Joan

This is a special page dedicated to Paul’s Mum, Joan, who died in the early evening of Wednesday 18 June 2008.

Joan and family

To start with here are the poems read out at the service held on Friday 27 June at Lowther Church to celebrate her life.

If I only could handle me scooter

The day that they said I’d need pushing around,
I said ‘on yer bike’ and I headed down town.
I’ve never been one for just kicking my heels,
So I put down a cheque on my first set of wheels.
He needs his own bike to keep up now, does Ray –
Or maybe it’s just to get out of me way?
Cos I’ve got me four wheels and they couldn’t be cuter,
A stick to go forwards and back, and a hooter,
Ray cycling beside like a city commuter
If I only could handle me scooter.

Down the canal path to see me son Paul,
It’s lovely and flat with no corners at all
Yet somehow the steering has got in a tangle.
I head up the bank, at a dangerous angle.
But why are they shouting? – the view’s a lot better,
The other wrong turn would have been a lot wetter.

I’m in a posh shop, buying gloves for a do,
There isn’t much room, but I power on through.
Then just past the leatherware – oops, something snags –
A tidal tsunami of satchels and bags.
And here comes the manager, nothing but smiles.
‘Apologies madam, we’ll widen our aisles’.
Cos I’ve got me four wheels and they couldn’t be cuter,
A stick to go forwards and back, and a hooter,
Ray cycling beside like a city commuter
If I only could handle me scooter.

Summer in Cornwall, a crowded café,
And I’m looking for somewhere to sit with me tray.
‘That gap’s far too narrow, you’ll never get through it’
Says Ray. What does he know? I say ‘I can do it’.
So what if the plates, cups, and saucers have bought it?
There’s plenty of people around who can sort it!

I’ve not got me license, never driven a car
But life with a scooter is better by far.
Reversing full speed out of doorways and lifts
Scattering shoppers in panicky drifts
‘Try looking behind you’ shouts Ray, ‘and slow down’
But I’ve never looked back and I’m not starting now.
Cos I’ve got me four wheels and they couldn’t be cuter,
A stick to go forwards and back, and a hooter,
Ray cycling beside like a city commuter
And bother you all if my driving don’t suit ’yer
I know how to handle me scooter.

By Paul Bailey and Helen Beetham

Joan on her scooter

Joan and Ray miles behind

A Song of Living

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have kissed young Love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end.
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heave; the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I give a share of my soul to the world where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I must leave undone.
I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

By Amelia Josephine Burr

Ray with Joan taken a week before she died

Here are some more pictures of Joan

Joan, Chris and Josh

Joan and Ray

Joan on the boat with Jade and Natasha

Joan and girls

Joan on the boat

Joan, Mandy, Paul and girls

Here is Joan’s last mobility car. She chose the colour – Peacock Blue.

Joan’s car

Joan walking up the garden path to Ray.

Joan “coming home”