One of my favourite photos from my wedding day is the one pictured below. I’m not sure who took it but, it was as we were signing the register (and the ball and chain was firmly secured around Orkney Beef’s ankle) my new mother in law was wheeled over for the photographs. She had been suffering with Parkinson’s disease for a long time and I was so taken with how lovely her carers had made her look. Her hair had been blow dried and she was wearing a beautiful blue dress. As the photo was taken I had just leaned over to tell her how lovely she looked, and she at the same time had leaned over to say the same thing to me. It was a brief exchange but captured a moment in time, and I love the sentiment of it. I’d obviously had an emotional moment and am holding a lace cotton hanky and she is just holding my two fingers. It still chokes me now to think about how lovely she looked. We didn’t know if she’d be able to cope much longer than the service, but she made it through the dinner and right into the evening she was still going strong.
That was over five years ago and she has lived needing daily round the clock care since well before then.
Barbara died peacefully on Tuesday 17th January 2017 after a long battle with Parkinson’s, and today she was laid to rest alongside her husband and one of her daughters, Marie who died 24 years ago.
Parkinson’s is a disease that affects the brain and mobility and currently, there is no cure. It’s a very cruel disease and can affect people in different ways, but sadly for Barbara it was hugely debilitating and she was able to do very little for herself for many years. She was well cared for in her residential home and the family are very thankful for the care given to Barbara during the 5 years she spent at St Rognvalds in Kirkwall.
We are delighted to be able to donate over £600 towards Parkinson’s UK in her memory and thank everyone who gave so generously today.
The family have done a lot of fundraising for Parkinson’s over the years including car boot sales, sponsored bike rides, supermarket collections, sponsored walks and the largest effort came from my Brother in law David who walked the entire coast of Britain in 2013-2014 raising an enormous £8230. Tens of thousands of pounds has been raised over the years.
More information can be found about Davids coasting round Britain on his website on the link below.
There is a website about Parkinson’s here.
Following the funeral we went for drinks at a local hotel and were joined by younger members of the family including Peedie Meatball, bringing with her smiles and a bit of fun as she took over the photography.
I’ve been to many January/February funerals in Orkney and the weather can be raw standing at a graveside. Today however, the weather was kinder and while still cold it didn’t have such a bite. We saw a beautiful sunset as we drove away from the wake. Barbara’s final goodbye.
Resting in peace now.