We secretly think that Segundo had hung on to see all the family together over the summer before he decided it was his time to go. And he thoughtfully saved us an additional journey and gave us what turned out to be a wonderful day together to remember for all time.
Amelia and her sisters arranged things the following day and the funeral took place in the beautiful little church in Valdepolo on Friday at 12 o'clock. The church was packed with family, friends and neighbours and was a simple, solemn occasion during which one of Segundo's 11 grandchildren, Adrian, read a short, touching piece that he had written in memory of his grandfather.
In the cemetery, he was put into the burial wall in his reserved spot, just above his wife, Segundina, and then bricked in - something I have never seen before. I had always assumed the little plaques on the walls in Spanish cemeteries held urns, not whole coffins...
After this very final act, Amelia, my mother-in-law, visibly relaxed. It has been an increasingly hard job for her as she has devoted a good third of the past two and a half years, feeding, cleaning and looking after her father all day every day - sharing the task in the end with Eloina and Ines - and travelling between her own home and the apartment in Leon to do this. And now, it was over and I suspect it will take her a little time to adjust to having her own life back.
Afterwards, we walked the short distance down to the house in Valdepolo, where we'd spent much of the past four weeks and which we have grown very fond of. It's not a big house and sometimes felt a bit cramped with just the five of us. With thirty-two of us, it was hilarious! Fortunately, there was nothing but sunshine and we set to, putting tables and chairs into the garden. Ruz, another grand-daughter, was an absolute star and stood over the inadequate stove making chicken, steak, soup and tortillas for us all, with a little help from others who put together some excellent salads - but all credit to Ruz (pronounced 'Ruth') - who told me she reads this blog, which made my day!
And had what turned out to be the very best day of our holiday - full of fun, laughter, chatter and family. Segundo would, I am sure, be very proud of the family he left behind and which I am happy to be part of.
|Chefs at work|
|Let the feasting commence|
|An excellent spread|
|There was not much left, either|