Saturday, January 17, 2015

Memorial Service for Kym Littlejohns

Welcome everyone, thank you so much for coming. I know I can speak for my brothers as well when I say that your presence means a huge amount to us. To know that Mum was loved by so many people is a great comfort to us.

This will be quite an informal service, probably very unique because it seemed only right that the whole thing should be from people who knew Mum - so we’ve pieced it together, and hopefully this will be a fitting tribute to a life cut far too short. I’d like to hand you over to my Aunty Vivien now.

How do you condense a life spanning 50 years into a short eulogy? I could tell of the tough and challenging childhood. Of the beautiful yet modest and sadly insecure woman she became. 
How she married young and had three beautiful children. I can tell you of the love and pride she had for and in them. How she managed Benjamyn’s condition with the ultimate gift of a kidney to him. All the while raising her children to be decent human beings.

It was marrying my brother, Nigel, that brought her into my life. But we didn't really get to know each other and become close friends until 1993. All this is Kym but it doesn't start to tell you WHO she was. Kym loved animals. None more so than her boy, Yoshi. She had an innate talent for music. She played the guitar and sang with a sweet pure singing voice. Music was in her very soul. She had a sharp mind. She was a self taught computer technician. Many a time I would phone her in a panic because of an issue with my laptop and she would laugh and calmly explain what I had to do.

Kym loved people and befriended so many. Her friendship was extended all around the world. And she worried about them all. She never judged. You could be yourself with Kym. Kym had a wicked sense of humour and she saw innuendo in almost everything and anything. On one of my trips to visit her we went to a gay club in Aberdeen, one tick off our bucket list! We were dancing and a young man kept talking to us. Trying his hand with a couple of old birds. She suddenly grabbed me and put her hand round my waist and hugged me tight. Looking at him she said 'This is my wife'. He disappeared quite quickly and we laughed a lot about that.

We were going to grow old together and be like Harry Enfields two old ladies. So, if you hear the cry of ' ooooo young man'  take a quick look, just might be our Kym.. How many people get to have a real lasting friendship with a true soul mate. We were two peas...I was so very lucky.

Remember her everyday. Then the BIG days won't be so hard. They won't hold any fears or any extra tears. Wherever you are mate, know you are loved and will be missed always.
Goodbye dear friend, mother, daughter, nanny....see you later.

It’s impossible to sum up a lifetime in a few words, but I’ll try my best. I admired so much about Mum. She taught herself how to play guitar. She taught herself how to draw and paint. Years ago she got fed up waiting for Dad to fix her computer so she taught herself how to do it! If she wanted to do something, she could usually figure out how - and this was before the days of Google and YouTube so was an even more impressive trait! I think the most important thing to remember though is that she was a self-taught Mother. She had, at best, an inadequate example to follow. And yet, she used to always tell me, the first time she laid eyes on me she felt a love she’d never felt before. She knew I’d come first, she would do anything for me, lay down her life for me. She used to say I wouldn’t understand that love until I had my own children. She was right, and I tell my kids the same thing now. I can say with certainty that Mum was the very best mother she knew how to be. We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she loved us. She cuddled us when we cried - even as adults! If we were ill we got tucked up on the couch with a blanket and she brought us warm soup and a cup of tea. She knew us inside and out. With Mum, you often thought you had gotten away with something, but months later she would slyly mention it, and you knew that she had known the whole time! She said she had eyes in the back of her head and I suspect she was only half joking. She just seemed to see through us, to know what we were thinking, and planning, and doing, sometimes even before we knew it ourselves. She let us make our own mistakes though, which I am always grateful for, because it’s the only way to truly learn. Mum was a very perceptive person in general. If you mentioned liking something, she catalogued that information somewhere in her mind and 6 months later on Christmas Day you’d get the very thing you had wanted! She had a way of surprising us with things like that, and she was incredibly thoughtful. She got a huge amount of joy out of finding just the right present for someone. She was never someone who’d just walk into a shop and pick the first thing she saw. She planned ahead, sometimes for months, to find just the right thing - often something you didn’t even know you wanted. But she knew it’d be perfect. Giving was just in her nature - there’s no better example of this than the fact that she gave my little brother Benjamyn a kidney when he was 10. From what I understand, this is significantly harder on the person donating the kidney than the one receiving it. But she did it willingly, I remember she was pleased that the Doctors thought she was a better match than Dad, because she just wanted no-one else to have to go through any more pain than necessary. She was willing to do it herself. Mum usually put other people’s needs ahead of her own, that’s just who she was, always willing to lend a hand and go out of her way for other people. 

I remember Mum saying to me that she always thought it was ridiculous that everyone seemed to have rose-tinted glasses on at funerals. Her comment was something along the lines of “it could have been a horrible criminal who died, but at the funeral everyone would say ‘oh he was such a lovely person!’”. She didn’t want that. So, Mum, I’ll be honest here and say you were a pain in the arse sometimes. You had your faults. But we all do. And Mum, I want to say to you, what you always said to me: I may not always like you, but I ALWAYS love you. This song is for you, from us.

One time it was for my birthday and Nanny took me to Macduff for the day. It is a good memory. I love Nanny so much and I miss her so much.

It’s not often you find someone who understands your every dark corner. Kym was my anchor through all things good & bad & I will always feel blessed to have called her my best friend. So this poem is for you best bitch.

Those special memories of you will always make me smile
If only I could have you back for just a little while
Then we could sit & talk again just like we used to do
You always meant so much to me & always will do too
The fact that you’re no longer here will always cause me pain
But you’re forever in my heart until we meet again.

For Kym, from Nichi:

Before we go outside, I’d like to just say thank you for all the beautiful words that have been said here today. If anyone else would like to say something, please come up now. You are all welcome to join us for a celebration of Mum’s life back at our family home for almost 21 years. She loved that house and we want to celebrate all the amazing memories, and hear all your stories. We have a memory book here, please sign your name before you leave today, and if you have any special memories to share with us please do so there. The book will also be available at the wake this afternoon so please feel free to write more later too. Thank you everyone from Daniel, Benjamyn, and myself.

**During this song the pallbearers will begin carrying Mum to graveside**

Pallbearers: Amber, Daniel, Benjamyn, Vivien, Nichi, William