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“When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are dreaming together it is the beginning of reality.”—Helder Camara
Angel Oak Tree, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
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A Personal Tribute to my Mum, Nancy
‘A Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for the life of
14th December 1923- 17th August 2016
St. Thomas More Catholic Church,
Tuesday 6th September 2016
Good morning Father Day, and good morning Friends,
Mum was always calm, peaceful and reflective. Let me begin my tribute by wishing you all peace in all you do, in the form of a great Celtic blessing, which I am sure mum would have liked and approved of:
The Warmth of the sun to you
The Light of the moon to you
The Silver of the stars to you
The Breath of the wind to you
And the Peace of the Peace to you
Nancy and I: My Story
My Tribute to Nancy, my Mum; giving thanks for a wonderful friendship which began in a November day in 1973
With mum at her 90th Birthday Party
I very fondly remember that day in November 1973. A couple of years earlier, God looking after me, I had met a beautiful girl, called Annie, in Oxford, the girl that later on became my dear wife.
In November 1973 Annie had invited me to meet her parents and the rest of the family.
I was, I must admit, quite nervous. I was only 21 year old and except my landlady and a few of her friends in Oxford, I had not been to an “English Home” meeting English families.
And moreover, I was also quite hippyish at that time: Very long hair, bushy, hipster-like beard, holes in my blue jeans, wearing high hill boots and a Persian lamb sheepskin jacket with all sorts of trimmings!
Oh, my God I thought! What are they going to think when they see this boy from Iran! What have we got here? A boy from Mars! I thought they would be wondering and saying to themselves and perhaps to Annie too!
I must cut a very long story short: I had a hell of a good time. Annie’s mum and dad were just wonderful, and you know what, they even liked my sense of humour, jokes, and laughter, and it seems my looks too! Or at least I hoped they did!
Anyhow, my friends, Annie and I got married on 27 July 1974, and I not only got the best wife and a best friend for life, but I also got the best English mum and dad, I could have ever dreamt off.
I am very sorry that Terry was taken away from us, far too early. I, nonetheless, cherish our moments we had together, our travels in this country and in Canada, and much much more. I give thanks for his love and friendship.
I now give my utmost thanks and gratitude for the long, fruitful, meaningful, mother-and- the- son- like relationship that I was able to build and nurture with Nancy, my loving, Geordie, English mother.
Mum, as I had always called her, was an ocean of kindness and love.
Her kindness and compassion was so deep and so vast that even the blind could see and the deaf could hear.
She was always there for me, at good times and not very good times. At her presence I always felt calm, tranquillity and peace.
She gave so freely, never expecting anything in return. I give thanks for all the wonderful times we had together, too numerous to recall at this moment. This is a story for another day and another time.
I give thanks for the love of my life, my dearest friend, Annie, our sons Kevin and Paul and their beautiful fiancées; Sarah and Katie. I give thanks to my Sister-in-law, Jackie and my brother-in-law Gordon. We, too, have been together since that November day in 1973. Thank you for your love and friendship.
I also wish to give thanks to my extended English family, the Mcnaneys and Cliffords, some present in this room. Many thanks to all my friends from Coventry, some here today.
I am sure, knowing and loving you all, the way I do, must have made me a better person. For that I am grateful.
Nancy, my mum, I can only say I have lost a very dear and cherished friend and mentor. I will never forget her loving smile, warm words and positive attitudes towards me, regardless of who I was or what I became. I am praying in my own way for my mum and friend Nancy and I ask The Almighty to ensure her continuous love for me. God grant Nancy eternal rest; she was a lovely lady, who, if required, may still be a peacemaker in heaven.
In closing I wish to recite a favourite prayer which mum and I used to say many times together.
Nearly 20 years ago or so I was going through some challenging times in my life. Mum was always a great friend and listener. I used to go to her house and talk and talk. We always ended our talk with this wonderful and fitting prayer which I very much love to share with you:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Master, grant that I may not seek so much to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Mum I loved you very much. Thank you me darling for everything. Words are not adequate to explain how much I owe to you.
Give my love to Dad, uncle Ger, uncle Kev, auntie Chris and auntie Mary; and auntie Mema.
Look for my Dad and brother, Keyvan, too. They, too, loved you very much.
My dad was very fond of Mrs. Clifford. He had much love and respect for her. I know this very well. Any time he saw me, or phoned me, one of his first questions was: ‘How is Mrs. Clifford?’ ‘Kamran, always look after her’; he used to say to me. And when he could not come to Coventry any more, he used to say, he misses going to the Fishymores with Mrs. Clifford and the rest of us.
Mum, I love you and I am going to miss you.
I hope I was good to you, worthy of all the love you gave me.
And as you used to say: Good night and God bless.