author Topic: In Memory - an aniverssary post for an amazing man and an N.S. Member  (Read 315 times)

Offline JimBob

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Pardon my sentimental post, Its hard to belive it has been 7 years


by Jem Europe Hawkes by - Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 9:30am

It was the beginning of June this year (it was either the 30th of May or the 6th of June) and I was at work in Stargoat. I work Saturdays doing that job to which most 14 year old boys aspire: working in a guitar shop. That day a geezer sidled into the shop and wandered round so, being as he was leather jacket bound and had long purple hair, I thought this was the kind of guy I would like to serve. We chatted for a while and discovered we had a common love of the Ibanez brand of guitars. You might or might now know that it had taken me two years of scrimping and saving every little penny to buy myself an RG1570 Prestige Ibanez guitar last year. You know now!

I talked with him for a while and ha wandered off. I said to my boss Paul that I thought he would definitely be back to buy a guitar from us. Damn me for not being on commission eh!

The following week (possibly the week after) I went into work and Paul informed me that Eth (or KEN as Paul called him) had placed a large order for Ibanez guitars. He was a regular fixture after that and we always chatted. He ever accepted some of Paul's dodgy teas ... Paul likes the green and white teas so his regulars are always given a nice hot cup of something or another. Some we liked and others we really really didn't.

The Saturday after my birthday (10th of June is my birthday and no, it's not a hint), Kenny visited the shop and overheard me and Paul talking, my husband hadn't got me a gift of any kind and I was pulling a whinge. He popped out for a cig and later returned with a nice card. I was incredibly touched that he should bother. Soon after I received an open invitation to "come up and play" which was a bit different from being invited up to see somebody's etchings FNARR.

It didn't take long before we were chatting about anything and everything, not just guitars and music, but history and past partners and tarot cards and mysticism and dragons and ... the list is almost endless. Every time we got together we laughed. I took him to Sainsburys and he bought us a coffee one day, he went off to drop a prescription while I ordered and he snuck up behind me and jabbed me in the ribs. I screamed so loud that I think everyone looked. It took a few days to stop laughing.

There was also a day in town (strangely another coffee shop, was it our common love for java lava that brought us together?) where we cleared the Italian bistro by being all loud and giggly. He always accused me of getting "giddy" when we went out but I just always felt happy in his company.

As I grew from being fond of him to love him, I remember mailing my close friends (henceforth known as the coven) and asking if I was being stupid. I knew of course by this time that he did not have a long time to live and I wondered if I should allow myself to love him. I couldn't NOT love him. He had an infectious character and I just adored spending time with him. He repeatedly offered me money for petrol and I repeatedly refused. I did finally cave in and accept some the day I found out my husband had lost his job in October. I filled the car up, bought him some bread and stuff with the change. Our relationship was never about the fact that I had no money and he did. I will admit that he never let me buy the coffee though. Grrrrrrrrr. That actually makes me kind of sad to think about it now. But I did make at least 100 pots of coffee at his flat so I guess that goes part way towards repaying the debt.

We spent a lot of time together and although some of it was domestic, as we spent nearly 3 hours doing Tesco the other week, we always but ALWAYS had fun.

He came with my son, his friend Ben and myself to the Coventry Transport Museum and had a cracking time, depsite my friend (Karen I'm looking at you here) having lent me her SatNav which wanted us to drive through buildings and over footbridges. He was tired but really happy at the end of that day. I had planned to take him by myself to Stratford upon Avon where I was born.

A couple of weeks ago Eth decided that he would give me a few quid to tidy his flat and get him organised better. To be honest I was really glad because his flat and a huge cuddling  mess. He had to crab sideways to get into his bed because of the giant boxes with bags of crap on them. So Tuesday 3rd November I spent the whole day with him. I cleared and sorted and sifted through the crap and by the end of the day his flat was beautifully presentable. It was by far the nicest day's work I have ever or shall ever undertake. The pleasure of spending so many hours with him was entirely worth far more than any "job" could ever pay. I spent the Thursday with him too and this time we went through paperwork and he showed we where the will was kept and we put everything in order. I also tracked down some information and certificates he required. He had grand plans to buy a stupid car (Merc or Ferrari or Aston, my vote went to the Aston!) and so needed to reapply to get his driving license back.

I left work a little bit early on Saturday and we spent some time together chatting before I had to leave. I wanted to see him before my trip to Hamburg that would have me leaving home at 2.30 on Monday 9th. I also popped over to see him on Sunday for 10 minutes (primarily to ensure he enough cigs for whilst I was away, but basically an excuse because I didn't like leaving him for long periods of time) and met Neil briefly.

Eth texted me at exactly 2.30 on Monday morning as he knew I would be leaving at that time.

It reads:

"Have a good trip babes. See you when you get back XXX"

That is the last time I heard from him.

He was taken into hospital on Monday mid-morning. Tuesday morning his breathing became laboured and the MacMillan nurse advised via telephone to let him have some nice injections that would soothe his panic. I was told by Alan the ward nurse (whom I met when I went to gether Eth's possessions on Thursday) that he became much calmer and slept. Our mutual friend (and my Saturday boss) Paul was called and was with him holding his hand and he finally gave up his life. It was a peaceful and painless death.

I will put my house and all my worldly goods on the fact that Eth died whilst I was away to spare me the pain but I will always want to have been there for him.

I found amongst Eth's possessions a Telegraph Crossword book which was folded open and pressed up the outside of the bag so it was immediately visible - the back page reads:

"I leave everything to Jem K Weaver 10/11/09"

I now know that I was being thought of as he died and that will stay with me forever.

Since I met this man I have not been the same. I told him that I "proper" loved him once and he called me a soppy sod and hugged me but I truly did not know until now that he loved me as much as I loved him.

I am so sorry if this is painful for you to read but I wanted to share everything of Eth's that I have, and being as this is just 5 month's worth of memories, I wanted to write it all down.

Eth truly believe he had longer, maybe another couple of months at the flat and then perhaps some more in the hospice. There are songs unfinished.

I will never forget this man. I will never stop loving him. I hope that there is something after this life, I don't care how that forms but that there could be another chance to meet with him and talk more, to hold each other, to make up for the years we never knew each other.

Thank you for allowing me to outpour my soul in this way.

I'm grateful to my friends for being here for me and I am grateful to Eth's friends (who I hope will become my own also) as they might help me to learn more, to regale me with Eth stories and to build up the history behind the mystery.

I never knew that I could love someone like this who I was not related to or had not had a sexual relationship with. What can I say more than this? I love and miss Eth and I will never be able to find anyone like him again and it's not cuddling  fair.

Jem


 

Offline Karen W.

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JIM BOB AND JEM....Thank you both for this very beautiful very moving letter from Jem about her and  our Eth (Doc)..Do so miss him...making me laugh..when I didnt feel good at all..and thus making me feel better...He sure had a way about him that always cut through and made life so much more fun!
 

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