The start of the Easter break, the kids are on holiday, adults off work, and the weather is dull and wet, well surprise, surprise. There are loads of things in this world that you can count on being the same forever. It is almost as though it is written in a book somewhere and when imagination is lacking, nature just does what is expected. We all have things I am sure that we remember that will fit into that thought, but there are always the exceptions.
I remember an Easter holiday before I knew I had MS and before I had lost the wide eyed world of childhood. My Grandpa on my Fathers side loved his grandchildren with a passion that only grandparents can, probably because they can spoil kids and not have to sort out the results. His home which eventually I spent my early teenage years, had nearly an acres of garden, with formal sections, statues, huge trees, a swimming pool and my favorite thing, the gazebo. I know for a fact that although it would have been Grandpa’s idea it will have been the gardener, Mr Lowe, who did the work. Next to Grandpa I think Mr Lowe was my favorite old person in the world. To me he seemed to be a million years old, his face showed every laugh and every tear it had ever seen, coloured by a life spent outside and with a heart that was deeper than an ocean. The flat cap sat glued to his head and his pipe appeared attached to his gums, he had no visible teeth and I don’t doubt there were none. He walked with a slight stoop and always looked as though he was heading off to do something important. The garden was his pride and joy and he knew every inch of it. That Easter Grandpa laid on an Egg hunt, all the grandchildren and their families were brought to the house after Church for a huge family lunch.
There were so many of us there that 3 dinning tables were needed and I now feel really sorry for Mary the housekeeper, who had to feed all of us, when I say feed it was closer to stuff all of us. I of course along with my brothers, sister and my cousins had started the day with chocolate eggs for breakfast that day, but despite this when the announcement of an egg hunt was made we all ran as fast as our over filled bodies could take us into the garden. At first there was a huge smile on Mr Lowes face as he greeted us with a sweep of his arm to start searching his sun drenched pride and joy, that sort of changed as we trampled straight over everything to find those eggs. What happened next you really would think had been realised before the surprise had been put in action. 12 marauding children destroyed daffodil, tulips, snowdrops and small plants as they fought over snatched and devoured each egg as it was found. No rules had been set out it was all about the first to find. Mr Lowe looked more unhappy with every second that past and so did his garden. Once we had chocolate smeared on our Sunday best clothes, our arms were full of slowly melting eggs and our stomachs still fuller, we all started to headed inside. I bet you guess what happened next before I tell you, unfortunately although there are loads of bathrooms in Friendville they are all quite far apart and there is a limit to the number of heads that can be over a toilet at one time. The day was cut short and never repeated.
It isn’t the fun the chocolate, the being sick or any of those things, that I remember the most, it was the look on the face of a wonderful old man at the destruction that was done to his garden in just minutes. Mr Lowe is long gone, but if the ancient Egyptian were right, he is just that bit happier and wealthier today as his name has been remembered.