While it was wonderful to see my mother and meet my new stepfather and all the aunts and uncles and cousins, all I wanted to do was to go home. Ivan was dead. I needed to say goodbye, I wanted to be at his funeral.
I talked to Marty, I talked to my Dad in fact I talked to anyone who would listen and everyone said, stay where you are and enjoy your holiday, there is nothing you can do. The funeral was set for Tuesday and I was due to go home on Wednesday. The airline expected more money back then if you changed your flight and since I had none, I didn’t have any choice but to stay.
I didn’t get a lot of sleep, I cried a lot especially on the Tuesday. I knew I was going to miss him so much. The reality is, I still do, even after all these years, I wonder what he would think of what I have done in my life.
It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy visiting Christchurch, it snowed while we were there and Simon had his first experience of snow on the Port Hills, He wasn’t very impressed, it was too cold. But really my heart wasn’t in it. It was also hard to see Mum with someone else, I always hoped that they would get back together.
Finally we flew home. Muldoon was on the flight again from Christchurch to Wellington, Simon screamed that whole trip. Then we wandered around Wellington Airport for a while until our flight to Tauranga.
I was in for another shock. Marty and Jenni had gone to his boss’s house for dinner on the Monday night. On the way home a woman went through an intersection and straight into the side of the van. She hit right where Suzanne would normally sit. Jenni was in the front seat, the van almost tipped on it’s side. Jenni was screaming hanging on for dear life. Fortunately, Marty was able to get control and it didn’t tip over. Neither of them were hurt. Marty didn’t tell me til I got home, he didn’t want to upset me even more.
When the family of the woman came to pick her up, someone said, well Mum you have done it again. Turns out it was a brand new car, she had just written another one off. We were hoping the insurance company would write the van off, but they didn’t they decided to fix it.
Marty and Jenni went to Ivan’s funeral. Dad and my brother went as well. It was nice he said. His daughters came from Wellington though he didn’t speak to them.
The day after I got home, I rang Ivan’s landlady. I wanted to find out what happened. She said that he got the divorce papers from the lawyers, the night before he died. He read them and said well that’s that then, He went to bed that night and just didn’t wake up. They thought it was a heart attack or something. When his daughter’s came they just put all his belongings in his car and took them away. They also said they were surprised that I wasn’t at the funeral.
We talked for a long time. I told her how much I would miss him, how much he meant to me and how sorry I was that I wasn’t there. And how sad I was that we never said good bye. I talked to her a couple of times after that and we always said we would meet up but it never happened.
It took a while for it to sink it that he was really gone. I kept expecting the phone to ring but it never did.
Ivan was a good man, a true gentleman and friend. And I still miss him.
© Barbara Hart 2014